Network Name: O2
Website: URL GOES HERE
Product Name: O2 Prepaid-Surfstick
Owned by/Major partners: O2
Operational Frequency: GSM, UTMA, HSUPA
Prepaid Package Cost (Just SIM): 20 Euro (included with Surfstick – maybe special price)
Prepaid Package Validity: 7 days from activation
CSD access: Yes/No
GPRS access: Yes
EDGE access: Yes/No
SIM applications: Yes Mobile Partner Manager
Manual included: Yes German
Refill amounts: 25 Euro 1 month (5GB XL pack)
Availability: O2 shops, Media Markt, Saturn
Competitors: Tshibo, Vodafone, T-Mobile
3-inch USB device
Looks good. The technical staff at SATURN were able to activate and install in right away. A good thing too, as there were several steps that I would not have guessed from the German docs (my German reading skills are limited). The Surfstick comes with one week (500MB) of free data, but I elected to purchase and activate the XL pack for 5GB over one month. That is where the extra steps cam in. I still have the extra week coupon to use later if needed. I did not leave until I saw the internet come up on my laptop.
O2 has stores everywhere and also sell product through many of the big box stores like SATURN and Media Markt. They will activate and install for you. This was very helpful for me.
I consider O2’s product better than Tchibo’s products. While O2’s product usually costs a bit more than the Tchibo stick, you get in-store support, including activation. With Tchibo there was no in-store technical support, only telephone support (in German, no English of course). I tried the Tchibo product first but was unable to activate it, even with telephone support and returned it. (This was partially my fault as I did not know the PIN, and thought it was the online 4-digit password that I supplied during registration.)
Although a data pack is loaded/activated on the SIM, (in my case the 5GB, one month XL pack) HSUPA speeds are possible in many areas and data is unlimited for the time period purchased. However, after the specified data limit is reached, speed is reduced to 64kbps for the remainder of the time period.
The stick will disconnect after a period of inactivity, so be prepared to reconnect occasionally.
HSUPA speeds of 3.5 – 4 mbps were experienced at my location. The stick is rated for up to 7.2mbps.
The Mobile Partner Manager software provides speed and data usage statistics for you, so you always know how much data you have used, per day, month, year. Statistics are separate for mobile (UTMS/HSUPA) and WiFi use. I’m not sure if the stick does WiFi or whether the software functions are intended for other O2 products as well.
After activation, when I tried to use the stick where I was staying (a residence in the suburbs of a moderately sized town), I could only get UTMS speeds (250 – 350 kbps). However the next day, I was up to HSUPA speeds (3.5 – 4 mbps). I‘m not sure why the first day was so slow, but I have been happy since then.
Bring your passport with you to the store. They will insist on seeing that befor selling the Surfstick. I had to fill in a full form, with address where I was staying etc. (Note Tchibo does not require this registration, at least in store. They will most likely not take US credit cards. Bring cash (Euros) or a Euro Card.
Bring your laptop and get the techies to set it up for you. Don’t leave until you see the internet on it and understand how to turn it off/on and load the SIM.
Did not try a mobile phone, but a similar experience with O2 mobile phone SIMs in Germany is likely, at least for the data packs.