Aero2 – Free Internet Access in Poland
Free Internet service is provided by Aero2 cell phone network operator in Poland. This unique service might be interesting for people that plan to stay in Poland for longer period of time but not going to sign for 1-2 year contract. In this article you will find all the basic information about the service and how to get started.
Tym razem podstawowe informacje na temat Aero2 dla użytkowników, dla których nasz język jest przeszkodą nie do pokonania Mogą one być bardzo przydatne, gdyż coraz więcej osób przyjeżdżających do naszego kraju nie wie, że jest taka usługa istnieje, a nawet jak się dowiedzą, to muszą korzystać z Google Translatora, co nie zawsze jest skuteczne. Dlatego właśnie postanowiłem zebrać podstawowe informacje po angielsku.
Aero2 – basic information
Since May 10th, 2011 cell phone network operator Aero2 provides free Internet access – no monthly payment is required and there are no hidden costs. This service is provided in regular 3G GSM network all over Poland and will be available till December 21th, 2016. Provided access is limited by speed: download – 512 kbps and upload – 256 kbps. Connection is closed after each hour of connection, but you can immediately restart the connection. No other limitations are imposed – no services are blocked – it works just like a regular commercially provided Internet access. There is also no monthly data cap.
If you are planning to stay in Poland for a longer period of time this might be an interesting solution. It can be especially effective for Erasmus students as it makes no sense to sign in form long term operator contracts.
Aero2 website: www.aero2.pl (available only in Polish, Information about the service hidden under BDI button)
How to get access to the network?
All you need to get access is Aero2 SIM card and a proper 3G modem that is compatible with the network. SIM card requires you to pay deposit of 20 PLN (around 5€) – you can get it back after returning the card. There is only one significant obstacle – you can order the card by regular mail and it takes around 4 weeks.
You order the card online to receive it by regular mail using a special online form. Procedure:
- Fill out the online form (only available in Polish).
- You will receive PDF of the form by email. Now you need to print it and sign (in 2 places).
- Make 2 separate money transfers for the SIM Card (20 PLN) and delivery (7 PLN) and keep the proof. You can pay on any Post Office or Bank. You can also ask your Polish friend to transfer the money using his Internet bank account. Account numbers are available on the operator’s website.
- Prepare copy of your ID (passport).
- Pack the signed form, 2 money transfer proofs and ID copy and send it by regular mail to the operator. Address:
Aero2 Sp. z o.o.
Bezpłatny Dostęp do Internetu
ul. Trembeckiego 11A II piętro
(Bank account numbers and the address are on the aero2.pl website). You will receive the card by regular mail in 2-4 weeks (this is the biggest drawback but allows getting the card even if you are away from Warsaw).
Warning: Do not expect any support from the operator – it is even very hard to get in touch with them. Their website contains just the basic information and is available only in Polish. The service is also not very well known in Poland because there is no advertising. Between May 2011 and October 2012 only 150.000 SIM cards were issued. Anyway the service works fine and SIM cards are available all the time.
How to get connected?
First you need to get a modem of phone that is compatible with the operator’s network. You will need a GSM device with 3G support that works in 900 MHz band. Operator requires you to use fast devices that support HSPA+ category 10 speeds (14 Mbps), but so far this requirement is not enforced.
In case of modems it is rather easy to check the compatibility thanks to list of compatible modems on my website – compatible modems are those on the green list. There is also a separate list of compatible tablets. Phones can be checked on gsmarena.com website – if UMTS 900 MHz is listed in the specs, you are good to go.
Now you need to configure the connection. In case of most devices you need to go to the Internet connection manager or configuration and create a new profile for Aero2. Usually only two fields need to be filled:
- Profile name: Aero2
- APN: darmowy
No other fields need to be entered or modified.
Now if your location is covered by the network you should be able to connect to the Internet. Network coverage might be slightly complicated to check, but the easiest to use coverage map is on Cyfrowy Polsat website. Blue color shows the areas with the service. Take into account this is only an approximation. Most bigger cities are covered.
Warning: some devices might show you warning about roaming costs – you can ignore it. From 1st od October 2012 all users of Aero2 free Internet service work in in-country roaming with Plus GSM network and this is the source of the warning.
HINT: If you need already configured modem for use with Aero2 that requires no configuration and knowledge of all those APNs and so on you buy one from my small shop. So far the most popular and reasonably priced modem is Huawei E3131s-2. In Warsaw I can assist you with configuration on your laptop – if you speak English there should be no problem with communication.
If you have any questions about Aero2 free Internet access service you can use the comment area below or join us on a special forum. You can also reach me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.