Last week I unlocked an iPhone and tested it with a SIM card from Smartone-Vodafone. Today I unlocked another iPhone and this time using a SIM Card from Three (2G service without Data plan). Next I will be unlocking my own iPhone on Smartone-Vodafone. I have commented on my article last week, regarding the most appropriate data plan to choose from Smartone-Vodafone for iPhone use in Hong Kong. I have copied the comment here for my readers' convenience.
... As for the data plan. You need to be very careful with Smartone-Vodafone’s service offerings. I had tried their “Internet browsing plan” last month with my Nokia E61i. In case you do not know, the Nokia E61i has many advance functions. The result was an over and above data charge of approximately HKD119.00.
The reason is because Smartone-Vodafone’s “Internet browsing plan” only covers “web browsing using the mobile phone’s native web browser’. They also tell me that only certain HTTP ports are included in the plan. But they are not able to tell me exactly what those ports are.
It is obviously they did not think through the service before they launched the service. It is ridiculous for them to restrict the service to certain ports. As you may know, web browsing is not limited to certain ports; yes, there are the documented defaults: port 80 and port 443, but these are not the only ones used in practice. The exact port used by each web site is up to the webmaster’s configuration of their respective web servers.
Also, the 20MB limit is per day and if you go over it, Smartone-Vodafone will automatically change your monthly plan to the unlimited usage rate of HKD68.00 until your next billing date. On which they will drop it back down to the regular rate (HKD38.00 without commitment and HKD28.00 with 12 months commitment).
BTW: you do realize that the HKD20.00 per month rate for the plan in question requires a commitment to the said plan for 12 months. The non-commitment rate for the plan is HKD38.00.
Since the iPhone allows you to use it for web browsing, email downloads (POP/IMAP) and sending (SMTP), YouTube streaming, weather widget, Google map lookup, etc. I would suggest you subscribe to Smartone-Vodafone’s “Internet browsing plan”, which covers majority of the traffic through Safari, Weather widget, Google Map application on your iPhone. With that plan also add one of Smartone-Vodafone’s “Data Price plan”, this latter plan should cover the remainder of the Internet traffic.
Up to this day, after numerous conversations with Customer Service on the telephone, I still have yet to receive an exact answer from Smartone-Vodafone, as to what the “Internet browsing plan” covers.
I believe none of their staff know themselves. Unfortunately, it will be a trail an error on our (the customers) part. Fortunately, Smartone-Vodafone is one of the only mobile carrier that does not require any commitment for any of their plans or VAS.