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Old 01-13-2010, 02:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Blackberry Service in Syria

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I've had a Blackberry for one year here in Damascus and haven't managed to get the service to work so far, the phune is unlocked so I can use it with the local carrier (Syriatel) which does not support blackberry services mainly for being a technology that doesn't comply with the US sanctions that we have here, however I can akso use another simcard that has the international roaming services of my venezuelan carrier activated, which works everywhere in the world but here.

Can somebody give me a hint here? I'm only interested in using the messenger to be in touch with my family and friends around the world, maybe there's a way using wifi but there are really very few hotspots in the city, I think I can even count them with one hand...

Many thanks,
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You need the BlackBerry service books from your carrier to make the BlackBerry features work. If your carrier doesn't support BlackBerrys they won't have those service books and you can only use the device for phone calls and SMS.

Take a peek at this for using a BB on a generic data plan: How to use BlackBerry on Generic Data Plan - BlackBerryFAQ
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The other important factor to remember is that even if you have 3G, EDGE, or GPRS service available and international roaming is active on your home network's SIM card, more than likely you still won't be able to connect to the BlackBerry network due to the restrictions in place. You definitely won't be able to connect with your Syriatel card.
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you Rambo and dc for your replies...would you know anything about the option of using wifi to connect to Blackberry msn (or any other)? some friends back in Venezuela told that it could be possible...I guess if not then I'll have to drive half an hour to the border to catch the Lebanese signal and be able to use the roaming from my Venezuelan simcard...the problem is that the Syrian signal doesn't disapear until exactly the middle of the 2 check points so I have to go through customs!!

Cheers,
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urrutiale View Post
Thank you Rambo and dc for your replies...would you know anything about the option of using wifi to connect to Blackberry msn (or any other)? some friends back in Venezuela told that it could be possible...I guess if not then I'll have to drive half an hour to the border to catch the Lebanese signal and be able to use the roaming from my Venezuelan simcard...the problem is that the Syrian signal doesn't disapear until exactly the middle of the 2 check points so I have to go through customs!!

Cheers,
You could possibly use WiFi, but your device still has to build a tunnel to the BlackBerry network, and I imagine that they will disallow Syrian IP addresses to connect. What you really need to do is to set up a hardware VPN back to Venezuela from your home or work Internet. You can then attach a WiFi router to that connection, and when your BlackBerry connects through that, the BlackBerry core will think you are connecting from Venezuela.

In the mean time, Lebanon is probably your best bet for getting service. Unfortunately though, as you mentioned, you usually have to get into the country to link up. They use directional antennas on the borders of countries to reduce the signal bleed into the other country. They do the same thing here in North America between the US, Canada, and Mexico.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That's a lot of work to get a connection in one place only. Perhaps the OP would be better served with a Nokia phone? Heresy, I know. But the right tool for the right job.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo47 View Post
That's a lot of work to get a connection in one place only. Perhaps the OP would be better served with a Nokia phone? Heresy, I know. But the right tool for the right job.
No, I'm with you there.
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thx again guys...I already have a VPN account to be able to access some sites restricted here with my computer, u think I can use that with the phone too? also what do u mean by OP? Nokia is the most used phone overhere but as far as I know they only can access internet with it...sorry but I'm kind of a beginner in all this...cheers
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urrutiale View Post
Thx again guys...I already have a VPN account to be able to access some sites restricted here with my computer, u think I can use that with the phone too? also what do u mean by OP? Nokia is the most used phone overhere but as far as I know they only can access internet with it...sorry but I'm kind of a beginner in all this...cheers
OP = Original Poster, in this case, you.

Having a VPN client on your computer is not the same as what I suggested. I think my suggestion is far too advanced for you, so don't worry about it.

With a Nokia E-Series, if you can get on the Internet, you should be able to get your e-mail.
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Old 01-17-2010, 10:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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hello not from far
can you get any wap services ?
if you can you can ask me i will help you to get mails in your device!!!
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thx for your replies dc and Ohad, wap service for blackberries apparently is not provided by Syriatel, I've been to their offices a couple of times to request it and they say that they don't now how to configure my phone, which is a Storm 2...I guess they will say the same for any blackberry... don't know if I have to give them some kind of books or phone manuals to see what they can do...don't speak arabic so didn't understand that much...cheers
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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hello not from far
You have another possible alternative.
click the 'manage connections' icon, and select 'manual network selection mode'
your mobile is going to search for all networks in range.
You will most probably receive 'TOUCH' or 'ALFA', if you do, the solution is to take a taxi cab to the Lebanon and purchase a plan (or pre-paid card) with either operator. Blackberry services is $9 a month. Although everybody is tri-lingual there, French/English/lebanese, you will commonly find someone fluent in Spanish as well, to help you.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geolab View Post
hello not from far
You have another possible alternative.
click the 'manage connections' icon, and select 'manual network selection mode'
your mobile is going to search for all networks in range.
You will most probably receive 'TOUCH' or 'ALFA', if you do, the solution is to take a taxi cab to the Lebanon and purchase a plan (or pre-paid card) with either operator. Blackberry services is $9 a month. Although everybody is tri-lingual there, French/English/lebanese, you will commonly find someone fluent in Spanish as well, to help you.
That still won't help the OP when they go back to Damascus.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thx for your help Geolab but as I explained above I already have an international service (including a blackberry plan) from my venezuelan carrier which I have used with no problems in US, Europe and even in Lebanon!, the thing is here in Damascus (where I work & live) when I go to manual mode here the phone only catch syrian networks (2G&3G Syriatel and 2G&3G MSN) which don't support blackberry services, the lebanese networks are only caught after I cross the syrian border...cheers
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