In some lucky places in the world, certain telecommunications carriers once offered customers the opportunity of unlimited data, and although it may be rarer than it once was, the idea continues to exist.
By and large, unlimited data was offered to customers that signed up for the long-term and happened to do so at a time when the carrier needed market share, and subsequently those customers were fortunate enough to be grandfathered on a plan they refused to be moved from.
But in Taiwan, to enjoy these seemingly mythical conditions, all one needs to do is enter the country.
As I am in Taipei this week to cover the annual Computex trade show, and examining the best way to establish mobile data connectivity is one of those natural preparation tasks.
The best summary available on the internet is thanks to folk at the Prepaid Data SIM card wiki; it shows how good the deals are for tourists to Taiwan.
For the cost of NT$450-500, around $15, visitors can forgo the usual traveller mess of trying to arbitrage credit expiry, data amounts offered, and one’s own particular case, and simply get unlimited data for a week.
It’s unlimited in volume, and in purpose. Some telco operators will try to restrict SIMs from being tethered to laptops and other devices, but not so in this case.
The process for getting on-board couldn’t be easier: Once you enter the arrival hall at Taipei’s main international airport, all the telco operators are grouped together in a number of kiosks; you pick the one you want, hand over your passport to be photocopied, sign a piece of paper, and you are done.
Since I entered the country late at night, this entire process was done without lines and took mere minutes to complete.
To top it all off, if you have a capable LTE-A capable handset, I can confirm on at least Chunghwa Telecom, you can have unlimited 4G+ data.
If this was uneconomical, then telcos would not offer it, and it shows just how bad other nations are for visitors.
Taiwan leads the world in offering quick and simple plans to the business or data-loving traveller, and the rest of world should take note.