I read your comment but with so many different versions of what the truth really is, I wanted their side of it.
BB user forums are excellent source of technical information, but try to create a subject line that is very specific and uses technical terms and post in the General section. Then BB geeks will pay attention and respond. In addition to the forums where we are now, CrackBerry forums are popular too (I think there are fewer Canadians over there): BlackBerry Forums at CrackBerry.com
The International Roaming SIM Card, as I understand it, would be to use the phone overseas and I'd be billed directly on my Telus Mobility bill.
Correct. Here are a few tips:
- everything is billed by minute, not by second, so if you talk for 1 seconds you will be billed for one minute.
- if you can hear the phone ringing at the other end but decide to abort the call, there is no charge.
- if you get connected to voice mail of another Telus subscriber, but disconnect before the beep (for leaving the message), there is no charge. This is at least how it works with Bell Mobility voice mail, you would need to check it out on your own with Telus.
I don't make that many phone calls overseas and just pay Bell whatever they charge. Surprisingly, their bill is very transparent, all those charges are listed only in one place, so it's easy to figure out how much it really costs. If you intend to use the phone a lot, then checking third party SIM cards is definitely a good idea, although if you remove Telus SIM card you will most likely only get voice calls and text messaging, no data, or, at best, it will get complicated to set up everything to get data.
Also, if you do lots of overseas travel and don't need coverage in northern Canada (N.Ontario, N.Quebec, NWT, YT, NU), and in remote areas in the US, then why not switching to Rogers, their network is purely GSM, like 99% of the planet outside N.America.
One more thing about HSPA, I it's the standard supported but the latest version of iPhone: iPhone 3G S features 7.2 Mbps, AT&T's network doesn't | Phones | iPhone Central | Macworld
Bell and Telus upgraded some limited number of towers in a few metropolitan areas, eg. around Vancouver (because of the Olympics), which allowed them to start selling the iPhone, it was really hitting their bottom line, big shots in the corner office just couldn't stand Rogers having monopoly on the iPhone in Canada. Good luck trying to figure out from Bell, Telus or AT&T in which cities HSPA is actually available. Apparently, it is available in some cities in Europe, on this side of the pond we are just catching up.
This whole mess with GSM and CDMA can be traced back to the end of 1990s, when mobile networks started to grow fast, there were three competing standards (TDMA, CDMA and GSM) and it was time to make a commitment to one of those standards. Telus and Bell Mobility decided to embrace CDMA, at the time the most popular standard in the USA, and Rogers decided to take a gamble and went with GSM, which was getting popular in Europe.
CDMA was created by Qualcomm Inc, a text book example of a US company that couldn't look beyond N.American borders. They put all kinds of licencing obstacles in place, and wouldn't modify the standard so that it could be easier for the phones from different CDMA carriers to communicate with each other. In the end, carriers from other countries mostly decided to go with GSM. Many technical minds will tell you, that technologically, CDMA is actually superior, but who cares, when in practice it's only used in two big countries, USA and Canada. If you google this subject or use the search button on these forums you can get more info.
On a different note, I subscribed to this thread "Instant E-Mail Notification" and I'm not getting the e-mails whenever somebody replies. Is this a new issue?
No idea, I don't use this feature.