If you are an Internet addict and can’t live without it even on vacation in Croatia then here is a cheap solution. Forget about roaming because it is insanely expensive (the stupid discussions in EU were all about SMS prices, not a word on data connection prices, though it wouldn’t matter in Croatia anyway). Luckily there is VIP mobile provider which offers prepaid data plans which are not expensive at all – compared to roaming that is. Here is what you need:
1. Check VIP coverage of the are you are going – coverage map. I was on the “edge” of HSDPA – thus I had to use Edge.
2. Next, find a VIP points of sale for VIP broadband SIM card. It should list Vipme under offers I think. Note: not all points of sales have those, specially smaller ones.
3. When in Croatia, find selected point of sale and buy a Vipme broadband box (SIM card only – 20 HRK*) or Vipme Broadband USB stick (149 HRK) if you have a laptop. Since I have a WiFi tethering enabled Android Samsung Galaxy S phone I went with former. 20 HRK were automatically added to my account as well.
4. The default data price is 1 MB/1 HRK which is still expensive. That’s why you should go with options:
- 50 MB/25 HRK
- 300 MB/91 HRK
- 1 GB/191 HRK
5. Once you’ve picked an option that suits you (I went with 300MB/91 HRK which I’ve planned to consume in 10 days) you have to buy enough coupons. In my case I had to buy a coupon for 100 HRK. Perhaps I could buy 20 less but I wanted to be on the safe side. Note that an option is valid for 30 days or something like that, not sure about coupons.
6. Put the SIM into the phone and create an APN**: data.vip.hr. Here I had some problems with my phone, finally I’ve found a working combination – add APN, save it, restart the phone. Not sure what went wrong though, I just played with restarts and APNs until it started working.
7. Open internet browser and go to http://vipmevmc.vipnet.hr (remember that you are using 1 MB/1 HRK at this point). Enter you coupon code, so 100 HRKs are added to the account. Activate the 300MB option (or whicever you want) through the website as well. After I’ve confirmed my option I was notified that the option is going to be enabled within a working day, but in reallity it was activated in an hour or less.
8. That’s it. I was fully internet connected at this point. Then I enabled Mobile AP feature of my Samsung Galaxy S which does tethering over WiFi – Saša’s iPhone and laptops were connected without any problem through WiFi.
Happy surfing in Croatia
* HRK to EUR converter (other currencies supported)
** Full APN specs:
Username: not set
Password: not set
Server: not set
MMSC: not set
MMSC proxy: not set
MMS port: not set
APN type: Internet
Authentification Type: None