Transition from 3G to 4G/LTS in the near future

Hi altogether, :wave:

I know the problem I´m posting here is a bit of a local one because it´s a matter that concerns users in Germany.
However it might be the case that the same problem could arise in other parts of the world too.
That´s why I´d like to discuss it here anyway in order to obtain some good suggestions.
I hope you don´t mind. :blush:

I seem to be running into problems in the forseeable future as far as my internet connection is concerned.

Due to certain circumstances my only internet connection is via a UMTS/HSDPA stick. For this purpose I bought a Medion S4012 (HUAWEI E1550 HSDPA USB stick) back in 2010. I purchased it in a local Aldi store here in Germany.

lsusb yields:
Bus 001 Device 015: ID 12d1:1001 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. E161/E169/E620/E800 HSDPA Modem

Basically I´m an AldiTalk customer and AldiTalk makes use of the O2 mobile phone net as far as I know.

The stick works perfectly well with my Lubuntu system and I´m pretty happy with it.

However:

Lately I received an e-mail from AldiTalk:

Dear ALDI TALK customer,

the 3G mobile network will be gradually converted to 4G / LTE by the end of 2021.

At https://www.alditalk.de/4G you can check whether the device you are currently using supports 4G / LTE and whether you can continue to surf the Internet in the future.
You will also find further helpful information on switching to 4G / LTE there.

Your ALDI TALK team

This is not good news methinks. I´m in a bit of a pickle here. :slightly_frowning_face:

I did a bit of research and found out that those Aldi UMTS sticks cannot handle 4G/LTE. So in due course my present stick won´t be usable any more.

What I want to achieve is finding an alternative for it, like another stick that can handle 4G (e.g. the Huawei E3372-LTE/4G):

In the description it says:

  • it´s unlocked for all networks
  • choose any SIM card of your choice
  • connectivity type: 2G,3G,4G,EDGE,GPRS,GSM,HSPA+,HSUPA,LTE,UMTS
  • customer comment: works with Linux out-of-the-box

For me it´s important to be able to use - like at present - AldiTalk (i.e. O2), just with 4G in the future. Plus: I want to be able to use my present SIM card if at all possible.

Perhaps there are other/better options as well. What do you think :question: :thinking:
Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Can’t you just use your mobile as a hotspot? I always do it when I travel and it works fine. (Past tense would be more appropriate as I haven’t done so since the start of the pandemic)

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Hi Mina,

thanks for your reply and sorry I couldn´t answer earlier.

In principle your suggestion would be good but: I don´t own such a device. :roll_eyes:

And - to be honest - I am not considering buying a mobile at present. Simply because I cannot see any benefit in using it.
This of course refers to my personal situation.

So for me it´s either a stick again (like the one I referred to in my first post) or a mobile LTE-hotspot (like the one AldiTalk seems to be offering: ALDI TALK Hotspot | ALDI TALK Online Shop ).

Yet in both cases the question arises: would I be able to use my present (10 year old) SIM card?

Well, thanks anyway for your help, Mina. :blush:

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Sure. Just the format might pose a problem:

10 years ago, most SIM card were mini format. Today most devices only accept micro or nano cards, but there’s no need to despair because the chips themselves haven’t changed:

If you’re self-confident, you can cut your old SIM into the desired format with a scalpel (I did it once) or better: Take it to a shop where they sell mobile phones. They usually have pincers for exactly this purpose, and it’s done in ten seconds (did it twice).

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Hi again, Mina,

thanks for your answer.

Yes, I think you´re perfectly right. As far as I know my SIM card is in the mini format.

As far as the potential candidate Huawei E3372 is concerned I think and hope that shouldn´t pose any problems.
On the amazon-page I referred to one customer asks the following question and gets an answer:

Does every SIM card fit in there?
A standard mini SIM card in 2ff format fits into the stick. With an appropriate adapter, however, micro and nano SIM cards also fit.

On SIM-Karte – Wikipedia I found the respective specs:

Mini-SIM ISO/IEC 7810:2003, ID-000 - form factor: 2FF - [measurements…]

So that should be right I think.

Alas I didn´t find such detailed information as far as the AldiTalk hotspot is concerned.

What´s more: I couldn´t find any info as to whether the hotspot can be used with the charging unit on a permanent basis.
I wouldn´t be overly enthusiastic running that unit from battery only to find it´s running out of juice after 8 hrs… :angry:

So it seems a 4G/LTS dongle would be the way to go.

BTW:

As far as the SIM card is concerned: even if the measurements wouldn´t pose a problem there´s still the question if my present SIM card can handle 4G/LTS :question:
No idea if that´s an issue or not. :thinking:

Thanks again, MIna.
Greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Rosika,

Don’t worry about it. Your SIM card carries your phone number and the provider you got it from. No dependencies like 3G, LTE, 5G or whatsoever. :slight_smile:
The only thing you have to deal with concerning SIMs are the sizes whenever you have a new hardware with a different size SIM slot.

SIM cards, smaller than the old ‘normal’ ones come with several adapters. So you will not have a problem there either. If your new Aldi Stick requires a smaller one than you still have, there are SIM cutters available for this kind of work. It works like a stapler, just has a dual slot (different sizes) to put the SIM card in and punches the right size for you.

Being in Germany, you can go to Amazon.de and look for ‘SIM cutter’. There are several available for you. No big deal. I got mine there years ago when I had to switch mobiles and needed a smaller size (micro). Since then, the next one required ‘nano’ and I used the same cutter. Took it with me from Germany to Malta, and last year from there to Spain. It works like a charm. :slight_smile:

Greeting (Gruß),
Hans

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Hello Hans, :wave:

thank you very much for your reply.

That´s wonderful and really good news.

Thanks also for the hint referring to those SIM cutters. I have to admit I hadn´t heard of those before. :blush: Good to know indeed.

For the Huawei E3372 stick it seems I wouldn´t have to worry about size as it´ll hold a mini SIM card (2ff) as it seems.

I have also found an alternative to the stick, also from Huawei. This time it´s a mobile LTE-WIFI-router. It´s the HUAWEI E5576-320.

So, theoretically these two items would (hopefully) be good for my purposes:

Yet with the latter I still don´t know whether it´s possible to use it on a a stationary basis, i.e. not running from the built-in battery-pack but from the charging unit/mains. :neutral_face:

Thanks so much, Hans, for your info. :slightly_smiling_face:

Many greetings from Rosika. :wave:

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They may replace your existing large SIM card with a new one at nano size. This happened for my grandma.

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@Rosika

Indeed, they may send you a new card if you ask for it.

However, when requesting a new card, you will be asked to provide your full name and address because of the regulations that force pre-paid users to do that now. Since your SIM card is about 10 years old, I am sure you never had to verify your identity to use your SIM card.

Therefore, I would strongly recommend against contacting your provider, as this would require you to verify your identity, which is nothing less than providing all your personal credentials to the provider for no reason, but a (in my opinion) stupid law.

So, it’s probably better to just keep using the old SIM card.

If you cut out the SIM card yourself the best way, then you will later be probably able to re-insert the nano SIM card part into the outer SIM card part, to use it as a de facto big old SIM card, after all. So, do not throw away the outer part, in case you decide to cut out the SIM card yourself!

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Okay, you’re correct. I accept that.

If the card cannot support 4G, then mine is the only way. Thanks for reminding me of that idea :slight_smile:

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Hi @Akito,

thanks a lot for your comments. :heart:

You´re perfectly right in assuming that. :wink:

That´s exactly the reason why I´d like to use my old SIM card as long as possible.

O.K., that´s really good advice. Thanks.

But as @hamaer said:

it looks like I may use my present SIM card in the Huawei E3372 stick just as it is.
The size seems to be the correct one (2ff).

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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