Getting Internet Access with ‘3’ in the U.K.

I arrived in the U.K. yesterday for attending the Oxford University Future Technology Conference in Oxford today. Naturally, wireless Internet connectivity needed to be assured right away, so I figured I would go and buy a ‘3’ Pay As You Go SIM and activate the 1 GB for 30 days broadband Internet access offer (for details, see here). I managed to get one in the end, as this blog entry is proof of, but it was a bit easier said than done:

The first ‘3’ store I found did not have prepaid SIMs without phones available, out of stock… O.k. no worries, there is more than one ‘3’ store in London. So I went to a second store which did have SIM cards but there I was told that the Internet would only work with their own phones. I challenged the guy, he gave me his SIM card and I showed how well it works in my non-‘3’ N95-8GB 🙂 Not that he knew what an ‘APN’ was…

After the initial denial phase, everything worked like a charm and I was set up in 5 minutes:

  • Within a minute, I had a SIM card and a 10 pounds top up voucher and activated the SIM by calling 444.
  • Before activating the Internet add-on, I had to make another call to 444 to put the 10 pounds on the SIM.
  • Afterwards I went to the My3 web page received via the SMS above and activated the Internet Light 1GB add-on.
  • Very nice, works like a charm 🙂

Speeds in London’s busy Oxford street are quite o.k., about 1 MBit/s in downlink and 60 kbit/s in uplink. Not the best I’ve ever seen but it will do nicely. Thanks, 3!

2 thoughts on “Getting Internet Access with ‘3’ in the U.K.”

  1. Hello Eduardo,

    you only need the Internet Light for 10 pounds, it works for both the PC and the mobile phone. I’ve personally used it for both when I was in the U.K. a week ago. No need for an extra option.


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