Hot Topics

Virgin mobile dongle broadband SIM card renewal?

  Aitchbee 23:50 09 Jun 2020

I've just been sent out a brand new SIM card to replace the old SIM in my ancient HUAWEI HSDPA USB Stick, Model E160 ... I believe it's currently working on the 3G network. I'm getting moved to 'an even-better network' :o)

Will it work?

It seems a bit odd that the accompanying letter from VM keeps referring to 'my phone', no mention of the USB Dongle although the mobile number quoted on the letter [ie, used by the dongle] is correct.

  alanrwood 09:45 10 Jun 2020

The better network is likely to be 4G or even 5G if they are available in your location however the dongle you have is pretty old and I don't think it will accept 4 or 5G signals as HSDPA is 3 G however I stand to be corrected. If you have 4 or 5G available in your location maybe purchase a new dongle. 4G ones are pretty cheap on eBay.

  Aitchbee 11:16 10 Jun 2020

Thanks alanrwood.

It was VM who provided the dongle originally. The old standard size SIM card is mounted on a metal tray to make it easier for extraction whereas the new SIM card [standard/micro/nano size] might possibly get stuck inside ... once I've slotted it in.

I'll wait a while and see what others say before I give Virgin a call.

I wonder if it would be possible to use the new SIM in an old tablet or smart phone instead of a USB dongle.

  alanrwood 14:56 10 Jun 2020

I have a couple of the E160s but they are so ancient I don't use them nowadays.

I now use a ZTE MF821, Huawei E3276 or Huawei E3372 all of which work fine on 3G and 4G. They also all have an inbuilt antenna socket into which I plug an external aerial because I use these at my caravan in the Lake District and signals are a bit weak there.

The sims work fine in them all as they all use the standard size despite the fact that all the sims are the 3 size variety.

  Aitchbee 15:45 10 Jun 2020

Thanks again alanrwood, all that useful info gives me something to get my teeth into ;o]

One other thing. Do you know if they all work with Windows XP or W7?

  alanrwood 16:24 10 Jun 2020

The software is on the dongle and installs when first plugged in. I have used them in Win 7 and Win 10. I think they worked in XP but that is so long ago I can't really remember. Can't see any reason why not.

  Aitchbee 17:56 10 Jun 2020

OK Thanks.

  Aitchbee 17:11 14 Jun 2020

Update for anyone interested:

As I was requested in the letter from VM to not hang about I've just inserted the new 'data only' SIM into a Medion smartphone model P4502 which I bought about 5 years ago and after a few moments I received a text message [on the phone] from VM saying "Woohoo! Your new SIM is now up and running. Your old SIM won't work anymore."

Well that's not strictly true. My old dongle is still working although that may change in 2 days time when it's due for it's monthly refresh.

I'll wait a few days and then check to see if they've increased my monthly data allowance to 3GB from 1GB [fingers crossed] and also check that my old SIM and dongle can be finally laid to rest!

If the new SIM works OK in my old phone [it has been registered but I can't use the internet just yet], admittedly using only 3g, it'll give me time to upgrade to a suitable 4g-enabled device as alanrwood kindly suggested above.

ps. VirginMedia have something suitable but it might cost me £39.99 for that particular upgrade.

What is Markdown?

Markdown lets you add more formatting to your post. Simply type in your post and it will display as written.

If you wish to add bold or italic characters, add a hyperlink to another website, a heading or a horizontal line, simply use the relevent icons above the text input field.

A preview of your post will appear in the grey box below. If you make a change and you're not happy, simply press the back arrow icon to undo.

Post a Reply


1x1 pixel
Elsewhere on IDG sites

LG gram 14 (2020) review

Best art and design exhibitions still happening in 2020

'Price rise' for iPhone 12 despite lack of accessories

Les meilleurs smartphones Xiaomi (2020)