When it’s too easy to get online?

Hard to imagine easy online access being a bad thing — except when you have to pay as you go on a metered 3G service with a very misleading name… Metered plans are a good way to get you to pay extra. If you use the data services or will with a new device, that slight up-charge to unlimited (at least as I’ve seen in the US) will actually end up saving you money.

I have this 20-year old staying with us for a bit, so I handed her an Nokia N93i. I told her it had WiFi (which she understood, since all our computers at home have it), an amazing video camera (which she got excited about, in a YouTube way), and I told her that it could play her music in as good as any music player (and which 20-year old is not a music freak).

Well, first thing she goes off and do is download a bunch of songs from bands on MySpace, using the phone’s browser. It’s how she understands accessing stuff on the Web. Then she started taking some great videos of the bands she went into town to see (that’s another story).

I told her I was impressed that she was able to get online so easily. I didn’t think our devices made it that easy to use the WiFi (I later found out that the N93i has a neat WiFi sniffer).

A few days later, she was showing me something and I noticed that she was using the access point called ‘Internet’, which happens to be Sonera’s (her operator) 3G access point.


A quick check of her bill, via SMS, confirmed that she’d run up an incredibly high data bill.

It was too easy to get online. And the whole access point thing was new to her, so she didn’t think she wasn’t using WiFi.

Dammit, it said ‘Internet’. [Lifeblog]

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