View Full Version : Still so confused!

05-30-2005, 12:52 PM
I hate to be a stupid newbie but apparently it's my day. I did search in the forums but still need help.

Here's my situation: I'm a travel journalist who spends a good deal of time outside the U.S. What I've done in the past is carry an unlocked tri-band phone and buy a local SIM in each country I visit. This works VERY well for phone service, but I've had to rely on internet cafes for email.

I don't care about "push mail," as long as I can download my own (me@<hidden>) email when I want to. I would like to buy a device that will allow me to use local SIMs for voice and access to mydomain.com email. Browsing google and Mapquest would be nice, too. Friends have recommended Blackberry but they use theirs in the US only. Will an unlocked Blackberry suit my needs? I'm getting quite desperate and want to make a purchase soon.


05-30-2005, 12:56 PM
In order to do any web browsing, Internet or E-mail, you must have a BlackBerry Data Plan associated with the SIM card. It is very difficult (read: impossible) to get local SIM cards in other countries (generally pay as you go) with BlackBerry service.

If you do not care about push e-mail, I'd suggest you look at something other than a BlackBerry, like a Treo or an iPaq. The BlackBerry will not suit you at all....

Just my .02

05-30-2005, 01:07 PM
Thank you! That's just the sort of information I was looking for. I would love to have a Blackberry ... they sound wonderful ... but I really need that portability when I'm traveling.

05-30-2005, 01:15 PM
Any Treo or iPaq on GSM will have the save cost of operation as a Blackberry outside the US and require pay as you go for data as well.

05-30-2005, 01:24 PM
Yes but my understanding is that I cannot use the Blackberry for data AT ALL internationally, with a local prepaid SIM?

05-30-2005, 01:46 PM
And you may/will have similar problems with a Treo or an iPaq. You may be able to get prepaid GPRS, but I am not sure how much money you will save.

Personally, and I travel outside of North America frequently, I use my T-Mobile US card in my BlackBerry, and carry a quad band GSM phone for local SIM cards. To me, I really need the reliable push e-mail.

05-30-2005, 01:48 PM
Yes but my understanding is that I cannot use the Blackberry for data AT ALL internationally, with a local prepaid SIM?

That's correct. Now, I do have to say that with T-Mobile (can't speak for Cingular, but I am sure that others here can), the data portion internationally is VERY cheap -- especially with how data efficient the Blackberry is. I find that one week of data internationally usually costs me around $10-15. That is pretty much just doing lots of e-mails -- no or minimal web browsing.

It might be cheaper for you to get the Blackberry and use your US SIM everywhere for data. Maybe a tad inconvenient but you can still use an unlocked GSM phone+local SIM for phone calls.

Just a thought...

05-30-2005, 01:56 PM
It is a good idea but the thought of packing 2 units and 2 chargers makes me crazy. BUT, am I correct in thinking that I could pop 2 SIMs in and out of the Blackberry ... a Tmobile one for data and a local one for voice?

05-30-2005, 02:08 PM
Yes. You could do that.
Good luck.

05-30-2005, 02:09 PM
I use my BB internationally with the $65/month Cingular unlimited (no joke!) data plan. Cingular BBs are quadband phones as well, if you want to pay the Cingular rates. My voice usage when abroad is 5 mins/day or less, and my data usage is a lot. This is working out very well for me.

The 7100 is only a bit larger than a normal candybar phone, and no heavier than the moto v400 I had before. It's the only phone I carry.

The rumor is that Cingular will unlock a BB if you've been with them a while. I'll do that experiment in early 2006, when I'm schedule to be in Hong Kong for 4--6 weeks.

No BB plan is cheap. If email is not your main app, or you want camera+mp3+ ..., you don't want a BlackBerry. During those times when I'm traveling internationally a lot, I pay $65 to Cingular and $20 to link2exchange each month in addition to my $30/month voice plan. If I'm not out of the country, my BB data plan drops to $45/month. It's worth it for me. YMMV.

05-30-2005, 02:56 PM
I have a camera and an iPod, am a Mac user, and don't mind looking at my emails again when I get home. Email's my primary app, voice second. I need a little calendar/to do app, but not too picky about which one.