I’m a viking!
Yesterday the postman brought me a small package on which I was waiting for for more then 2 months: a new simcard for my iPhone.
In December of last year Mobile Vikings announced that they would start as an MVNO (for BASE) in Belgium. Mobile Vikings is a movement that fights for free Internet on your mobile phone. If you reload your prepaid card for 15 euro, you get 1000 free SMS’s and 1GB of data traffic for your mobile phone. Even the rates for SMS’s and voice calls are cheap compared to other operators.
Well, that sounded interesting, but I was a little bit afraid. I was a customer with Proximus, the best mobile operator in Belgium. The quality of their network is superior compared to other networks, they have a 3G network and have the best coverage in Belgium. So what would it be if I switched to BASE? I know my brother sometimes has reception problems, and their simcards are not supported by all phones. Would I take the risk to switch? Yes!
In January I created an account at Mobile Vikings and in February I ordered my simcard. And yesterday the postman dropped my new simcard in my mailbox. The box contained a simcard and a badge. If you are interested in a free badge, send me a message and I’m happy to give it to you .
My previous simcard still contained credits, so I enabled 3G on my old sim, surfed a lot, tested the receptions at different places… This morning I completed the transfer of my mobile number. 30 minutes later the technical transfer was done and I installed my new simcard. Then just reloading my prepaid card and I cas ready to go. Everything went very fluent, and here are my first experiences with Mobile Vikings…
As most of you know I have an iPhone. It is possible to use GPRS, EDGE and 3G to surf on the internet with this phone. With Proximus I could only use 3G 30-50 percent of the time. The coverage in the area where I live isn’t as good at they tell it should be. But when you have a 3G reception, it is very fast. With Mobile Vikings I have to use EDGE. My first feeling is that EDGE is just a little bit slower than 3G, but I have EDGE coverage everywhere! At all place where I’ve been today I had a good reception and I know that that wasn’t the case with 3G. The signal is much better then I expected (and much better then people tell you), so this is very positive. Some sources (NetCheck) even say that BASE has today the best reception in Belgium.
After a closer look at the possibilities with mobile internet and settings of my phone I noticed a few strange things:
1. My voicemail settings are not correct.
2. Every time I make a phone call a “Call Forwarding Active” message pops up (which I have to close).
3. My iPhone thinks that I have a phone number that is different than the real number I have.
4. The simcard has support for two phone numbers.
The first 3 points were really annoying. I had to enter the number for my voicemail manually, my phone displays the wrong phone number and I always had to close a message box that pops up and I don’t know where it is coming from. It was time to ask some questions to my good friend Google; and I found them . I know that a lot of customers of Mobile Vikings are experiencing the same problems and haven’t found a solution for them, so here are the solutions:
1. To set the correct voicemail number, call *5005*86*1933#
2. To disable the “Call Forwarding Active” message, call ##002# and restart the phone
3. Changing the phone number is a tricky thing. The phone number that the iPhone displays is coming from the simcard, so the simcard itself must be configured. This is not possible with the iPhone. You have to put your simcard in another phone. On a SonyEricsson phone this setting can be found in your contacts/address book: “Contacts” (-> “Options” ->) “Special Numbers” -> “My Numbers”.
What about the support? Mobile Vikings is a modern company that offers solutions for young people. Don’t tell your parents that they should become a Mobile Viking! Why? Because it’s a real internet company: you have to register/configure everything via internet, reload your prepaid card online (paypal, visa, bancontact, ...), support is mostly done via e-mail (or call an expensive number), etc. This doesn’t have to mean that it is a bad thing. Their online application is very user friendly, detailed and has all the features it should have. But as you know, older people most of the time want to have a shop where they can go to .
My first experience is very positive! I have a very cheap prepaid account, free sms’s and mobile internet, and a good reception. Since it is a young company there are still a few minor issues (for examples see above), but nothing that can be solved. I can recommend it to everyone, especially if you have an iPhone/SmartPhone.
If you need an invitation code to register yourself as a mobile viking (not everyone can become a viking), just send me a message and I’m happy to send you one. Or if you are maybe already a Mobile Viking, tell me your experience.