Traditional Palm OS devices were not able to support Hutchison’s 3G-only USIM modules electrically – this means that users of a non-WM Treo or Centro were left “in the rain”. Palm’s latest batch of webOS devices is 3G-capable, but isn’t available from Hutchison.
Fortunately, getting your Pre configured to take the maximum benefit of the network is easy. But it requires some handiwork, which must first be explained.
Hutchison 3G’s business model is best explained as following: the carrier builds a 3G infrastructure of its own wherever it pays – where it doesn’t pay out, a contract with a large legacy (usually governmental) carrier is sought. This means that the Hutchison coverage in some villages of Austria is provided by roaming in the network of the governmental carrier A1.
From an user’s point of view, this is transparent – but a phone which doesn’t know about these contracts thinks that it’s roaming in a foregin (aka expensive) network. On the Pre, this means that data services are not available while on A1.
Fixing the issue is easy. Start the phone app, open the menu and go to preferences:
There, disable the data roaming lock:
Once disabled, the E icon should show up on the top right within a few seconds:
As long as you don’t forget to disable this as you get close to the border, you shouldn’t have any extra costs. It may not be the most elegant solution, but it likely is the only one…until Hutchison starts to offer the Pre with an adjusted firmware of its own…