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Pre-Paid Mobile Internet In Spain

When traveling foreign countries it becomes increasingly important to be able to connect to the Internet.

Huawei ES830I use a Huawei ES830 to act as a mobile WiFi hotspot. Advantage compared to using a Micro-SIM in your iPad is that you also can get your iPhone, Mac, … online at the same time with one SIM card. Similar devices like MiFi work as well, as long as they are unlocked. Here’s my working solution for Spain:

The provider Yoigo offers a pre-paid SIM card with up to 100MB of data per day for 3€. You purchase a SIM for 20€ with that amount of credit on it. Depending on location the speed is some sort of 3G (HSDPA) and instead of shutting you down after those 100MB they slow you down to 64 Kbps, so you can easily watch the bits fly by while checking Twitter.

Apart from Yoigo stores you can also buy this product at other retailers, I got it at a shop called PhoneHouse in downtown Barcelona. While the place looked a bit like a dump, one nice lady in the store really knew her business. She could even tell me about the APN settings.

Real advantage of that solution compared to others I tried so far is that the store activates the SIM card during purchase, so you can start using it immediately. I have heard about waiting times of up to 2 days with other providers like Vodafone in Spain and experienced 24 hours of delay before in Italy.

Final piece to the puzzle is the setup of your access point. Usually sellers have no idea about how to configure your Huawei/MiFi. Here’s the important bits.

APN: internet (set to Static IP Address)
User Name: internet
Password: internet

Everything else can stay default, like the Dial-Up Number at *99#.

On a Huawei ES830 you find these under Advanced Settings > Dial-up Settings > Profile Settings. As soon as you change the Profile Name you implicitly create a new profile that can be saved using the Save button. Once you have these settings saved you can select a profile in Advanced Settings > Dial-up Settings > Connection Settings. The guys who did the web configuration UI for Huawei should be sentenced to at least five years of usability testing before ever doing own work again…

If you other experiences or feedback, please get back to me via comments or @flo_muc on Twitter.

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