Prepaid mobile data in Croatia: 500Mb for 4 USD

tmobhrRight now T-mobile Croatia has very attractive offer for GPRS/3G – if you have your own 3G modem it will cost you only $4 for 500MB.

I think they’ve had it 2 years ago as well but I’m not sure – I’ve bought Huawei USB modem then with the data package (costs 200 kuna, which is about 40USD).
It’s data/SMS only SIM card (no voice) that is sold in T-Mobile stores around the country (there are not too many of them and could be crowded on the weekends).
Another thing to keep in mind that the cheapest topup voucher for the prepaid costs 100kuna (~$20). At least that is what we were told in T-mobile store in Zagreb which turned out not to be true because we found that you can buy voucher for arbitrary amount on INA gas station (and most likely other gas stations as well).
And you can not transfer the funds between accounts <sarcasm> – this prepaid function seem to be too complicated for such big companies as T-mobile</sarcasm>. So it might be more practical to purchase a few start packages (~20kuna each) if you are in the country for the short stay but afraid to require more then 500Mb of data.
The tricky part is the activation – in order to use this 500Mb bonus you have to “activate” it, and that is where it becomes confusing. Description says “You have to get it activated in T-mobile store or by calling 098 1550”. We have purchased 3 SIM cards and 1 100kuna voucher just in case and we were assured by sales person that they are already activated – we were at T-mobile store right?
Wrong. (note to self – never ever trust sales person)
I’ve put one of the SIM cards into my N1 phone to check – it was GPRS all the way from Zagreb to Pag and not too fast or reliable. then switched the SIM card to 3G modem. In about 2 hours i’ve got SMS that there are not enough funds on my balance.
Surprised but left without other options I’ve had to activate my 100 kuna voucher and after that enabled XL (1Gb) data package by sending “A” sms to number 3636, and choosing from the SMS menu I got in reply. Connection speed improved as well – (still GPRS only where I am staying, but much more reliable).
So I decided to activate another package strictly by the instruction.
I’ve put the SIM card into the phone and dialed 098 1550 wondering how am I going to “activate” it
if the voice calls are prohibited. All I’ve got in reply was standard “redirect” tone that usually means that the number is not in service. “Bummer” I’ve thought – either we’ve got to drive to nearest T-mobile store that is about 50km away or …drive to nearest t-mobile store to get voice enabled package to call from it.
However, to my surprise in about 15 minutes I’ve got SMS saying that my 500Mb data package was successfully activated and has to be used out in next 30 days.
Well, worth a try – I’ve put my XL-activated SIM card back into the phone and dialed 098 1550 from it. Same redirect tone and voila – I’ve got my “misplaced” 500Mb package activated as well. It did say however that the expiration time on it is still 30 days while XL data package expires in 1 year, so it’s still a little bit confusing.
3G/HSPA coverage is limited to major cities but GPRS/EDGE is pretty much everywhere.

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