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Old Mar 2, 08, 12:28 pm   #1
 
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WiFi in Europe?Better off using internet cafes?

Will be flying to Frankfurt and Barcelona next month for my "big trip vacation"of 2008
I have Tmoblie internet on my phone-which can be tethered to a laptop.
The hotels I am staying at(Le Meridien Frankfurt & LM Barcelona)do not offer free wifi/internet but are close to internet cafes.
Am I better off going to one of these rather than trying to get a connection via Tmobile if possible?
Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 12:52 pm   #2
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I imagine using a T-Mobile under an American data plan will be very expensive.

When in Europe, I use a combination of iPass & a Vodfone prepaid PC card modem.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 1:14 pm   #3
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Does the T*Mobile account also include hotspot access? You may find that the hotels partner with T*Mobile as a provider, allowing you to use the hotel's access for free or at a reduced rate. Using it to tether will almost certainly prove to be an exorbitant expense based on roaming data charges.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 1:36 pm   #4
 
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"Does the T*Mobile account also include hotspot access? You may find that the hotels partner with T*Mobile as a provider,"
Yes-my plan does include Tmobile Hospots(Thanks to ScottC for this )
I am having difficulty finding any hotspot info in Europe on Tmobile's site however.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 1:43 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Does the T*Mobile account also include hotspot access? You may find that the hotels partner with T*Mobile as a provider, allowing you to use the hotel's access for free or at a reduced rate. Using it to tether will almost certainly prove to be an exorbitant expense based on roaming data charges.
My T-Mobile account includes US T-Mobile hotspots but not foreign ones like those in LH lounges.

Every hotel has a different Internet access plan, and whether the price suits you compared to a cafe depends on your needs. Usually you have a choice of one hour or 24 hours. Don't be surprised if the 24 hour plan costs 15 to 20 Euros, and the one hour plan is half of that.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 1:48 pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigguyinpasadena View Post
"Does the T*Mobile account also include hotspot access? You may find that the hotels partner with T*Mobile as a provider,"
Yes-my plan does include Tmobile Hospots(Thanks to ScottC for this )
I am having difficulty finding any hotspot info in Europe on Tmobile's site however.
T-Mobile HotSpot Worldwide Locations

According to the TMobile site: "Please note that when using T-Mobile affiliate locations in Europe, you will be roaming." I've read stories of people getting some pretty unpleasant surprises on their bills because they weren't aware of this.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 2:03 pm   #7
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Your U.S.-based T-Mobile HotSpot account gains you access to the German T-Mobile Hot-Spots on a roaming basis - the charge is USD 0.18 per minute. You simply indicate that you are a T-Mobile U.S. customer, then, after agreeing to the roaming charges, you are instantly online. You are billed on your next billing date (no need to enter any credit card information.

If your hotel uses T-Mobile as its wireless provider, you may also be able to buy a 24-hour unlimited pass. It's not cheap (it was €18,- in November 2006, the last time I had need to use it) but it may be useful if you have one specific day that you need a lot of access time.

What I usually do is, I compose e-mails off line in my hotel room, then go to the HotSpot (a Starbucks, for instance, or maybe the Hauptbahnhof, some of whose home pages have a link to T-Mobile's roaming page) and conduct my online business (such as anything financial, online check-in for flights, etc).

If I want to just surf generic sites (like reading FlyerTalk, for instance) , I find an Internet Cafe for that - USD 3.00 per hour is better than USD 10.80 for things that you don't need the security of your own laptop for.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 4:29 pm   #8
 
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Also look at Boingo's hotspot service (www.boingo.com).
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Old Mar 2, 08, 4:47 pm   #9
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Availability of free wi-fi or at least an Ethernet plug is a key criterion for me when choosing hotels in major cities. Unless I can find an exceptionally cheap deal for an exceptionally fantastic hotel, I have no time for those who want to make an astronomical profit off me for such a common service.

If you don't want to change hotels, you can use internet cafés or you could look into FON, which has plenty of hotspots in both of the cities you're going to be visiting.
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Old Mar 2, 08, 6:44 pm   #10
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I wouldn't rely just on cafes. When we were in Rome a couple weeks ago, we tried three internet cafes, all were running Windows 95 or 98, didn't have the latest version of anything on them, didn't allow cookies, etc. Most of the places I needed to get to I couldn't get to. Realized it was easier to bring the laptop to the cafe, unplug the connection and plug the network in there to get online.
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Old Mar 8, 08, 6:07 pm   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubai Stu
Also look at Boingo's hotspot service (www.boingo.com).
I would also check boingo. You could use the internet cafes or buy a prepaid data sim card. From personal use my bb intl plan I never got charged for roaming (fromgermany and poland to uk new zealand and australia) and using the inetnet like now but I never tethered it to my laptop.
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Old Mar 8, 08, 8:09 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opus17 View Post
I imagine using a T-Mobile under an American data plan will be very expensive.

When in Europe, I use a combination of iPass & a Vodfone prepaid PC card modem.
Could someone elaborate about a prepaid PC card modem....have never heard of that and am very interested
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