To The OP sorry to thread jack but we did answer.
Yes the majority of people on my BBM List seem to have smileys. I deal with it. Does not cause too big of a problem.
I think my UMA to EDGE issue is partially because of my location. I have little to no T-Mobile service here. When I leave the house and drop off of UMA I go to Searching.... then usually No Service. I think my issue would be reduced if I at least had a signal it could drop over to.