When I decided to sign up with Cingular to access its EDGE network on my UX180P, I was already well aware of the cost advantages of unlocking the UX and using my exisiting T-Mobile SIM card. But since Cingular offers a 30-day free trial and the UX ships with a SIM already loaded, I assumed the integrated process would be quick and easy. I was leaving for New York the next morning, too, so I didn’t have time (not to mention the patience or interest) to waste on calls to Sony Tech Support. I’ve had some experience with Sony’s representatives in the past and have since vowed to take alternate routes to avoid them whenever possible.
The preinstalled SmartWi Connection Utility is one such route.
Clicking on "Activate Cingular Account" cues up the application process.
In order to take advantage of the free trial, you need to go through the motions of signing up for a data plan first. I chose the overpriced $80/month 2-year contract with the intention of cancelling before the trial period was up. So the "free trial" isn’t really free. It’s free if you remember to keep track of time, and Cingular obviously hopes you won’t (otherwise it would offer the 30 days without making you sign up for anything first).
The terms and conditions come up next, followed by the subscription form that asks for your Social Security but not your credit card number.
All that’s left to do after filling out the form is to wait. Cingular will review your application and activate your account within 2 business days.
You can check to see when your account has been activated through the SmartWi Connection Utility. (You could also just turn on the WWAN radio and try to get online.)
Now, I admit that when I got to this point, my hopes were high. The activation process had been quick and easy and I didn’t have to talk to any of those friendly customer service representatives. It was everything I wanted.
Well, almost. Don’t ask me how or why, but my activation request was rejected. Rejected! The "Click here for an explanation of possible statuses" elucidated that a "rejected" status meant that an activation request had been successfully submitted but rejected. How helpful.
And that’s where things stand right now.
My trip to New York came and went (the hotel had wi-fi), and I still haven’t conceded that I need to call Cingular and/or Sony to sort everything out. I occasionally flip the WWAN switch on with naive hopes that I’ll be able to connect, but to no avail.
Searching for network indeed!