Germany - Vodafone Web Sessions - Prepaid Wireless Internet Access
Vodafone's network is based on GSM 900/1800 and UMTS 2100 and provides the best coverage in Germany. The GSM network supports EDGE nearly nationwide and their UMTS network, which supports HSDPA with up to 7.2 MBit/s and HSUPA with up to 5.76 MBit/s, is the most comprehensive one available in Germany.
- in Germany
- 30 days (limited to 3GB) for € 39.95 (new from May 2010)
- 7 days (limited to 1GB) for € 12.95 (increased from 9.95 since May 2010)
- 24 h (limited to 1GB) for € 3.95 (reduced from € 4.95 since May 2010)
- 2h (limited to 1 GB) for € 1.95 (discontinued)
- 15min (limited to 1 GB) for € 0.49
- 5min free once per day
- 24 h (limited to 50MB) for € 14.95
screenshot of Vodafone's captive portal, which will appear after connecting (showing domestic tariffs)
While limited to 1GB in Germany, Vodafone limits the allowance per session to 50 MB during roaming. After exceeding this volume the session finishes and usere are automatically redirected to the Vodafone captive portal, where a new Websession can be activated. Note: For postpaid customers, who can also use WebSessions tariffs, the national limit of 1GB per session does not apply.
Further restrictions are the banning of VoIP and Instant messengers. However in July 2009, these restrictions were not enforced for VoIP (SIP), Skype, Yahoo messenger, MSN Messenger and ICQ.
Purchase SIM card
German Vodafone shops offer prepaid starter kits for € 20, while these are offered way cheaper at eBay.de (Search for "Vodafone CallYa" ). When purchasing Vodafone SIMs online note, that "Vodafone CallNow" is the designation of recharge vouchers, while "CallYa" is the brand of prepaid tariffs.
Meanwhile Vodafone shops and electronic retailers (e.g. MediaMarkt, Saturn etc.) do also sell bundles of unlocked USB-modems including a WebSessions SIM card (only suitable for data, won't allow voice calls) for € 30. For an overview of such bundle offers see http://3g-modem.wikifoundry.com/page/Germany
Note: All WebSessions tariffs (including the international one) are only available to German Vodafone prepaid SIMs.
How to connect
To make use of the WebSessions tariffs you must set your device to use "event.vodafone.de " as access point (APN). Connections through other access points will be billed differently.
After connecting open any webpage in your browser (e.g. www.google.com ) and you will be automatically forwarded to Vodafone's captive portal, where you can chose the desired tariff and a payment option.
Note: Even before starting a WebSession you can browse the Vodafone website (www.vodafone.de ) free of charge and so test bandwidth and connection stability before paying. In order to test downstream bandwidth you can download Vodafone's dashboard (
Once opening the web session is confirmed on the portal page the connection is put into transparent mode and full Internet access is possible. Before being forwarded to the initially requested page a popup window should pop up and show the remaining time of your session. However as long as popup-blocking is enabled in your browser this window won't open. No harm done, the Internet connection works anyway. However, it might be useful to have this information. To allow the pop-up window to open, the pop-up prevention can be manually deactivated in the browsers settings for the portal URL only.
Note that Vodafone uses a compression proxy that compresses pictures in web pages and eMails. While this is good especially for international WebSessions in order to save volume and not reach the 50 MB limit too fast, the compression level is relatively high and so image quality suffers. Here's a description of how the compression can be switched off.
How to top up
You may chose wether to pay a WebSession directly by credit card or with the credit of your SIM on the captive portal, where you also chose the desired duration
of your session (see screenshot above).
- pay directly by credit card
WebSessions can be paid directly by credit card at the beginning of each session, so it is not necessary to top up credit at all. Please note that validity of SIMs is only prolonged by classical top-ups of the SIM credit (i.e. buying and redeeming a top-up code as described below). Paying WebSessions directly by credit card is not counted as a top-up and so will not prolong SIM valitidy. But you can keep your SIM active anyway: Just call 12007 from your Vodafone SIM at least once in 12 months and press 1 after the prompt. This will keep your SIM active for another 12 months even without topping it up the classical way.
WebSessions can also be deducted from the regular credit on your SIM, which of course must be topped up before.
- at local shops
Therefore you may buy top-up vouchers (so-called "Vodafone CallNow"), which are available in many supermarkets, gas stations, etc. Aftr you have gotten a top-up voucher, which basilcy is a 13-15 digit number, it can be recharged either online via the Websession captive portal (click on "Redeem of Vodafone CallNows") or by using USSD commands (see below). You can also check the current credit either on the captive portal or by USSD.
Note: You can connect and reach the Vodafone captive portal free of charge at any time.
It is also possible to top-up online at www.aufladen.de (website is available in German, English, French and Dutch). To top-up chose "PREPAID TOPUP", select "Vodafone" in the next step, create an account by typing in your eMail address, specifiy the SIM card's phone number, select the amount to top-up and enter your credit card details. Once the order is processed the top-up code is displayed in the web browser and additionally sent by email and SMS.
Credit can be transfered from one CallYa SIM to another one. Therefore
- dial *100*2#
- the following message will appear on you display/screen asking for the number of the sponsoring SIM:
transfer any amount desired to Vodafone D2 GmbH's bank account with your CallYa phone number as reference:
reference: your CallYa phone number (e.g. 017234567890)
Most German banks offer direct top to their customers through online banking, e.g.:
- Deutsche Bank
For a list of banks offering direct top up on ATMs to their own customers, check http://www.prepaid-wiki.de/index.php5?title=Liste_der_Anbieter
German Vodafone prepaid SIM cards can be topped up with Vodafone top up vouchers from the Vodafone networks in the following countries:
Albania, Austria, Australia, Croatia, Egypt, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italia, Malta, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
However recharges with top up codes from foreign Vodafone networks are subject to an extra fee of € 2. which will be deducted from the amount to be recharged.
To top up your SIM with a foreign Vodafone top up code.
- enter *100*(top up code )#
USSD service codesSource: www.prepaid-wireless-internet-access.com