Here in Athens I am again struck by how addicted Greeks are to their mobile phones. Few nationalities, I suspect, make so many calls and so loudly, especially in cafes and restaurants. Despite this, Greece isn’t noted for cheap phone and data deals. On average, the packages are more expensive that a Briton would expect. Today, though, I was able to snap up a very useful deal from Cosmote, one of the three major networks (the others being Vodafone and Wind).
Last year I had a fairly basic phone and data arrangement for my iPhone which included 500GB of data. I also used a Vodafone SIM for my iPad which was costing €29 a month for 3GB of data. The total for these services came to a rather extortionate €66 per month. Even though I am not a resident, I visit often enough to make even that preferable to paying Vodafone’s UK roaming rates.
So I entered into discussion with Cosmote and came away with an interesting hybrid contract which gives me a basic phone package, 60 GB of data, 60 minutes’ calls (1,500 minutes to other Cosmote numbers) for €20 a month. For an extra €15 per month I was able to add a second SIM and 2GB of data. Although this is a separate number, the neat trick is that the extra data is available on both iPhone and iPad. As a combination this is much more cost-effective than having two separate chunks of data with the consequent risk of overstepping on one or other number.
So for €35 a month, including Value Added Tax, I get a package sufficient for my needs. The personal hotspot from my iPhone works perfectly with the MacBook Air, so I have anywhere-on-anything data for relatively little cost. In the UK, in contrast, I have completely separate contracts with Vodafone for iPhone and iPad. I need 2.5 GB on the phone (because I use the hotspot feature with the Air) but economise with only 1GB on the iPad. If I could have a combination deal similar to the new one in Greece, I could probably manage with 2 GB or, at most, 3 GB. A visit to Vodafone and a renegotiation is on the cards when I get back to London next week. If the Greeks can do it, so can the British.