Poland - Aero2 (Free Internet)This is a featured page

Aero2 BDI (Bezpłatny Dostęp do Internetu - Free Internet Access).

Aero2 Free Internet Access SIM/Micro SIM card

Terms of the 4G license that B2B operator Aero2 received in 2009 included an unusual condition: until December 21st, 2016 at least, the operator has to allocate 20% of its network capacity to Internet access, provided free of charge to end users. Whoever you are, you are eligible to such a free access in Poland, enough being to apply to the operator to actually get it. The offer is not restricted to Poles. Moreover, there is no enrollment in whatever promotional or advertising program, and your personal data are safe as far as I know. Making it short: everybody can get mobile Internet in nowadays Poland, at no direct cost.
The service provides the following main advantages:
  • A true and stable 512/256 Kbps access, the traffic being accurately shaped by the network (for instance, when downloading files, you will observe that a 64KBps (512Kbps) stream is delivered to you, no more no less); such a speed emulates basic ADSL service in rural areas.
  • An observed compatibility with 3G/wifi gateways, such as router Linksys WRT54G3G, making it easy to share the access between several devices at home, and an ideal solution to get an instant shared Internet access on vacation or during whatever meeting with friends.
  • All outgoing IP connexions allowed (no port or protocol filtered, P2P and Skype being allowed for instance).
  • Keep alive connection feature on your device allowed by the network, with no mandatory guard time (you can stay connected as long as you want, enough being for your device to reconnect automatically as soon as the connection gets lost).
  • An actual "eat as much as you can" offer; the amount of data you are allowed to exchange being not restricted by another means than the very speed of the connection.
As one can imagine, there are a few drawbacks inherent to a free service:
  • No technical support nor customer service;
  • No roaming abroad; the service is strictly limited to Poland,in areas where Aero2 4G HSPA+ network is present (currently other technologies offered by Plus GSM are also available to Aero2 users but with no warranty of access and speed).
  • Aero2 operates 3G technologies on the 900MHz band and (in future LTE 2600MHz), 900Mhz being common for 2G data transmission (GPRS, EDGE), but supported by the most recent devices only for 3G/4G data transmission (UMTS, HSPA); it makes harder to reuse existing equipment to take advantage of the service; hence, acquisition of a compatible new modem, router, tablet, or phone, may induce an indirect cost.
  • All incoming IP connections are blocked; in everyday life, it will deny you to connect to your home Aero2 powered computer from work, to achieve max speed with bittorrent transfers from your Aero2 access, or to run an ftp server at home for instance;
  • Every 60 minutes, the network drops the connexion; this is not a bug, this is a feature; after your device automatically reconnected to the Internet, and a new IP public address has been allocated to it, most file transfers you may have been running won't resume without your help; bittorrent makes exception to the rule; for the operator, this is a means to reduce the load on its network.
  • From April 2014 after each hour you are additionally requested to enter CAPTCHA code that prevents fully automatic reconnection. There are several applications that provide help in Android OS.
Terms and Conditions require you to use fast devices (HSPA category 10), but there are many slower modems that works fine. Anyway the Operator reserves right to disconnect users that do not obey this rule. Moreover from the begining of 2015 you can use full coverage of Plus GSM 2G and 3G network in Poland (UMTS 2100 and 900 MHz as well).
From the end of 2014 operator also provides several paid packages that provide internet access without CAPTCHA codes and hourly disconnection.

It is to a good solution if you plan to stay on longer in Poland and you need the Internet.

Provided SIM card is provided as normal SIM, but has special cuts that allow you to easily make a microSIM if you need. You can use the SIM card in phone/smartphone/laptop/iPad2/New iPad/iPhone.
All voice and SMS functions are locked.

Procedure of getting the SIM Card:
SIM Card can be ordered only using regular post.
Use Internet to fill out a form on the operator's website (www.aero2.pl) and transfer a deposit (20PLN) as well as the post fee (7PLN) to the bank accounts of the operator. You don't need to have an account in Poland, you can send the money at the Post Office or any bank. However to get this money back after you quit using the service you need to provide a bank account number that is registered in Poland.
  • The application firm printout with your signature and proof of payment has to be sent by regular mail the operator. You have to wait for approximately 1 week to receive the SIM Card.

Do not expect any help from the operator, the company that provides the card. In most cases you might have problems with receiving any help in English.

Short guide in English: Aero2 – Free Internet Access in Poland (you can ask questions there, also in English)

Polish-language publishing news and help about this service (PL): jdtech.pl

List of compatible (green area) modems (PL): Aero2 - Zestawienie zgodnych modemów
Aero2 coverage map (jpg 1450KB)

FAQ in EN via Google Translate

How to setup the connection:
The only thing that need to be set up is the APN, all other settings can be left in default values (phone number etc.) or empty (user name and password).
APN: darmowy

More help you get on the forum jdtech.pl/forum and www.bez-kabli.pl (also in English).

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JPEG Image Aero2_zasieg_22-12-2011.jpg (JPEG Image - 572k)
posted by Golffies   Jul 28 2012, 11:59 PM EDT
Aero2 coverage at the end of 2011

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