Do you remember reading that the Kindle 3G comes with “Free 3G Wireless – No monthly payments, no annual contracts.”
Did you think this could be handy on your next trip to Europe, or any indeed any one of over 100 countries. Here is the Wireless Coverage Map.
But according to Amazon’s small print, when using your Kindle abroad, you can only access the Kindle store and Wikipedia (no other websites), in most countries where there is 3G coverage. People who were expecting free global 3G roaming for web browsing will be disappointed. Furthermore, for US Kindle owners, the 3G coverage must be provided by Sprint.
However, there may be some morsels of consolation for budget conscious web connected travellers.
1. The Kindle wireless connection is through the Sprint EVDO network which includes some neighboring counties such Puerto Rico within its US plans.
2. However, the limited 3G functionality when abroad could still be of use to some. To give you an idea of how much this is worth, consider that a 20MB international plan starts at $24.99 through AT&T. Downloading an average sized book uses up 1MB of download allowance. Therefore you can download up to 20 books instantly plus, of course, the cost of the book.
3. Global 3G access to Wikipedia is available free.
4. With so many free wifi hotspots springing up everywhere, 3G may not as essential as you think.
Other tips for taking the Kindle abroad:
- The free 3G availability (if any) could change over time, but you will be extremely unlucky if this happened during your holiday.
- That 3G coverage is not uniform over a country.
- The Kindle can be used on an aircraft except during take off and landing, and the wireless function should be turned off throughout the whole period on the aircraft.
- Kindle holds for a month if you turn off the wireless functions – so you may be able to avoid taking the adapter with you. If you can’t, check out the Kindle Power Adapter for Europe.
- There are over 10,000 travel guidebooks available including destinations such as Canada, Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
- You will need some good protection for your Kindle. Check out our top ten lists: Kindle Covers, Kindle Cases, and Kindle DX Covers and Cases.
Kindle owner in other countries travelling abroad
Amazon don’t list what countries get full web access and what countries get the restricted Wikipedia + Kindle Store only access so you end up having to try it yourself or looking for other people who have tried it. The extra $2 delivery fee is also dependant on country as well.
- For UK Kindle owners, full web access in Europe has been reported.
- For German Kindle owners, only restricted internet access is provided both within Germany and abroad.
- For Bergian Kindle owners, only restricted internet access is provided both within Belgium and abroad.