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Wireless 3G Internet & Cell phone Access

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Wildlife4ever-Roy
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Internet Connection KNP

Unread post by Wildlife4ever-Roy » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:23 pm

hi all,

I'm Roy and I currently studying on an university of applied science in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
I'm almost finished my study (I have to trust Google translate :) ) technical computing. I don't know the correct english word for it, but it's something with computers :).

When I'm graduate, I want to visted the KNP to celebrate it. I'm planning to visit the Kruger for something like 2 months. starting at the beginning or mid august. I have been to the Kruger a couple of times and I love it!

During my stay I want to write a travel tale, but you need a internet connection to post them on the internet. I know that there are some internet cafes, but not every camp has one.
So I tought, mayby I can use the cellphone network. My question is:

Can you use the cellphone network to connect to the internet and can I use it to post my travel tales?

Thanks,
Roy

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picnic
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Re: Internet Connection KNP

Unread post by picnic » Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:45 pm

Wildlife4ever-Roy, yes I believe you can. What you will need is a data card from one of the local cellphone providers and a laptop with a modem. :thumbs_up: You can google search them and see what will work best for you. :)
If you have more questions please feel free to post them. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Internet Connection KNP

Unread post by VicRob » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:27 am

Hi threedogs,

Yes, your correct, a USB dongle thingy......lol.

As a non resident of S.A. you will need to pre book to allow activation of the sim card before arrival.

We have requested an initial 3 GIG of data allowance and will top up as we go.
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Re: Internet Connection KNP

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:35 am

Guys, just be prepared for a few frustrations when connecting in the park. Not to put you off at all; I think it is wonderful to write a travel tale as you go along. I try do that too. It is very special to be able to share the moment. But this is the African bush, and things can be very slow at times. But then again, you might have a wonderful speedy connection when you least expect it.
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Re: Internet/3G access in Kruger

Unread post by threedogs » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:54 am

@iLoveMeerkats!: The Vodacom mobile broadband stick is the same thing as a dongle which is the same thing as a USB wireless modem..... don't worry I got confused with the different terminology too.
We are also going to get a pre-paid and pre-activated USB wireless modem to pick up at the airport to use with a little netbook whilst there in August/Sept. but will still have our cheapie mobile phone with travelsim.
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simonB
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Re: Internet/3G access in Kruger

Unread post by simonB » Thu May 03, 2012 7:15 pm

Internet in Skukuza currently has the following speeds:

1. Vodacom 3G: http://t.co/mSKdn9Ll Links to speedtest results 3May 2012
2. Telkom ASDL at Conference Area: http://t.co/l6zjsSyN Links to speedtest results 2 May 2012

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iLoveMeerkats!
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Re: Cell (mobile) phone coverage

Unread post by iLoveMeerkats! » Fri May 04, 2012 1:50 am

Anita, you can get a SIM card at the airport, however, many US based phones will NOT work as they are not able to accept the "foreign" SIM card. You can rent a South African phone at the airport and if you don't use it (saving it only for emergencies) it is really very cheap - all you have to pay for is insurance. I think we paid about a dollar a day on our last trip. We actually picked ours up at the Mpumalanga airport and they were very nice.

Also, just so you know...the reception in Kruger is not really very good. Phones work in the camps, but when you are out in the bush there is a very good chance that you will not have any reception no matter what phone you have. Well, I suppose you could get a satellite phone but that would be even more expensive.

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Re: Cell (mobile) phone coverage

Unread post by simonB » Fri May 04, 2012 3:42 pm

In the USA the cell networks use GSM Band 850/1900 Mhz
In South Africa we use GSM 900 and 1800. A few locations like Jhb are testing with other frequencies, this might be why you got it working at the airport. So your handset might detect the network but will not be able to connect to it, due to the wrong frequency. This is why an "old nokia" works perfectly with a local simcard.

http://www.worldtimezone.com/gsm.html

Best bet would be to rent a handset at the airport or even easier, purchase a cheap prepaid mobile device + simcard in south africa. Most mtn, vodacom or pep stores shops will have low cost devices.
You dont need a fancy phone, get the cheapest device you find.

I am currently in the park till 28may. Reception hee is very bad. Only the major camps have signal. Dont expect to find goodsignalin the game viewing area.

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Re: Wireless 3G Internet & Cell phone Access

Unread post by normana53 » Mon May 07, 2012 6:29 pm

Coming from the USA, you need to have a dual band GSM phone that accepts SIM cards. My SO and I have used dual Band phones in South Africa on multiple occasions. SO keeps hers as it is, and pays International roaming rates to keep in contact with her Veterinary Practice by text and phone, while I purchase a SIM card at the Airport when we arrive so that I can place local calls.
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Re: Wifi or internet

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:29 am

Sethch, I always use 3G internet connection. All the camps chosen have fairly good reception.

I know that when Melph was here from Australia, she was able to get a dongle, or whatever you call it, and buy bundles of data.
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Re: Wifi or internet

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:39 am

Seth, you should be able to Skype in those camps :thumbs_up: Just remember that you are out in the bush and internet connections are not always reliable, and not always 3G 'speed'; if that makes sense. But you should be able to connect and use the text option at the very least.
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Crested Val
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Re: Wifi or internet

Unread post by Crested Val » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:58 am

Yes I always use a dongle USB modem when in SA.

The dongles cost about R350 and then you can buy a data bundle to suit you.

Skukuza has 3G which is quite fast, but all the other camps have 2G which is much slower.
Having said that it is still enough to email and probably Skype usually.

Hope you sort something out, and have a wonderful trip. :thumbs_up:

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saraf
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Re: Pay phones?

Unread post by saraf » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:43 am

Hi Sethch, yes there are, although I don't think the one at Tamboti has been connected for years. However you will need to get a "phone card" from the shops. The card may be an actual card or is more likely to be a receipt with a number printed on it that you will need to enter into the phone before you dial the number.
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Impisi08
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Re: Pay phones?

Unread post by Impisi08 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:17 pm

Saraf: However you will need to get a "phone card" from the shops. The card may be an actual card or is more likely to be a receipt with a number printed on it that you will need to enter into the phone before you dial the number.


I aways use this and the system works very well. So far I bought all my "cards" at Satara and made phone calls from most of the main camps. If I am correct the minimum amount for a card is zar 50,-. I am always surprised how cheap it is to make a phone call to Holland (wild guess: 1 minute = appr. 1 zar).

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Stark
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Re: Wifi or internet

Unread post by Stark » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:22 pm

A few thoughts on our recent experience.

We rented a dongle and 2gig of data, plus a basic phone, at OR Tambo. We could get signal at most camps, although nothing fast and nothing completely stable. It was enough to check and send emails, update facebook, etc.

My suggestion for people is to bookmark the low-bandwidth or mobile versions of the websites you need to access. This speeds up the load time and decreases the data usage. After 19 days in SA, we had more than enough data leftover. :thumbs_up:
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