The fact that there is no mobile Internet in the "republic" I learned from Ukrainian sources. This happens very often when everyone around is talking about our internal problem, and you didn’t even know that it was a problem.
For the first time, the topic of mobile data became relevant when the Ukrainian mobile operator left the "republic". And with it, the e-banking accounts connected to the phone numbers of that operator. Savvy ones began to advise visiting the areas where Vodafone signal might be available and trying to log in to your personal e-banking account.
When I decided to try this out, it turned out that there were hundreds of people like me. Cars drove up to the curb, stopped, and then work process began: in this simple way, the driver transferred pensioners' money to his account via their e-banking accounts and gave them cash in rubles right in the car. Banks on wheels.
The road to the monument to Prince Ihor, where you could get a cell signal, was packed with such parked cars. As soon as the online operation was completed, the car quickly left, taking away its passengers.
By the way, my attempt was not successful. Mobile data instantly reached the limit, Vodafone‘s messages came only with a note that I was in the territory of the aggressor's country, and logging in failed.
Some advised to top up the Vodafone account, some said that it was due to the phone settings. Nobody could tell me what was wrong for sure. I spent about an hour on the side of that road. An acquaintance of mine later said that he had spotted me. That place was really strange.
Afterwards I figured out that it was a Privatbank issue, it was somehow easier to log in to the Oschadbank account. By the way, many went even to the border with russia to get the signal for sure.
Actually, after that mobile Internet fiasco, I wasn't interested in it at all. And the question of why it disappeared seemed strange - who even needed it? Free Wi-Fi is available in some places around the city. I have Internet access at home and at work. So why would I need mobile data?
And the question here is not even about the habit of living without mobile Internet, but about the habit of doing without everything - a strange habit of the past nine years. I'd rather do without the Internet than look for ways to be online all the time. The same goes for shoes, new clothes, and food. The habit of doing without something has become normal.
If someone has Internet access all the time, they probably have a russian SIM card. And most likely, it's not a poor person, because it needs to be topped up. And here we go back to point A - many of my acquaintances would rather do without the Internet than look for ways to pay for it in a mobile format.
Why was mobile data usage completely disabled? I only heard one reason – the military one. So that information about military equipment, which is abundant in the area, would not be transmitted.
Yes, you are very limited in russia - your mobile operator is not supported there. Right after crossing the border, you are out of reach. You can't make or receive calls. There's no connection with you. Even in the moscow subway you are restricted: moscow Wi-Fi is only available to users with russian SIM cards. Although the last nine years have shown that you can live without everything - without seasonal clothes, medicine, mobile data, but with a well-formed habit of not seeing anything unnecessary, and not noticing or staring at what you see.
But, believe me, this is not a problem here. At least it's not talked about in numerous public group chats. From the sparse comments, you can deduce that after the mobile data usage was disabled, the border towns were shelled less, meaning that the chosen strategy was correct. But there are still opponents who consider this version to be false.
It's hard to say anything good about local mobile operator. The quality of signal is frankly bad, and there are no alternatives. It works in some places, but it fails in others, and you can't call from Ukraine on it. So, it's just local mobile network that doesn't even work well in some areas. Moreover, you become unreachable after crossing the russian border.
Your operator doesn't work in russia, and you can't connect to the free Wi-Fi there without a russian number. It's like a local passport that either doesn't contain the information about registration or the children of its owner. If we accept those passports, why even bother talking about the mobile operators and the Internet? We will get used to it, as we got used to many things that we can do without and that are not critical for living.
Olha Kucher, Luhansk, for OstroV