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Sharing Your Internet Connection on a Windows Phone

We recently spent a week on vacation in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My wife had a couple of university assignments to submit and, as we wanted to use Skype as much as possible to keep in contact with family back home, having an internet connection was important.

Internet access at our hotel was charged at a ridiculous rate (80THB for 30-minutes) so as soon as we got to Chiang Mai we went to the mall, attached to the hotel and bought a DTAC ‘Happy Tourist’ SIM card. Having researched the Happy website, this looked like a good match for our needs as it had an option to get a full week of 3G internet for 199THB. The SIM comes in two varieties, 49THB or 99THB, the later with more included calls. The only problem was that the retailer sold us the 49THB SIM for 99THB, which I didn’t realise until we got back to the room and activated the card.

I put the SIM card into my old HTC Mozart, almost instantly got messages from Happy that our service was active and tried to connect to the internet. Although the phone had service, I couldn’t get on the internet so I called the service number and finally spoke to a customer service rep who advised me that I needed to restart the phone - damn why didn’t I think of that (maybe because I have never needed to restart the phone for anything else).

The Happy Tourist SIM gives you the first day’s internet connection for free, so we tested sharing the connection between my phone and laptop and it was working smoothly. We then milked our free internet for all that it was worth. 

Internet Sharing was rolled out to Windows Phone as part of the Mango update and you’ll find the option in the Settings menu. I believe it must also be supported by your carrier.  When you enable Internet Sharing, the phone creates a SSID for the Wi-Fi service and provides you with a password that you will need to use to connect from other devices.

Connection speeds here in Chiang Mai, even sharing the connection over Wi-Fi seem good. From the laptop tethered to my HTC www.speedtest.net said I was getting .98 Mbps down/.78Mbps up when connecting to Thailand-based servers. Connecting to servers in the USA, speedtest.adslthailand.com showed I was getting .78Mbps down/ .51Mbps up.

One disappointment with the Happy website is that you can’t top-up your account on the web using a credit card, so you need to purchase a top-up card from one of the retailers, such as 7-11.

You also appear to have to keep credit on your phone otherwise you lose your service. Even though we had already purchased the 7-day internet package, our phone balance hit 0 on the last day and no matter how hard I tried, I could not connect to the internet. As soon as I put another 100THB credit on the phone, the internet was up and running again.


Posted: Apr 14 2012, 22:04 by CameronM | Comments (0) RSS comment feed |
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Filed under: Windows Phone 7 | WP7