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mobile internet in france - pls help save my marriage!

(18 Posts)
areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Tue 02-Aug-11 09:14:41

We're off to France on Sat for a week and dh has announced last night he can't come because he's expecting a big data package to arrive and there's no wifi where we're staying. He does need to look at this package asap (it's a movie so will be a huge download) and will then probably need to skype a few times. Therefore an internet cafe etc won't cut it. As it stands dh isn't coming on holiday and I am going to kill him. I've been looking in to buying dongles etc but neither him, nor me, really understand them. Anyone who can help work out the cheapeast way to get unlimited downloads in France for a week will have saved our marriage grin

CestTout Tue 02-Aug-11 09:40:09

Bumping for the french crowd. I use the internet quite a bit in France as there are a fair few free access points. However guessing that isn't going to work...

Are you SC or in a hotel? Whereabouts are you?

I think to use a dongle thingy you would have to have a french address/bank account. Will have a google for you.

CestTout Tue 02-Aug-11 09:45:38

this may be worth looking at

It is a 3G dongle without a contract, you just top up as needed. However on the website you can only buy if you live in France. Will try a few other things once I know whereabouts you are going.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Tue 02-Aug-11 11:22:07

Thank you cest tout that looks about right - do you think in France we could just go into a mobile shop and buy one?

We are sc, in the Dordogne. As you say a free access point won't work as the dowload would take forever ie dh would spend 24 hours sitting in a Macdonals or whatever

CestTout Tue 02-Aug-11 12:08:29

I would be tempted to try going into a shop and buying one. If you are anywhere near Riberac that may be a good place to start as there is a high english population there.

Other suggestion would be to call the owners of the property to see if they have any local suggestions. They may even offer you to use their WiFi! Happy to help with french if needed?

niceguy2 Tue 02-Aug-11 12:23:54

If it's important and work related then I wouldn't put my faith in a dongle.

There's no guarantees over 3G coverage. Especially if you are going somewhere remote. There's no guarantee that Skype will work well enough for video and there's even less chance of downloading a huge movie without spending a lot of money on credit.

It's probably not what you want to hear but if its really important, i just wouldn't leave it to chance.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Tue 02-Aug-11 12:25:15

Thank you, we've already tried owners (English) but they are clueless. The problem about going into a shop is dh will not leave unless he is guaranteed this is sorted. I speak OK French so should be all right once there but appreciate the offer. Anyone else with any suggestions/experience?

fluffles Tue 02-Aug-11 12:26:28

i'm not entirely sure about mobile internet. i think your best bet would be to find the nearest big chain hotel with a 'business centre' and pay to use their service on the day in question.

prism Wed 03-Aug-11 15:56:12

I'd be inclined to go for plan B and kill your DH. Personally I can't see (and I am no stranger to foreign internet access) what the insuperable problem is about having no w-fi of your own. Go to an internet cafe/service station/hotel etc to download the file and then use the phone, not Skype, to discuss later. Whatever he's doing, it was done before the internet, and can be done now without slavish attachment to it. When you are widowed you can marry someone who knows the difference between work and holiday.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 03-Aug-11 16:00:27

I assume this is for work? And is it absolutely, absolutely, critical that he sees it within the next week? (Is he Mark Kermode?!)

If it is for work, and he really has to do this, then I agree with the suggestion that you find a hotel nearby with a business centre (any of the big chains would usually have one of these).

If it's not for work, then you should kill him.



BecauseImWorthIt Wed 03-Aug-11 16:01:08

Or - and I'm not a technie - could you buy/borrow an iPad, and go somewhere where there is free WiFi to download it?

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 03-Aug-11 19:28:48

It most certainly is for work, or I would have killed him long ago.

He isn't Mark Kermode but it is utterly critical he sees it as soon as its available. To be fair it's not his fault - he's been telling his colleagues for literally months he'd be away this week and to get it to him before he left and they've just ignored him and come back with this "it'll be ready next week." He could tell them to eff off but then there would be no holidays in France or indeed anywhere ever again as his job will be up the creek. Totally agree with prism but unfortunately now the genie's out of the bottle, businesses insist that people are contactable 24/7 - especially American ones, which this one is. Saying we didn't use to have wifi on holidays is not accepted as an excuse.

Colleagues are now saying they'll try to get it to him sooner, so that's one hope. The other is he spends the entire holiday in the room of a business centre. He can't download it and watch it later as it's not in downloadable format. He has also bought some dongle today and I think as soon as we get there we'll go into a French mobile shop and see what can be done. I'm not technically minded at all so can't see why it should be a problem but apparently it's all to do with how many bytes in his package or some such. Gaah. grin

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 03-Aug-11 21:36:10

Will work pay for it then? Because when I explored using a dongle in France a couple of years ago it was hideously expensive.

It might be cheaper to postpone your holiday!

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 03-Aug-11 22:18:57

No he,s self employed

It's looking likely it will arrive tomorrow or Fri, fingers crossed as we,re off on Sat

I would think seriously about postponing but my parents are coming and are not amused by the hoo ha. Grrr

niceguy2 Wed 03-Aug-11 22:59:58

Ok, given he's self employed, I assume he's a contractor of some sort. In which case he can easily be terminated.

If it really is THAT critical, there's no way on god's planet I would suggest you leave it up to a 3G dongle. Tell him to try a large download now via the 3G dongle....chances are it'll die half way through. And depending on the sort of download and video, he'll need to start from 0 again.

I work in IT and network's is my specialty and I'm telling you there's no way I'd put my faith in a 3G dongle. Business centre...maybe. Even then I'd want a backup option.

In short it might be better he not go if it's the difference between job or no job.

prism Thu 04-Aug-11 09:03:30

Hmm. Americans- can't live with 'em, can't live with 'em. Well, I'm an IT consultant working in film and TV, so if you're stuck, PM me- this lot evidently don't have a geek up to the job of making a proxy file available for remote viewing (which is what you need). I'm in a team of people who do this kind of thing all the time.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Thu 04-Aug-11 10:03:50

Thank you very much prism - if it hasn't arrived by tomorrow morning (coming from LA so there's a time difference problem) then i will definitely PM you.They say they are on the case but they're a slippery lot. Thanks too, niceguy, dongle warning is heeded. Fingers crossed for next 24 hours.

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 04-Aug-11 15:53:41

Good luck - the thought of losing my holiday is just too awful a prospect to bear!

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