It has been just over a week since I received my Galaxy Tab from our friends at MobiCity and a week since I signed up to TPG Mobile (TPG’s mobile division, believe it or not ;)). I reached out to you guys on Twitter as to which Carrier I should go with where I could get a hefty data allowance but also be able to send text messages if need be, in an attempt to keep plan prices down. A lot of you replied with different suggestions, though none of them were for Vodafone or Three, surprise surprise.. Optus Dollar Days was right up, Virgin Mobile was also a top contender with its Mobile Broadband caps, but someone suggested TPG Mobile and seeing as though I already have an existing ADSL2+ connection with them I thought, ‘why not?’.
I signed up to TPG Mobile’s $29.99 Heavy Cap which gives me $1000 credit ($400 TPG-2-TPG, $600 TPG-2-Anyone) and a hefty 2GB of data for all my browsing needs, best of all there’s no long-term contract to sign, only month-to-month agreements. Two days after signing up, I received my SIM card in the snail-mail. This clever little SIM can also be popped out to create a Micro SIM for all your non-conformist Apple needs.
After carefully placing the delicate SIM inside of my Galaxy Tab I headed to the TPG website to activate my SIM, this was easy enough and I saw my Galaxy Tab connected to the network in under 60 minutes, I wasn’t really paying attention so it may have been quicker. Then came to glorious game of “Getting the Galaxy Tab to connect to Data”, I for one am not a fan of this game, and don’t recommend it to anyone, it’s mainly yourself yelling at technology to work and it just giving you the finger in return. After 2 hours of trying different APNs listed by you guys on the APNs Page I gave up.
So it turns out with TPG Mobile that you have to enable GPRS in your account before you can connect to any kind of data, a handy feature that they do not tell you about in the 3 pages of useless information sent with the SIM card. Now, to enable data, you login to your account and select “Enable GPRS”, that’s all well and good if TPG actually setup your account properly. It took them 8-9 hours before I could change any of the settings for my SIM on their website. Now that I had data connected, I could browse the web right? Wrong.
As some of you may know TPG use Optus’ ‘Open Network’ so there are quite a few APNs that can be entered to make data work, after playing around I got data to actually flow to my Galaxy Tab without too much of a problem. So after a day of mucking about, I did end up getting everything setup and in working order.
Although customer support may be non-existent and the service can be a mess to set up, I’m willing to stick with it due to it being affordable and the freedom to stop using it whenever I want without have to pay to cancel a one or two year contract. Speeds are comparable to those of Telstra’s NextG network, at least around my house which is where I use the Galaxy Tab 99% of the time, with ~2.5Mbit / ~1Mbit. So overall, I’m happy with what I’m paying for.