07-16-2013 07:13 PM
I've been doing a little research, and although have found some similar cases, I'm not entirely sure if this has been covered entirely. Please forgive me if it has.
I'm going abroad to Germany for a year, and it's not worth me cancelling my current British pay montly plan with Vodaphone. As far as I am aware my blackberry is unlocked internationally-- I put an old, german o2 pay-as-you go sim in my phone. Seemed to work fine (o2 Germany sign, received a message about roaming in the UK etc. ), except I had no credit so couldn't test it out. I re-registered my blackberry user ID over my home wi-fi. But other than that I could not do much to check the extent of my useage.
I have however heard varying accounts of not being able to use email, internet, wiping contacts etc.
Here are my main queries if anyone could clear this up:
Any one have any experience in this area, either in Germany (a long shot), Europe or world-wide? It seems that the whole blackberry ID complicates things.
My handset is a Blackberry Bold 9900, as far as I know its up to date software wise-- I updated it today with the "7.1 Bundle 2061" I believe.
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07-20-2013 04:24 PM
Hi and Welcome to the Community!
There are a number of issues to be cognizant of for what you are proposing...here are my thoughts...(note that I have traveled internationally quite extensively with a BB).
If you activate an international roaming plan with your home carrier, you should be able to keep your existing SIM in your BB and have full functionality wherever you are allowed (as per what your home carrier activates). The costs are not small, typically, but your home carrier is the only entity that can tell you if this will work, and for how much money. My personal experience with this method was challenging -- it took two "failed" international trips before my home carrier could properly configure my account for the full international roaming that I needed. And, once my BB was off of my home carrier network, there was nothing further they could do...hence the two "failed" trips.
Since your BB is unlocked, you can use it on other carriers, simply by changing your SIM. But, with BB, it's not quite that simple.
No BB exists (indeed, no device anywhere as far as I know) that has all radio technologies/frequencies within it...there simply are too many in the world. So, your first task is to ensure that your BB has the capability to even function on the carrier network(s) you wish to operate on. You must investigate the capabilities of your specific BB against the requirements of the networks you will operate on...you may have to ask those network operators for specifics.
If that item is satisfied, then that ensures you can have Voice Level services (calls, voicemail, SMS). But, for data level services, the complications increase.
Each carrier chooses the specific BB models (by model number) that they will support "automatically". I know of no carriers who have their network configured to support all BB model numbers. If the carrier you wish to operate on automatically supports your BB model number, then their system will be able to automatically deliver to your BB the necessary Service Books so as to activate the BB-proprietary services (email, BBM, etc.). But, if their network does not natively support your specific BB model number, then their network is not likely to be able to automatically deliver those Service Books to your BB...which will preclude the use of BB-proprietary services from their network. Again, you must inquire of the carriers on which you desire to operate if your specific BB model number is supported by their network for automatic Service Book delivery.
Beyond that, it is a matter of ensuring that your home carrier releases your BB PIN from their BIS system. One BB PIN can exist in only one carrier BIS system anywhere in the world...so if your home carrier does not release it, then the other carrier won't be able to allocate a BIS account for you, and you still won't be able to use BIS services from them. If this happens, it's usually a matter of contacting your home carrier and convincing them to release your BB PIN from their BIS system.
If all goes smoothly and all requirements are satisfied, then it can be quite seamless to shift between carriers, simply by changing your SIM card, ensuring that each SIM card includes proper BIS Services from that carrier of course.
But, if anything in the chain of requirements above fails, it can sometimes be quite frustrating to get things working well enough (recall my two "failed" international trips).
So, with all of that as preamble, now to your specific questions...
- If I take my british vodaphone sim out, is there anyway I will rack up roaming charges? Is my blackberry ID, now potentially with a new German service provider, linked to my old one?J.
Given what you describe, I can't see any way for Vodaphone to charge you any roaming fees. Without their SIM in your BB, your BB can't even try to use any Vodaphone resources. But, you will need to get confirmation from Vodaphone on this point...for they control all service, billing, etc. for your account. You BB services are subordinate to your primary carrier services...you need primary carrier services to provide network connectivity, and BB services ride on that network connection.
- Are there going to be any issues trying to access my email, bbm, whatsapp etc, with a different number and in a different country.
There are always possibilities for issues. When you use a different SIM, you are constrained to whatever services that SIM provides. If it does not provide, for example, BIS level services, then you won't have access to those. Likewise, if there is some governmental restriction for some services, you may be restricted from that as well. If you get a SIM with full BIS services and, as described above, you have passed all of the prerequisites I listed, then you should be able to have all of the services you listed. It is possible that you may need to reconfigure your email...there are stories about those configurations getting wiped out when changing carriers...but the integration of BBID is intended to facilitate this exact type of carrier shift, so it should not happen. But there can, of course, be no promises.
07-20-2013 04:56 PM - edited 07-20-2013 05:02 PM
Thank you sdgardne for your very thorough and in-depth response to my queries. I will take your advice, and at the very least I know what sort of questions I should be asking when I shop around for a new sim.
07-20-2013 05:08 PM
You are very welcome. Here are some further resources that might be of use to you.
I have always found this site quite useful concerning the specific technical capabilities of BB devices (e.g., radio technologies, frequencies, etc.):
I have always used the official OS download portal as a reference for which specific BB model numbers a specific carrier natively supports on their network. It may not be perfect, but it can be a good start in your research...naturally, supplemented by specific questions to representatives of that network carrier:
Sadly, I have yet to find a site with good information concerning the carrier technologies/frequencies...hence, the need to inquire of them directly to ensure that what you find from the above information is accurate or not.
When inquiring of carriers, I've always found it best to be very specific, and not let them get away with any statements like "Oh, we support all BBs!", for typically that's just not accurate. Rather, the type of phrasing I'd recommend goes something like this:
At a minimum, include the specific model number...and additional items if needed (PIN, IMEI, etc.). But get them to make a very specific and firm commitment...in writing if possible.