Pay-as-you-go mobile broadband internet in Germany

Info and updates on what offers are available

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Editor Bob
There are four mobile network operators in Germany. These are T-Mobile, O2, Vodafone, and E-Plus.

As of November 2008, only two of these offer pay-as-you-go mobile broadband internet. They are T-Mobile and O2.

The idea of "pay-as-you-go mobile broadband internet" is that you use your laptop and a USB dongle to wirelessly connect to the internet. It works anywhere in the country that has cell phone coverage. The access is high speed and there is no contract commitment. You simply buy the dongle, plug it in, use the internet, then top up your credit as and when you need it.

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T-Mobile's option is called the Xtra Pac T-Mobile web'n'walk Stick.

It costs a one-time fee of €69.95. For this you get a 77mm-long USB stick that can plug into your laptop, plus €10 of credit. The charge is then €4.95 per day of usage, midnight to midnight. Connection speed is 3,6 MBit/s. Download speed during the day reduces to 384 kbit/s after 1Gb, and 64 kbit/s after 2Gb. The stick can only be used with the SIM card that comes with it. If you want to use another operator's card you have to pay a €99.50 unlock fee or wait 24 months.

O2's option is called the O2 LOOP-Surf-Stick.

It costs a one-time fee of €69,99, similar to the T-Mobile option. For this you get an 87mm USB stick, plus one month of credit. Rather than paying day-by-day, O2 has month-by-month options. The €5 pack buys you one month of access limited to 30 MB and the €10 pack buys 200 MB. The €25 pack has no hard data limit, but connection speeds are reduced after 10 GB.
Is this the same as connecting via UMTS? And those speeds are quicker than DSL right?
Those prices are going to have to come down a lot to interest the masses. Come on, 30MB? That's used up in a couple of 10-minute podcasts. Even the €25 euro rate has a catch: two years locked in - at least that's what they told me down at the 02 shop the other day.
UMTS/HSDPA is usually 7.2MB, 3.6MB Is either a restricted UMTS or is actually GPRS. The only DSL these speeds beat is DSL2000 or 6000
but not the newer VDSL (25 and 50mb)
Isn't Vodafone's Websessions a similar sort of deal?

Amazing timing with this announcement -- I just went out and bought Vodafone wireless broadband access yesterday. Contract rather than PAYG as the plan is that this will be my only home net access so I think it's more cost-effective this way. Although I've now discovered that to get any sort of UMTS speed I pretty much need to dangle the dongle out the window (north Schwabing / Kieferngarten) so I'm reconsidering. Is there a cooling-off period on contracts in Germany if I decide that the service isn't going to be good enough and want to cancel?

And dammit, that O2 deal actually looks like it might work for me without being bound to the 24-month Vodafone contract I just signed.
Fonic offers a surf stick for 99.95, which comes with five free access days, a SIM card and shipping. After that, it's 2.50 a day (PAYG) for access. No download limit, but they do reserve the right restrict bandwidth after you've downloaded a certain amount on any given day.
Is there a cooling-off period on contracts in Germany if I decide that the service isn't going to be good enough and want to cancel?
Why yes there is. 2 weeks. Check the company's online AGB / T+C.

24 hour cooling off period after contract signing

Edit: Ah I knew there was a reason that post was on my radar today - you just posted there. Advice is the same though.
The charge is then €4.95 per day of usage, midnight to midnight.
That's €150 a month, that's bloody expensive, or am I misunderstanding something?
I think you only pay for those days when you actually use the service, just like with Fonic. Note that I couldn't be bothered to verify this assumption though.
I use Fonic in my hotel of an evening as its cheaper than the hotel rates. You're basically limited to 1GB per day at the full speed and then the transfer rate is slower. You can pay with a transfer monthly or top up any time you want and you cannot use VOIP or P2P (IM seems to work okay.) Still finding it difficult to use up 1GB during the evening. Whats good about this is that you can stop anythime you want, there is no contract, no monthly fees, etc. Also very handy when sitting in a cafe with the netbook or sub-notebook...
Bob Loblaw
That's €150 a month, that's bloody expensive, or am I misunderstanding something?
Well it's pay as you go. If you want a "classic" mobile flatrate 1&1 offers gprs/edge with up to 200 kbit for €19.95 and umts with up to 7200 kbit for €29.95 (both on a 2 year contract though).
Which means if you use it more than 6 days a month you're out of pocket. What constitutes a day, if someone logs on for 5 minutes to check their e-mails is that still €4,95? It seems outrageously priced. A 2year contract would cost ca. €720 which amounts to 144 days use on the pay as you go. You'd not want to use it much to make it worth your while, which begs the question why bother?
Read the orig. Post.. Its a "Day" is counted as Midnight to midnight, so you your 5min use would be charged as 1 day.
The new (as of october) O2 LOOP surf stick doesn't involve a contract. I presume thats why you have to pay €70 for the stick.

If you have a newish laptop with a built-in 3G modem you can get away with just buying an O2 LOOP SIM. Thats what I have done and it's working fine on the €25/month tariff, although I did need a phone to add credit and start the service initially. It even works with MSN video calling so I can video call to my family back home.

I was using the vodafone websessions before. €4.95/day does get expensive quickly. I expect vodafone and t-mobile will have to launch better value services soon or o2 will have the market sewn up.
Are these only available online? I prefer to go into a shop and speak to a sales rep face to face...

The O2 one seems like a deal, unlimited use for €25 a month without a contract.

Does the €70 stick include a month's credit already?
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