Simon’s Backup Weblog


End of an Era

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on February 19, 2007

I’ve been an Orange subscriber for a long time now, longer than I can remember. I’ve been through the whole WAP boom with them, through the first smartphones, and through more devices than I can remember.

However today I called up and asked for my PAC. Orange still hasn’t launched a flat-rate data service, so it’s time to go somewhere else.

I’ve decided to move to another operator with a lower-cost data tariff, and off-the-shelf mobile email. My current thinking is to go to T-Mobile with Web’n’Walk and Flext, and probably get a Blackberry Pearl. I did rather like the one I reviewed for IT Pro. The alternative is Vodafone’s similar service, and a Treo 750W.

The one big question, of course, is the cost of getting mail while I travel….

It’s a pity T-Mobile have’t launched the Dash over here, as that might have tipped the odds one way or another. Still, I have 30 days to decide now.

Decisions, decisions.

I’d be interested in understanding what other folk have been looking at, and what you all recommend…

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11 Responses to 'End of an Era'

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  1. etriganuk said,

    Flext’n’web’n’walk is what I’ve gone for. I’m not a fan of their range of phones, and I’m looking to avoid paying for wifi when I’m out and about if I can, so I went to Expansys and picked up a S/E Z610i – was recommending the K610i, but that’s unavailable now, and I much prefer clamshell designs anyway. So now I’ve got a clamshell 3G phone that seems to do everything I want.

  2. ladymoonray said,

    I thoroughly recommend Web’n’Walk. It’s saved me an absolute fortune already; so much so that it’s cheaper to keep my Vodafone contract (pared down to the minimum) and move to T-Mobile as well, than to stay with Vodafone.

  3. purplecthulhu said,

    I may well be doing the same thing.

    Looking at the phones T-Mobile offer with this servicem, the Nokia E61. This seems to have received fairly good press, but any input from anyone else would be appreciated.

    Now I have to get into the intricacies of PAC – not easy when I’m about to leave the country for 3 weeks…

  4. rhodri said,

    I’m on the Web’n’walk package. It’s ace. Internet everywhere on my laptop via Bluetooth, although that’s probably prohibited in their T&Cs, but I don’t abuse it, so they probably don’t care too much. On an N70, using GMails mobile app is a breeze. Almost enjoyable. Even Google Maps on the phone becomes usable, as you aren’t sh!tting yourself worrying about the eventual bill.

  5. cobrabay said,

    I’ve been using Flext’n’web’n’walk since just before Christmas and I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve been picking up the POP3 mail from my main ISP and from Gmail without any hassle. I’m not so reliant on mobile email that going for a Blackberry enabled device seemed worth it. Web browsing has been fine as long as I can get a 3G signal (which is most times), though annoyingly I couldn’t get a 3G or GPRS signal worth a damn at Picocon on Saturday, so was unable to cheat at the quiz.
    I have the Web’n’Walk Plus flavour which allows IM access and using the phone as a modem. The basic Web’n’Walk doesn’t give these. Using the phone as a modem with my laptop gives surprisingly good performance, not Wi-Fi, but certainly usable. I’d have had to pay more if I wanted to use the Web’n’Walk for VoIP access (Web’n’Walk Max).
    I’ve got a T-Mobile MDA Vario II (another HTC TyTn clone).

  6. neilf said,

    Looks like I’m going to be the dissenting voice but I’d have to avoid T-Mobile like the plague. They are completely incompetent and do not understands the meaning of the phrase “customer service”. I’ve been trying to get a PAC code out of them for two weeks and on every occasion I’ve been cut-off. Nice customer retention tactic.

    I now actively recommend against T-Mobile I’m afraid.

    Can’t help on the device front as I’m more than happy with my 6233 and have decided that all in one devices are not for me. So no iPhone for me.

    – Neil.

  7. devilgate said,

    Does that mean that you carry two phones, or can you get some kind of double-SIM setup?

  8. autopope said,

    I moved from Orange to FlexT with web’n’walk about five months ago. My initial phone was the HTC TyTN aka MDA Vario II, but after putting up with it for two months I downgraded to my old Treo 650 … and after another month, stumped up for a new, unlocked, Sony-Ericsson M600i. Strong suggestion: if you can get an M600i with an all-you-can-eat data plan, whether it be Vodafone or T-Mobile, do so. It’s a really good phone (as a phone) and an adequate address book/PDA, its battery life with 3G is okay as long as you remember to plug it in every day or two (see also: twice as good as the HTC), and the UI Just Works the way a mobile phone should (you start typing a number and — lawks! it pops up a window and starts to dial).

    I’m using it with Bluetooth from a Macbook and/or a Vaio TX3XP running Ubuntu, and it does fine with both. (I’m considering investing in a Web’n’walk data card for the laptop, but that’s another matter.)

  9. fleetfootmike said,

    Flext+Web’n’Walk + a Nokia E61, which rocks. Using it with Bluetooth from an iBook G4.

  10. drpete said,

    I was put off T-Mobile by their woeful coverage and signal dropouts (I have a T-Mobile phone for work, and it blows goats mightily), although web n walk is a useful thing.
    For unlimited data and reasonable coverage I went with 3. On a pay monthly tariff the addition of unlimited data is £5 a month. I was put off all the other providers because their offers were, frankly, mean. 3 also have the advantage of being a new ground-up 3g network rather than shoehorning the extra bandwidth into an existing network.

  11. ladymoonray said,

    I’ve been carrying two phones around with me for a couple of months, because there doesn’t seem to be any alternative. But it’s just rather silly having two numbers, so I’m going to shut the Vodafone away in a drawer and not use it any more. It really is cheaper to do that…


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