Wednesday, 19 January 2011

For those who follow me: Smart Phones (Part 1)

The good news: you can get 3G data on your smart phone, even on a prepaid account (which is all you can get without bank account etc.). And it is cheap. Data charges are about $12 for 3.5GB at decent speed, and are capped at about $25 (all per month). Calls are about $0.06/min. Call quality and data speeds here seem comparable to the UK, if not better.
The bad news: adding these services is done by sending multiple SMSes to a service number, or dialing odd numbers like **61*980#. Instructions are an outdated and Google Translated Vietnamese text and/or depend on the (helpful) local operator staff. Keep Google Translate handy for the responses from the system:-) The opposite approach to the endless different calling plans on offer in the UK, but equally complicated and intimidating.

Then I kept receiving Vietnamese invites to gamble on UK Premier League matches, and pop-ups with live Entertainment news. A Google search found this, which solved the problem. (It is a SIM Application; on my phone at Settings > Phone > SIM Applications > LiveInfo.)
Getting voice mail going is an ongoing battle. So that'll be part 2.

To lighten up matters, I'll end with a nice picture of the traffic here. This one's from last October (rainy season).

Cyclist in the rain

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