On advice from a mate, I decided to try an ‘AMAYSIM’ sim card while my trusty NodeMobile Data MiFi from Internode is on loan to a friend in hospital. The plan: see how the prepaid data service compares to my trusty $14 per month plan from internode. The result: I have dumped my old Vodafone pre-paid and ported my number over to AMAYSIM.
The basic deal from AMAYSIM is $10 per month for 1GB data (compared to $14 from Internode) with .12c SMS TXT and flat rate of .15c per min phone calls. Both use the Optus 3G network. I generally use less than my 1GB per month in my MiFi which provides access to my iPhone, iPad, laptop when travelling and up to 5 strangers whenever I am out in public! Therefore I do not expect to use more than one 1GB data pack per month in my iPhone.
The short story of my trial is that the user experience provided by AMAYSIM was so slick, and everything I tried just worked. It all worked so well that I ended up putting one SIM in my wife’s iPad for an interstate trip, then buying a second one, porting my old Vodafone number and ditching their pre-paid deal I had been running since leaving Microsoft in 2005 ($30TXTer prepaid every 60 days).
The long story is provided (in note form) below partly to jog my memory next time I need to fiddle with USB modems, APN names and other TELCO-dazzlery parameter matching.
- Instant Gratification: hit amaysim.com.au for the basic deal & signup. Thought I would have to order and wait for shipping of a sim card. Found I could buy one in a service-station less than 500m from my home for $2. Got off my arse, went to servo and purchased one. Got home, followed activation process & it was ready to go in minutes. Phone worked instantly (including automated call from AMAYSIM to set up voicemail). Had a slight glitch with DATA on iPhone due to a profile I had previously created using APN Changer from http://www.unlockit.co.nz (to get NodeMobile DATA sim working in iPhone).
- Data on iPhone: would have worked immediately if I had not previously created a profile to munge the APN settings for Internode NodeMobile DATA on that phone previously. Once I deleted that old profile (iPhone settings->general->profiles) everything worked a treat. Took me a few minutes to figure this out. At first I tried iPhone settings->general->reset->Reset Network Settings which did not work. Tried to setup my iPhone (3GS) as a Personal Hotspot. iPhone settings->personal hotspot->ON. To my horror and dissapointment, I find that iPhone3 (with IOS v4.3.1) won’t create a WiFi network to share my AMAYSIM data connection. (Has lame-arsed BlueTooth / USB network sharing). I fecked about with Bluetooth between another iPad and my iPhone for a few minutes but couldn’t figure out how to share the iPhone data connection. Lame.
- USB Modem: I ripped the AmaySIM card from my iPhone and stuck it in the old (Huawei E169 3G) USB Modem that came free with my Internode NodeMobile Data 2year contract. THen I stuck said USB modem into an old Mac OSX laptop and installed the ‘Wireless Broadband’ application that showed up on the built-in USB drive of the modem. A quick google search for amaysim + nodemobile data USB gave some clues as to configuration parameters. At the end of the day all I did was create a new service in the app, enter ‘internet’ as APN name and *99# as the telephone number to dial. (see image: it worked). I was surprised that no username / password was required and I have no idea if the APN parameter actually does anything.
- iPad microSIM: when you punch your AMAYSIM sim-card out of the plastic enclosure, the SIM itself becomes an enclosure for a smaller micro-sim as required for iPad (what an evil engineering decision for a device bigger than a phone, but I digress…). Punched the microSIM out of the middle of the SIM and shoved it in the iPad. It works!
- iPhone4 personal hotspot: you tell me! I don’t have an iPhone4, couldn’t get a clear yes or no via google. Seems Optus does NOT support it, don’t know about re-sellers of their network like amaysim etc.
- MiFi: when I get my trusty MiFi battery operated wireless router (Novatel MiFi 2200 Mobile Hotspot) back I will throw the AmaySIM card in and let you know how it goes. Anyone tried this?