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Old 04-01-2008, 09:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Baraboo, WI
Model: 8830
PIN: 32CC212F
Carrier: US Cellular
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Default US Cellular 8830 GPS problem

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I have been having problems with the GPS on my 8830 with US Cellular. This is what I have discovered so far:

This is what I think I know:
1. The BlackBerry 8830 (and 8130) has an asynchronous GPS chipset, which means they should be able to get GPS data just using the GPS satellites.
2. The BlackBerry GPS also uses aGPS which means that they can use cell phone tower information to speed up the process.
3. A coworker at my place of employment contacted his business rep for US Cellular. My coworker was told that the GPS on the BlackBerrys used to work because they would connect to the US Cellular "My Navigator" service for the aGPS. US Cellular recently disabled this connection for BlackBerrys because they couldn't find a way to charge extra for it.
4. Installing Garmin for BlackBerry did not fix my problem. I tried a 30-day free trial but it wouldn't work - it couldn't find the satellites.
5. Installing Telenav on my 8830 fixes the problem. Telenav has a 30-day free trial, but you must provide a credit card and cancel before the 30 days is up to prevent being charged $9.95 per month. I installed Telenav yesterday. Now using BlackBerry Maps, and any other GPS enabled program, I get locks on satellites within 10-15 seconds. And when it does find a lock, it keeps it for a long time.
6. I uninstalled Telenav and GPS with BlackBerry Maps still works. I did not call and cancel my subscription yet.
7. Alltel users report that installing Telenav makes the GPS work for them also. Some have reported cancelling and GPS still works.

Here is what I do not know:
1. If the BlackBerry has asynchronous GPS, why doesn't it find the satellites in about a minute or so? How come if I try and use BlackBerry maps, the first time I load it, if I wait and wait it will time out in about 15 minutes without finding a satellite? But if I close it and restart it about 5-8 times it will find satellites. But then it will lose them again shortly after that. I don't know.
2. What did Telenav do to enable the aGPS? Did it configure (provision?) a server somewhere in the BB settings? I don't know.
3. If I cancel my Telenav account will it disable my account on this aGPS server? I don't know.
4. Google Maps has been able to guess my location using cell phone towers ever since the my location beta came out. This sounds like the information that would be needed for aGPS. Why can't other BlackBerry GPS applications use this data for the aGPS? I don't know.
5. Why would US Cellular need to charge me more when the BlackBerry is advertised as having GPS capabilities built-in and I'm already paying $39.95 per month for the data services? (Nevermind, I think I know why - $$$)

So for now, my GPS is working.
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