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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Norwich, UK
Dell Streak Networks, Your Alternatives - 06-24-2010, 08:23 PM
No matter where you buy your Dell Streak in the UK at the moment, it's gonna be locked down exclusively to the O2 network. To some, this may not be any sort of a problem, to others like me who are committed to various other operators for a good few months, it can prove a bit of an issue. Despite O2 stating they are not going to unlock any exclusive product for at least the first 3 months, all is not lost.
Thankfully, due to O2s size and network, a few companies have decided to "piggy-back" onto O2s network, meaning that they are essentially franchising out O2s network, this bodes well for Streak users as these networks work on the Dell Streak and offer a little more flexibility with tariffs; read on...
Tesco Mobile has been an active network for a few years now and are notable for having low-cost tariffs and phones. Tesco have a number of pay monthly and pay as you go plans.
For a monthly rolling contract, prices range from Â£10 to Â£30, with anything above Â£15 a month granting you unlimited data. The totally unlimited contract is just Â£30 a month, which is the cheapest of the bunch.
Pay as you go with Tesco is also is great value for money. First of all, they triple any credit you top-up, so a Â£20 top-up will equate to a whopping Â£60 in your account. As for data (which lets be honest is what really counts on the Streak) it's Â£2 out of your credit for 7 days unlimited access, meaning you could make your Dell Streak a data-only tablet for just Â£8 a month.
Both SIMs are free and it's possible to keep your existing number with the rolling-contract option.
Next up is the rather interesting giffgaff network. This network is fairly new and is actually owned by O2. Giffgaff is primarily a pay as you go service, with some pay monthly incentives called "goody bags". The idea behind giffgaff is that there is no ties, no contract and simplicity with its plan. A rather interesting feature is with giffgaff - it's all about getting your friends involved too, each time you refer someone you get Â£2-Â£5 free credit and calls to anyone else on giffgaff are completely free pending you have topped up at least once in the last 3 months. Giffgaff is also run completely online, so there is a handy control panel to keep yourself informed with your current package and balance.
The packages themselves? Pretty good for a newbie network. Unlimited data plans start from the Â£10 a month plan and also give you unlimited texts and 100 minutes. The main unlimited plan is Â£35 a month, making it Â£5 more expensive than Tesco, you'll also have to add Â£10 top-up when you sign up as well, which does seem a bit pointless with an unlimited plan. When you sign up you have to purchase a "goody bag" and top up a minimum of a Â£10er. The beautiful thing is the flexibility that giffgaff offers; your Â£35 unlimited package for one month can turn into a Â£5 free-texts package the next.
To sign up with giffgaff simply head over to the website and order your free SIM, the activating et al is done once you receive the SIM in the post. If you sign up don't forget to put "dunhamzzz" in the referral box to give me some free credit
The RebelSIM is a completely different option from those mentions above. The RebelSIM is actually a device used to trick your current phone into thinking the SIM card inserted is on the right network, so you can actually use your existing SIM card, even if it's not with O2. The RebelSIM is a very thin device which goes over the top of your existing SIM card - some SIM card cuttery is actually required but a hole punch with a frame is provided with some packages. For only Â£9.99 to try it this may be the best solution out there for people stuck in their current contract.
The process can be tricky, and some have reported of it not fully working (stuck in roaming mode) so it's your call to whether you want to try it or not. It won't invalidate any warranty on your Streak, and you SIM card, albeit holey should still work fine afterwards.
What you should choose
My recommendations? Well it depends on your circumstances. If you feel adventurous and HAVE to get another network in your phone, you might want to experiment with a RebelSIM. The package you want is here, make sure yo do all your homework first though so you don't waste your time/money. Anyone who takes the plunge, do fill us in on our Dell Streak forum.
If you want to go all-out unlimited and free, go for the Â£30 a month Tesco Mobile rolling contract.
For casual calling and data choose giffgaff, the sheer flexibility of giffgaff means you can adjust your package from month-to-month on what is still effectively a pay as you go tariff. You could do the Â£10 a month goody bag which nets you 100 minutes, and still have some extra credit in case you go over.
For data-only, Tesco Mobiles Â£2 a week plan with their pay-as-you-go setup seems to be the best offer, you'll get 5 weeks of mobile internet off a Â£10 top up which in the long run is cheaper than a contract but may be a bit too fiddly for some people.
If you're in no hurry.....wait for Dell to release it! Eventually Dell will sell the Streak themselves through their online store and chances are it will be unlocked.
Of course you could always stay with O2, I think a lot of us jumped in buy the Streak outright, thinking it wouldn't be so impossible to unlock, which is why we are now considering the alternatives.
Join Date: Jun 2009
06-24-2010, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Norwich, UK
07-13-2010, 08:12 AM
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