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Old 02-15-2009, 07:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm thinking about sending a 8900 to my brother in Iraq and I would like to hear if anyone has current experience with using a BB over there? The base he is on has wifi coverage so he could use the UMA function of T-mobile. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated....
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I read a few other posts here from persons who used their BB in Iraq. I don't recall if UMA was mentioned.

Have you done a search of the Forum here on "iraq"?
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yup, in fact I did it several times just to cover myself. There is almost no information available. Somebody mentioned about using sms for a 2 year period but that isn't what I'm looking for.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted

I've used mine in Iraq. I only have an 8100 but the data part works well in the larger cities.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Great thanks for that info. He's in Bagdad so I'm thinking there would be coverage there.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (bb8320TMO)

The problem with base wifi is that it may not have the needed ports open for UMA.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have the 8320. Last time I was in Iraq I had great UMA coverage - then the base changed service providers and lost UMA. I am currently back in Iraq and still no UMA. It will depend upon who the service provider is and from what I have seen most bases block UMA and have a very slow wifi connection. I would bet he would be out of luck.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ok, thanks for the info. I'm currently going through Japan with the 8900 and the UMA worked for a day and then stopped. If I switch to my 8230 it starts working so there are still issues.

You're still getting good data coverage on the base, right?
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Stewsan, I'd like to give you a definitive answer here.

First, please thank your brother for me from the bottom of my heart. I am a civilian, but I have worked in Iraq and Afghanistan (recently), and I sincerely appreciate everything that he and the United States Military is doing there.

Onto the 8900... There are two aspects here to be aware of. First, he should have very good service in all areas of Baghdad on the cellular network (roaming on Iraqna or Asiacell). This is not the case throughout the country. I had terrible service at Joint Base Balad (aka Balad Air Base or LSA Anaconda) early last year. Second, he MUST, I repeat MUST be using T-Mobile service if he hopes to use UMA service at all. This will NOT work if he tries to use an Iraqna or Asiacell SIM card in the phone. With this, though, there are two issues that arise. One is that very high roaming charges will result when UMA is not used ($2.99/min.). The other is that not all routers or ISPs will permit the VoIP traffic used by UMA, so even though he has WiFi access, he may not get UMA service. It cannot hurt to try though.

The key points to remember are that T-Mobile USA BlackBerry service is a must, and UMA still may not work.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you very much, that clarifies the current situation. He is already using T-mobile and I figured, as you mentioned, it couldn't hurt to try a blackberry with UMA. Maybe it will work sometimes, which will save him on the huge roaming fees he is paying now. I'll send him the info you provided about the areas of coverage.
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewsan View Post
Thank you very much, that clarifies the current situation. He is already using T-mobile and I figured, as you mentioned, it couldn't hurt to try a blackberry with UMA. Maybe it will work sometimes, which will save him on the huge roaming fees he is paying now. I'll send him the info you provided about the areas of coverage.
You're welcome. I'm experienced in roaming.

Please make sure that he swaps to a BB plan if he doesn't have one yet.

A side advantage of this will be that he will get his e-mail for free over WiFi.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That would be a big plus. Thank you.
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