01-18-2010 10:42 PM
I haven't actually purchased my Blackberry yet but I'm definitely looking into it right now. I want to purchase an unlocked Blackberry Curve 8320 which was previously on AT&T and/or T-mobile (I'm looking at a couple different ones). Anyway, I wanted to buy a Blackberry and then put it on a data plan with Rogers Canada. I'm doing this because I want to be able to use BBM, so I think I need a data plan.
I'm purchasing the Blackberry separately because I want to be able to use it overseas when I use a different GSM SIM card i.e.. I know getting it on contract is cheaper, but I don't want to do that because I will get locked on a 3 year contract and I'm not going to be in Canada for 3 years.
I just want to know if the Rogers Data Network will work with an unlocked Blackberry like the one I described above. I asked Rogers customer service and they said that they can't confirm that the data network from Rogers will "connect" with the unlocked Blackberry because it used to belong to a different provider and that I should purchase a Blackberry from Rogers. I don't know if they were just saying that so I would buy the Blackberry from Rogers instead of elsewhere. I know the unlocked Blackberry should work fine with a regular GSM SIM card for calling and SMS and stuff but I want to know specifically for BBM-ing.
Sorry my question's so long. Thanks so much for your help!
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01-19-2010 12:05 AM - edited 01-19-2010 12:07 PM
Yes, an unlocked 8320 will work fine on Rogers.
Read this for pitfalls for be aware of when buying used devices:
Pay particular attention to making sure the used device PIN has been released and is clear of the old network registration.
And yes, you will need the Data Plan for BBMessenger.
01-19-2010 12:10 AM
While Canadian carriers might be different than their American counterarts I don't believe the differences are that significant as to materially affect my answer.
When purchasing a "new" locked to a carrier device you will be offered the device at a price at a price significantly lower than the MSRP for it. That is what mandates the contractual lock in as they are recouping over the life of the contract the difference between what you pay and the cost. They subsidized the price in order to be collecting a healthy monthly fee for access.
All American carriers require a data plan for smartphones over and above any general "plans" for simply minutes and text packages etc. I imagine Canadian carriers require the same.
In order to utilize BBM you will need a carriers dataplan which is what enables your device to utilize those features of the Blackberry requiring BIS (Blackberry Internet Services) data push, email, anything that is "data".
That is a new in box device purchased by your friends at Rogers. They have sold you a Blackberry and they dance as they listen to the register going chaching. It is music to their ears. It is a unit sold and it is "locked" to Rogers. They of course for every month of your indentured servitude to them get to dance again as the register continues to supply them with more and more chaching.
You have bought a device from them, you can at this point only use it with them. They will as you might or might not be aware subject to various and assorted penalties if you tire of their service or lack thereof and take your business elsewhere or attempt to. Early termination fees can easily exceed your initial cost plus a premium that in a lending institution violate laws governing usury.
That is what keeps even disgruntled customers with carriers that are less than satisfactory. It is just too expensive to leave although some but not all carriers allow for you to "sell" the balance of your contract to another. Whether or not Rogers permits that is unknown to me.
If you are buying an "unlocked" device it is provided the band is compatible with Rogers (GSM/CDMA as the case may be) perfectly capable of being activated on their network.
Their customer service personnel are to use a euphemism blowing smoke. They know perfectly well that an unlocked device regardless of its origin. They don't want you to bring it a device for which they are not receiving that gratifying first chaching and having it run on their network. Since you did not pay a subsidized price for the device you are not obligated to a three year plan or whatever length Rogers requires for locked to them new devices.
So they are indeed playing dumb hoping that you will purchase from them and get locked into a service contract. It is guaranteed money for thirty-six months. That is a great deal of money.
Assuming you get them to admit that an unlocked 8320 (GSM) will play well with their network you can purchase a monthly plan data plus phone without being locked into a set period of time.
You will absolutely need the dataplan however, as without at least the minimum plan they offer will preclude access to services that make a Blackberry what it is.
Of major importance to you as a purchaser of a used instrument is the not only is well and truly "unlocked" but has the PIN been released by the previous owner and his/her carrier be it T-Mobile or AT&T. Each Blackberry is assigned a unique PIN that lives with it forever. If I should for example wish to sell my unlocked Blackberry Storm I would have to make arrangements for the release of the PIN from Verizon so that a subsequent purchaser can activate the Storm on either Verizon (my service provider) or as it is unlocked any service provider as it is truly a universal device capable of activation on a GSM/CDMA/UMTS or Global network.
I would purchase a used device if and only if is verifiable that the PIN has been released from the previous owner/carrier. With instrument in hand it can be verified on the device whether or not it is unlocked. The PIN release has to be verified through the previous carrier and I am not overly cynical but I would not take the word of the seller unless it was a very trustworthy family member and even then I would politely ask for verification.
Rogers wants money from you. They want money upfront for selling you a Blackberry and they want the contract guaranteed money for the long haul for the months down the line. For Rogers it is win/win.
You have the option although it is an expensive one of buying a new device from Rogers at MSRP and that will not lock you into a three year contract. The majority of carriers don't advertise that as the difference is more than lost in the long run by not locking you into them.
I hope this helps. If I appear cynical it is because I am. Carriers are out to increase their bottom line and integrity gets lost in the shuffle.
01-19-2010 12:40 AM
I have found a data plan which I can just add on to my existing Rogers plan which isn't too pricey and it's 500MB. I'm not really sure how much that technically is in terms of data usage but I figure if I'm only going to use it for BBM it should be good enough.
I've found several 8320 Curves on e-Bay that were listed as "new" and was going to contact the seller to ask about the unique PIN you were mentioning. I was going to ask if the PIN was released in order for me to activate it. Should I receive some form of evidence of this? Unfortunately I don't know any family friends selling their Blackberrys so it's just a random seller (with good reviews though). Sorry to bother you but I just wasn't sure what kind of evidence I was supposed to ask for in terms of the released PIN.
I would just like to confirm that if they provide the PIN and it is legitimately unlocked, then that means I will be able to "connect" it to the Rogers Data Network and be able to be activated to use BBM and other things "data"?
Thanks again for your help.
01-19-2010 12:44 AM
Thanks so much JSanders for your reply.
I just had one more question: on the website you provided, it says to ask for the IMEI of the device. What exactly is it/What should I ask the seller to provide?
Thanks a lot for your help!
01-19-2010 02:53 AM - edited 01-19-2010 02:55 AM
IMEI is to cellphones in general what to Blackberry is the PIN and is in fact inadditon to the PIN for phones on GSM networks.....
It is as you might have guessed an acronym and it is the International Mobile Equipment Identification. There is a most informative wiki on IMEI available through googling IMEI.
It is a means that by which the device is identified and not the subscriber. In theory at least it slows down the theft of GSM phones as once the IMEI is reported as lost and/or stolen it cannot by treaty and convention be activated on any other GSM network.
How the various signatories (nations) treat the process and the level to which it is a violation of law is up to the nations. It can be found inside the battery compartment and so identified as IMEI.
Search for wiki, as I said, most informative...As my storm is CDMA/GSM/UMTS and Global capable I dare say it has one and I had never given it a moments thought in all the beloved blackberry battery pulls I have done. This is my first GSM device...even old dogs as myself can learn something new... I have to be careful as I am changing my ingrained ACC beliefs about SEC fans (JSanders....LOL)...they might even be someone I'd invite over to the house although it would shock my neighbors....
01-19-2010 03:05 AM
I just had another thought on the matter. If you narrow down your device choice and make a purchase having satisfied yourself as to the provenance of the Curve you are, if I am not mistaken not locked into dealing with store level personnel should they prove obdurate in playing "dumb".
You should have an option to activate your newly acquired Curve via telephone at their customer service call center. I have found that CSRs at company level are generally more inclined to work outside the box because they not "salesman" who are commission and sales quota driven. I have also discovered that in most cases a CSR has more "power" to approve and enhance a package offering than store level personnel are. Given the necessary idents they can easily enter into their system and show whether or not is is truly unlocked and free of any PIN/IMEI encumbrances. I have purchased devices and plans and done activations solely dealing with a CSR over the phone. In fact when I bought my Storm I never walked into or spoke to a store rep.
01-19-2010 12:12 PM
blobbit108 wrote:Should I receive some form of evidence of this?
No, there is no physical device evidence of the device PIN being cleared from a previous registration, and you won't know until you go to register your device on your network, and you find a message "PIN is registered on another network" or "PIN is suspended" meaning the device has been reported lost or stolen.
02-08-2010 08:31 PM
Sorry to bother you again, but I just recently called Rogers (my network provider) to try and activate a data plan but the CSR I was talking to was not able to do so and said that all the settings on the phone and on the Rogers computer says it should be working. Is there anything I can do to try on my end to "fix" or help fix the problem?
I managed to get on EDGE and the technician explained that I had data on my phone but was not connected to Rogers and I tried just adding a friend's PIN to try out BBM and it didn't work either.