Ok so i'm getting the hang of this BB stuff - I'm readin' and readin' and readin'!
From what Iv'e read, you need a BES server with MDS in order ot use most IP-based software for the BB, including other browsers, IM, etc.
If you don't have a BES server in a corp. environment (I'm the IT Director for a school district, no chance for BES here!) I'd need a provider like blackberry.us to provide MDS services, correct? Do any of you use these services and NOT use wireless services, or do you usually use both your wireless provider service and piggyback a MDS service on it?
You need the wireless service regardless. You need to be registered to the blackberry network, AT&T and everyone else sets you up. If I remember from another thread you use AT&T. You'd need to pay the 39.99 for 4mb blackberry plan, or the 49.99 unlimited blackberry plan, if you also use the BB for voice, you will need to add that voice plan. I use the 49.99 myself, for unlimited data on the blackberry network.
Once you have that established, you need to get a service such as myblackberry.us which I also use, it's an extra 10 per month, grand total of 59.99 a month just for data. the BES/MDS (myblackberry.us) allows to you use IM, and other IP based software, as you stated.
Short answer: You still require wireless service. Just not a voice service.
its not so much a piggy back, but a value added service that is adjacent to the connectivity provided by the carrier. large telcos generally are too large to provide specialized services, and myblackbbery.us is an example of a service provider that enhances what the carrier is providing. we all sort of wish that the big telcos will give us everything we need for one low price but they're just not gonna do it, damn them i say. thus its really nice when ppl do as myblackberry.us have done and setup a service that makes it possible to use these devices as they should be.
The real browser is already part of the BlackBerry, it's just hidden if you don't have MDS service. (You may want to try to use the RBRO trick which MAY allow you to enable the full web browser without needing to get MDS).
However, for other Internet applications, you do need to add the MDS feature to get 100% full Internet capability on the Berry itself. (at least until the carriers finally deploy 4.0 infrastructure).
Once 4.0 is deployed by the carriers there should be no more need for BES for 'real' internet access right? Since 4.0 provides a proper TCP/IP stack. I just want to get that straight - I don't want to put money into a BES service until i get that straight.
I can't wait - just got my 7280 yesterday and I really want all the features 4.0 can provide without using BES. Although as more people in my company start using blackberrys i may be able to justify paying $1k for the software.