Prepaid data plans in Finland
Contrary to most people, I just need a temporary solution to get our iPad working while on the go. While most hotels and cities (i.e. Oulu) do have free wifi, I was looking for an alternative to the outrageous roaming cost of Movistar (from 4 to 10 EUR per megabit).
Saunalahti offers a seven-day 4 Mbps data plan for 6.90 EUR. I thought my problem was solved. But just in case, I asked customer service. I learned two things that were a problem:
- In order to activate the card an SMS had to be sent. Unfortunately, sending an SMS is not one of the things Apple decided you're entitled to do with your iPad.
- Saunalahti is reserving microSIM cards for contract customers, so if you want pre-paid and microSIM you're out of luck with them. (Apparently you might get lucky in an Elisa shopit, but this is uncertain).
It appears that my best shot is to get a regular SIM and to use this, for cutting the SIM once I've sent the SMS with the card using my cellphone. I've tested the cutting sheet with an old SIM and it seems to work ok.
If you think I'm missing anything, please let me know.
Update: Now that I'm back from Finland I can tell you that almost everything worked as expected (not that I was expecting that parking ticket though):
Saunalahti prepaid worked nicely, but there was a bit of misunderstanding on my side:
- SIM cards are not data-only. You can buy the SIM card in R-Kioski in Vantaa airport for 6.70€. This card comes loaded with 4.90€ of credit (you can use them for phone calls, SMS or data service).
- There is a weekly data plan for which you'll need to send an SMS. This plan will give you unlimited data for 7 days costing 6.90€. Please note in order to use this you'll need to add credit to your SIM (remember it comes preloaded with onlyt 4.90€). Again, you can easily add credit at any R-Kioski shop (very easy to find anywhere). Minimum credit increase payment is 10€.
- Cutting the SIM worked nicely for my iPad. APM=internet, empty username and password.
- No need to send any SMS unless you want to select a data plan. It was not point for me as there is a daily limit on the credit decreased each day due to data service of 1.80€. That means that you can have more than 8 days of service for your iPad for just 16.90€. (You can get eleven days of data service for the same money by sending one SMS message, but if you've already cut the SIM it may be difficult to fit it back on your phone unless you have an microSIM adapter).