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Old 11-26-2009, 06:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
Thumbs Must Hurt
Join Date: Aug 2009
Model: 8830
Carrier: Bell Mobility (Canada)
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At least you have found somebody at Telus who told you what I was trying to tell you two days ago:

Originally Posted by Kirkx
SIM cards installed in Telus and Bell Mobility BlackBerries are designed to get the phone working on GSM networks outside North America, as both Telus and Bell Mobility are using CDMA
And this statement from your friendly rep at Telus is very misleading at best:

While it is an HSPA device (2100 Mhz), it will only operate in HSPA mode while in Europe. Apparently the 2100 Mhz frequency is what they use in Europe. All other countries/regions abroad (outside Canada), provided you have the Telus International Roaming SIM Card, it will work under GSM mode.
I'm far from being a GSM expert, but I travel overseas, including Europe, all the time and always use my BB-8830 in GSM mode, my BB doesn't even have HSPA. Actually the only reason I switched to BlackBerry from a regular phone was that I needed coverage in northern Canada (like Yellowknife or Wawa, Ont), where there are only CDMA networks, and at the same time I wanted my phone to work when I go to Frankfurt, Germany as well.

Europe has only GSM, except for a few CDMA pockets around selected cities, like Warsaw, Poland, but even then you can't access them on Bell or Telus phone because CDMA carriers are notorious for not entering into roaming agreements with their counterparts in other countries. The same story in Africa.

When it comes to HSPA , it is a mobile communications protocol related to UMTS, which in turn is closely related to GSM/EDGE, which is derived from GSM. You might as well google this and check it out, this is much more reliable way of getting information than hanging on the phone with people at level-1 tech support.

Bell Mobility has all information where CDMA/GSM is available on their website. This should look exactly the same with Telus because they use the same technology:

Go to the following web page and select your phone (at the bottom of the first page, under "1. Select Manufacturer"):

Coverage and Travel-

In this case I selected my BB-8830, at which point the list of countries appears:

And here are a few examples. The only places outside USA and Canada that have CDMA networks and also roaming agreements with Bell (and most likely Telus) are South Korea, Taiwan and a few Caribbean countries. If a country has both GSM and CDMA network and has CDMA roaming agreements with Bell, then Bell recommends switching your BB to CDMA provider instead of GSM provider. To be exact, when your plane has landed and you turn on the BB, it starts looking for a CDMA network first, and if it can't find it then it looks for GSM network. You don't need to do anything manually, BB will lock on the network that suits it best.

I expect that Telus has a similar page available somewhere on their website.

Your 9630 Tour supplied with the proper SIM card from Telus should also work in Japan, the only country in the world that uses neither CDMA nor GSM, but a standard called WCDMA. It is a more advanced variation of CDMA, the Japanese, for example, have been paying with their phones like we pay with credit cards, for years. Bell's 9630 and 9530 work in Japan so it should be no different with Telus.

Hope this helps,

BB 8830, OS, DM, Bell Canada BIS, Windows XP-SP3

Last edited by Kirkx : 11-26-2009 at 07:15 PM.
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