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antoniodlp 05-21-2010 07:53 PM

Please help me understand data plans (Iusacell)
Hi! First post and fist time BlackBerry user.

I've got an 8350 Curve. I've had it for three days and it is awesome.

My carrier is Iusacell, a mexican company; but please bear with me I am in genuine confusion.

My plan allows for "500MB of 3G", that's how they call it.

Issue is this: I've got mixed messages from the sales people because, in my experience, that these people never actually know what they're talking about and most of them don't even have a data plan so they repeat what they understood from what they've been told. Not much help at all!
  1. "You can browse and do anything without limit using your BlackBerry. The 500MB cap applies to tethering only"
  2. "There is no limit on the amount of "BIS which includes emails, IM, and 'social networking stuff'"; but any kind of browsing is limited to 500 MB, including tethering"
  3. "Everything is capped at 500 MB except for BIS"

I just chose to go for it and get the 500 MB plan.

A friend of mine has a 300 MB plan and says he's never went over in 6 months. He maybe doesn't use it that much.

Now here are the questions:
  1. Which of those 3 versions makes any sense to you or is like a plan you know?
  2. From experimenting I've noticed that browsing goes through a "BIS" proxy. I undestand then that navigation is a BIS service too thus not within what they call the "3G" service?
  3. I bought IM+, have the GMail app, Google Maps with Latitude and Opera. Are these apps within what salesman called "BIS which includes emails, IM, and 'social networking stuff'"?
  4. Is 500 MB too little? I browse daily but not a lot and I'm constantly connected to GMail and IM+ with 3 or 4 accounts and use Google Maps often because I like the novelty.

Actually I'm just trying to use it as much as I can to see when I'll reach the cap and figure it out; just not using tethering at all yet. My carrier has a website where I can see how much I've transferred but I think it's unreliable: it says I've used 15 MB in two days and I downloaded two podcasts of 19 each to begin with.

Anyway. Hope some of you takes interest in my questions and thank you very much.

rambo47 05-21-2010 09:34 PM

1. Any one of those could be the truth. What does your contract say?
2. Without a BlackBerry data plan you won't get any BlackBerry data services. Email, built-in web browser, BBM, Facebook, etc. If they don't offer BlackBerry data plans and use a proxy of some kind instead, you may never get these services.
3. Google Maps is BlackBerry data. The stand alone GMail app is not, nor is Opera Mini. Dunno about IM+.
4. Only you will know how much data you use on a regular basis. Streaming radio uses a ton of data. I use between 90MB and 120MB per month myself. Your usage patterns could be different.

antoniodlp 05-21-2010 09:54 PM


Thank you for your reply.

I think I need a lawyer to interpret the contract. There is literally a full page of small writing and actually nothing clear about what is and what is not "data". In fact it doesn't even mention the 500 MB limit.

The only BIS/data related sentence is "Public mail (BIS) Synchronization of up to 10 accounts public email in BlackBerry hardware (Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.)" (translated from spanish).

Is there a way to tell what kind of data an app is using, Blackberry or other? Or should I investigate in forums? I mean i.e. how do you know Maps is BlackBerry data?

Also regarding the proxy thing. If I go to What Is My IP Address - Shows Your IP Address from my BlackBerry I see this:

Possible Proxy Detected:
BISB_3.5.1.48, 1.1

Which to me it means that the data is being proxied through server in the BlackBerry network... I don't know what it means for me and my cryptic contract though.

Sorry, this is all too much fun!

rambo47 05-22-2010 09:29 AM

That sounds like BlackBerry BIS. All map apps will use BIS data to download maps on the fly as they're needed. BlackBerrys generally do not cache maps to use later.

Email pushed onto your BB is BIS data. MMS messages are as well, but some carriers charge a fee for each MMS or SMS message. Not for email. Text (SMS) messages go over the cellular radio connection just like phone calls and use no data at all.

Here's a little primer on using a BlackBerry without a BlackBerry data plan. It should answer some questions about what is BB data and what's not: How to use BlackBerry on Generic Data Plan - BlackBerryFAQ

dc/dc 05-22-2010 10:40 AM

Please be aware that you will NOT get any 3G service with the 8350i as it is an iDEN device, and there is no 3G path for iDEN networks.

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