Vodafone Offers Free Internet For Christmas

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Vodafone UK has entered into the Christmas spirit after it announced that it is giving away free internet access between Christmas and the New Year

Vodafone UK is giving its users a Christmas present after it announced free internet access between Christmas and the New Year. However, dongle users beware, as the offer is only for mobile phone users and not laptop users.

Apparently the promotional offer is an extension of Vodafone’s free Fridays, and Vodafone has send its handset customers an SMS telling them they can gain a week’s free internet access via their handsets from Christmas morning until New Years Day (Friday 1 January). It is also only valid when accessing mobile internet from the UK.

“The offer is open to Vodafone pay as you go and pay monthly customers with a consumer contract,” said the operator. “If you have a mobile internet bundle, the data you use during Christmas week will not count towards your monthly data allowance.”

This last point is worth noting, as Vodafone dongle users could potentially be caught out.

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According to the Register, Vodafone offers two APNs (Access Point Names) depending on whether you are accessing the internet from your mobile handset or a laptop (via a dongle). The APN name for mobile handset users is called “WAP”, whereas the APN name for dongle users is “Contract Internet.”

As the Register points out, the problem with the WAP APN is that it routes everything through Vodafone’s Novarra-supplied gateway, which changes content and inserts additional adverts and navigation features into web pages. If users don’t want their content put through the Vodafone filter, they would need to switch to the “Contract Internet” APN, however this won’t be free next week.

Earlier this week, Vodafone confirmed that it will sell the popular iPhone handset from 14 January, but its tariffs meant that it will not trigger a price war with rival UK operators.