Ok, so the gloss of the iPad is starting to wear off. I’m joking of course. You can’t expect everything to be a bed of roses, and Apple and Orange might sound like compatible fruit, but sometimes things can go rotten when put in the bowl together. I’m struggling with the mobile data on the iPad. I called the freephone number as directed on the SIM packet, and signed up yesterday to the PAYG tarriff. I intend to upgrade to a monthly contract, but only when I know I’m travelling and will need it. Mobile coverage is so poor in my home area that its pretty pointless even trying.
Anyway, they should tell you your account number when you sign up, but my Orange rep did not, and so I was stumped as you how to check my account settings. I called back this morning and got the account number, and duly logged into the My Account area on the Orange website. It said I had no credit. Ok, fair enough in that although I gave my card details to the Orange rep during the initial sign-up, he did not say he was taking a prepayment. He did say that I would get £10 in credit though, so that hasn’t appeared on the account yet. Another call to Orange and the new rep confirmed that the credit would appear, but there is a backlog due to the high number of new sign-ups. Not sure if that means I can use the mobile data or not, but so far have been unable to get a good enough signal to find out.
Additionally, when in My Account, and you choose to change service plan, they only have voice plans shown, not any of the plans that apply to the iPad.
Not what I would call joined up thinking here between Apple and Orange. I may well be getting a SIM card for another provider yet.
Update: I finally went out on a trip on Friday, and the Orange mobile data kicked in. There was an initial thought of trouble as I got a popup about ‘Unable to Activate Mobile Data’ or some such once I got a good strong signal. I had Google Maps open with the current location being tracked, and it was initially showing cached maps, but as I drove further out of the area, and into parts with good mobile coverage, it was dynamically pulling down parts of the map to complete the picture. Almost Sat Nav! I’ve never had a device with mobile data before, so it was actually a treat to be able to check mail and browse the net whilst out and about. Eventually the Orange My Account app started showing usage and billing data, although it was about 24 hours behind the actual event. It cost 89 pence on day one, probably largely due to the map downloads, so I will need to keep an eye on the data costs. It may be that I will need a monthly bundle, as that will give Wifi access as well, to help keep down the mobile cost (and give theoretically better performance).
Update 2: Some people reaching this post appear to be in search of the Cellular Data settings that can be configured in Settings > Cellular Data. These values should be automatically set, I believe after activating your SIM card and then syncing with iTunes (I got a message from iTunes saying something to the effect of ‘Cellular settings update available’). These are the settings I got on a PAYG data setup, and are APN = ‘orangedata’, Username = [blank], Password = [blank]. Obviously when I say [blank], I mean that you do not put anything in the field.