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Old 06-22-2005, 08:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Using RIM's for Broadband laptop access

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I don't have a Blackberry, but I'm thinking of taking the plunge for work. I know people who have them, love them, but I had a question that would help persuade me to get one.

Thru my work cell plan, I can get a BB pretty cheap and monthly service as well. I would keep a seperate cell phone still, since most people I've spoke to who use their BB as their phone, they are very garbled and drop often. The service I'm looking at would be from VerizonWireless.

I would just get the BB for email wireless service, w/ no phone number tied to the device. If I were to do this I have 2 question.

1 - Can a BB in general be used as a broadband wireless device for a laptop? Can the BB be attached to the laptop via a USB or other method (Bluetooth?) and then be used as the wireless access point for web surfing etc w/ the laptop?

2 - If answer to #1 is yes, can this be done w/ a BB that doesn't have a phone # tied to it?
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Old 06-22-2005, 08:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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#1 yes it can be used and there are some great howto's on here to make that happen. It can't be used as a wireless AP.

I along with a few others at our company use the BB's on verizon for e-mail and phone and we have no problems with them dropping calls and the phone is clear. I'm in the IT department and can't get by without mine.
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Old 06-22-2005, 09:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audit
#1 yes it can be used and there are some great howto's on here to make that happen ...
I found the following thread, "HOWTO: BlackBerry As Modem For Laptop" a question thats comes from this is related to my #2 above,

Is the BB being used as a data modem and thus need a phone # assigned and using up minutes? OR are you using the BB network w/ UNLIMITED access time?

Of course, I'm looking for an unlimited usage, I can use my current Motorola phone as a modem, but I using up minutes, or I need to buy a digital data plan in addition to my voice plan. I think you can see what I'm trying to do here.
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Old 06-22-2005, 10:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spymonkey
Thru my work cell plan, I can get a BB pretty cheap and monthly service as well. I would keep a seperate cell phone still, since most people I've spoke to who use their BB as their phone, they are very garbled and drop often. The service I'm looking at would be from VerizonWireless.
I've never had this problem and I've used both a 7290 and a 7230 with T-Mobile. The carrier and coverage in your area are definitely going to affect performance.
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Has anyone been successful using a 7520 as a modem?
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takeshi
I've never had this problem and I've used both a 7290 and a 7230 with T-Mobile. The carrier and coverage in your area are definitely going to affect performance.
All I can say is I'm in sales and I live by the cell. I've spoke to numerous people in my company who use their BB w/ VzW service, and I can tell the minute I speak to them. It just sounds crappy. The service area in NYC metro, so we know VzW has the best service here, but I'm not happy w/ the voice quality when I speak w/ someone who is talking on a BB.
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Old 06-22-2005, 11:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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GSM (Cingular/TMobile) and CDMA (Verizon/Sprint) use different CODECs and transmission methods.

The GSM codec is designed around only transmitting certain tones and mouth shapes. In essence it hears a sound, determines the frequency and the shape of your mouth when you made the sound. That information is transmitted to the other phone which reassembles it and regenerates it. GSM can be prone to "hard handoffs" where the sound drops as the phone is kicked from one tower to another.

CDMA phones usually use the EVRC codec which is a variable bit rate codec but usually consumes about 8 kilobits per second. It can have a different sound than the GSM codec. In CDMA, the phone is allowed to make the decision to change towers resulting in a "soft handoff" where it can quickly change back if it doesn't like the connection. The problem with CDMA is when you are in a situation where 2 towers are giving equal quality signals and the phone doesn't really know what to do and will result in lower audio quality.

When all the GSM time slots are full (pretty hard actually) you can lose packets and get a choppy call.

With CDMA there are not fixed slots and "there's always room for one more" is part of the design, which can cause crowding. When there are a lot of data errors the EVRC codec will attempt to fill in the blanks and smooth over the corrupt data which adds a warbling sound sometimes.
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Last edited by stonent : 06-22-2005 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 06-23-2005, 11:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonent
GSM (Cingular/TMobile) and CDMA (Verizon/Sprint) use different CODECs and transmission methods ...
These codecs, do they only apply to the RIM devices? VzW phone service has always been the best in my area, never any complaints on the voice quality. So I'm guessing this is something specific to the BB service.
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Old 06-23-2005, 11:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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No, the codecs are set by the carrier.
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Old 06-25-2005, 07:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Broadband wireless is EVDO and that isn't supported by the Blackberry at this time. Rumor has it the Verizon Blackberry is hardware capable and a software upgrade this summer will enable the faster speed. You need a PC Card or teather to a EVDO phone. Blackberry is probably 1xrtt, much slower than broadband access but faster than GPRS.

Regards-Michael G.
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Old 06-25-2005, 08:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I've used a BlackBerry as a modem, but only for emergencies, just too slow in today's broadband world
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Old 06-30-2005, 09:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonent
No, the codecs are set by the carrier.
I should have made my question clearer, within Verizon, are these codecs only used for their RIM service? I'm wondering if for their regular phone service if they use other codecs, or no codecs at all.

This would explain why voice quality on the regular phones is great, but somethin less than that while talking on a BB device.
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