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Old 11-16-2007, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default S.E. Asia- bringing unlocked pearl/ 2 sims

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I'm going to Thailand and S.E. Asia in a day. I'm Canadian and looking at buying an unlocked Pearl to put on a month to month plan. But, also i want to buy a SIM card when i'm there for the cheap calling. (i was going to switch back and forth like someone else had written)

So, the plan will be with Rogers, of course.

What i'm wondering, mostly is if i can be sure that these unlocked pearls operate on the right frequency for Thailand and S.E. Asia. I was reading about some of them being tri-band and not quad-band and perhaps wouldn't work so well over there.

How can i find out if this unlocked Pearl will work well for me over there?

Would there be a better chance of good reception if i went with a rogers- locked one and just accepted the high roaming charges for calls?

If i sign up an unlocked rogers phone on month to month, does it become locked? or can i still use a Thai pre-paid S.I.M?

Finally all these unlocked Pearls that i see on Ebay and Craigs list for 250-300$, are they all refurbished and does that mean they may not be as good quality?

i think that is all the info i need.

your help is appreciated.

Byron
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Byron, be wary of buying off eBay or Craig's list. You can get a good one, but follow this advice:
Buying a BlackBerry off eBay - BlackBerryFAQ

And unlocking information:
How do I unlock my BlackBerry? - BlackBerryFAQ

A BlackBerry once unlocked, always unlocked.

Another user here will have to tell us about which carrier, etc.

Welcome to the BBForums!
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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All of Asia on GSM uses either the 900 or 1800 bands, so your Pearl should work fine. Reception will depend on the carrier. For example, in Hong Kong, there are 6 GSM carriers. Smartone probably has the best reception in HK and if Rogers roaming partner is Smartone, it will be good as well. You could of course just as easily buy a prepaid Smartone SIM and save a few bucks. Of course to do that though, your Pearl would have to be SIM unlocked.
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Old 01-28-2008, 08:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have been severely disappointed in my experience arriving in Thailand hoping to use my 8100 Pearl with a local data plan. I bought it in Canada over a Nokia on the advice of a salesman who pushed the Blackberry as a superior product, even when I told him I needed to use it in Thailand. Now in Bangkok I have scoured the stores, and later the Internet, only to find that Blackberrys need a "postpaid" service account sponsored by a Thai resident. The generic phone card SIMs and plans do not work with Blackberry for data, just phone service only.

My last hope is the that the advice regarding generic data plans available on this forum's FAQ page can somehow work with the Thai providers even though so far they say they can't supply data service to foreign Blackberry users. Meanwhile I get by by switching between the local SIM card (1-2-Call) for cheap phone use, and my Rogers SIM card if I need mobile email access.

I may as well mention the other big peeve I have: that in Hawaii I was thrilled to have email access in a remote area ... but today read somewhere on the Net that I can expect to be charged for continuous roaming charges from the Blackberry "pinging" its server in the background for much of 3 weeks ...
:OOOOOOOOO
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yup. Be sure to do your research first. If you need data then using a local prepaid SIM won't help. You'll only get voice service.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.8 [en] (Windows NT 5.0; U) BlackBerry8320/4.2.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nowick
I have been severely disappointed in my experience arriving in Thailand hoping to use my 8100 Pearl with a local data plan. I bought it in Canada over a Nokia on the advice of a salesman who pushed the Blackberry as a superior product, even when I told him I needed to use it in Thailand. Now in Bangkok I have scoured the stores, and later the Internet, only to find that Blackberrys need a "postpaid" service account sponsored by a Thai resident. The generic phone card SIMs and plans do not work with Blackberry for data, just phone service only.

My last hope is the that the advice regarding generic data plans available on this forum's FAQ page can somehow work with the Thai providers even though so far they say they can't supply data service to foreign Blackberry users. Meanwhile I get by by switching between the local SIM card (1-2-Call) for cheap phone use, and my Rogers SIM card if I need mobile email access.

I may as well mention the other big peeve I have: that in Hawaii I was thrilled to have email access in a remote area ... but today read somewhere on the Net that I can expect to be charged for continuous roaming charges from the Blackberry "pinging" its server in the background for much of 3 weeks ...
:OOOOOOOOO
Edit: See below for updated info.

Last edited by monkeypaw : 10-24-2008 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Might as well update this a bit.

AIS Thailand provides Blackberry service, and the service books download automatically on even a prepaid SIM card. But probably for only models they sell, click "View All" here: Nokia & BlackBerry

So, although BB mail does not work on a prepaid SIM, the BB Browser does work and even tethering of a PC. The APN if you want to use Opera Mini, or the Google Apps is "wap" without the quotes.

To tether, I think the only differences are the phone number is "*99***2#" and the Extra Initialization Command is different. I thought it was "AT+CGDCONT=2,IP,internet", but looking at the settings I was using for 2 weeks, I have nothing in there. Any username or password works.

By the way, Google Maps will show your location in Thailand by hitting 0, but names are in Thai script. But searches in English worked just fine, although I tried only hotels and shopping centers, not addresses.

Previously I had used 2 normal AIS One-2-Call SIM cards which charged data by the minute, not by quantity. Can't remember the rate, but it was slightly cheaper than an internet shop and more secure since you're using your own laptop computer, or the browser on the phone. Although at EDGE speeds.

But, if you go to a Telewiz store, you can get an AIS One-2-Call netSim. These have extremely good monthly internet rates, again by time and not quantity of data. 20 hours is $3, 50 hours is $6, 100 hours is $10.50, and 250 hours is $14.70. Plus with every package was some extra time. I think 15 hours extra, but didn't write it down. The SIM itself cost $1.50. For voice time, just add regular refill cards.

Usage is very fair. It doesn't seem to round up to a minute for example and just bills the actual time.
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