Getting connected in Sweden
Posted June 11, 2014on:
Finding out how to get 3G or LTE access via prepaid SIMs while abroad is always high on my list. I often find advice on this matter in travel forums or blogs.
Bloggers tend to provide more details, but information can be out of date. So I am adding my two cents worth to the blogosphere if this helps someone in future.
Today I share my experiences and some practical tips on getting mobile access in Sweden with Comviq. Tomorrow I focus on Denmark with Lebara and Oister.
Prior to travelling in Sweden, I researched Tre (3), Lycamobile, Comviq, and Telia. I present them in the order of theoretical preference according to my criteria of cost effectiveness, availability of information, and any other outstanding factors.
This wiki was most helpful in that respect, but not all the information was accurate, current, or written from the point of view of a tourist.
Here is key information I extracted from the wiki. I provide my comments in bold italics. SEK is Swedish crowns. One SGD is worth about five SEK.
Tre (3) 3Bredband Kontant
- SIM starter pack: 99 SEK including 5 GB vaild for 7 days (nope, must spend another 99 SEK for data)
- APN: net.tre.se
- Buy from 3Butiken store
- Free (data) roaming in the 3 network of Denmark (nope, only for residents)
- SIM is free (nope, it was not)
- 1 month: 1 GB, 69 SEK
- APN: data.lycamobile.se
- Username: lmse
- Password: plus
- SIM is 49 SEK in stores
- 1 month: 1 GB, 50 SEK
- APN: data.comviq.se (was 4g.tele2.se in my device, very unreliable in mifi device)
- SIM is 100SEK in stores
- 1 month: 1 GB, 49 SEK
- APN: online.telia.se
I thought I would go with Tre as I was in Sweden and Denmark, and the roaming option was appealing. But I found out this was available only to residents and that the initial starter pack did not include data. While I was there, stores like Kjelling and Co. were selling USB dongle starter packs for 89 SEK. But these sold like hot cakes and I only needed a SIM for my mifi device.
Tre fell off my list very quickly after I went on a wild goose chase involving two Tre and one Kjelling stores in Malmö.
Lycamobile was cheaper on paper and available at corner stores, but I could not find the package as described in the wiki. Folks were only willing to sell me a SIM and data separately. I began to realize that everything revolved around the 99 SEK mark.
Comviq was available practically everywhere. Touts on the street offered starter packs like they were on fire. I bought one from a nice corner store owner who also helped me translate instructions in Swedish. It was 99 SEK for a SIM and 1GB of data. The SIM came in normal, micro, and nano sizes.
The SIM worked flawlessly in my iPad mini and I used it to share the internet connection whenever we were out. But I wanted to test my LTE mifi device and that is where the trouble started.
To get Internet access, I discovered that I had to reset the device several times a day or change the APN depending on where I was. There were times I had a strong signal, but no data access.
I cannot recommend Comviq for a mifi device. However, if you intend to use the SIM in a phone or slate, you should be fine.
I did not follow up with Telia in Sweden because it cost the most. My experience in Denmark with a company representative also put me off. More on that in my next entry.