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Old 06-05-2008, 03:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A work colleague is having a nightmare with Vodafone UK.

For two years he has had a Personal account with voice + BIS. He had his SIM provisioned for BES at no extra charge and, like me, has been using a US based Exchange Hosting service with no problems.

He recently changed his Voda voice tariff to one that advertised bundled "Unlimited Internet and Email" - all the UK carriers now offer similar plans.

Re-connecting to BIS was no problem, but then he couldn't do an Enterprise Activation because BES had been disabled in order to - according to Voda - "close a loophole", and the carrier now wanted UKP30 pcm to enable it.

He asked if it would make any difference if he migrated to a Business account - on Voda's website (but not in their brochure) they only bundle Internet and Email for Business users - but he was told it would make no difference to the monthly BES fee.

The rep in his local Voda store told him he was "lucky" this hadn't been spotted sooner. Well, I have a Business tariff with the same carrier and have been using Hosted Exchange happily for years - yet I feel I am under sentence of death if my "crime" is discovered, perhaps via an indiscreet post to BB Forums!

It all seems a bit flaky for the biggest cellular company on the planet. What's it like for others - Stateside for instance? Do you have double pricing standards for BIS and BES? Does it cost the carriers any more to administer a single BB user if he/she's hooked up to a Hosted Exchange service?

And if not, why would Voda want to so flagrantly screw its customers and perhaps price itself out of the market?
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Almost every BlackBerry compatible carrier on the planet has different pricing for BES and BIS data plans.
This is nothing unusual.
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by david_uk View Post

And if not, why would Voda want to so flagrantly screw its customers and perhaps price itself out of the market?
The don't david - the fact that your mate got BES service for 2 years without paying the list price for that service is his lucky day...

VF, O2, Orange & T-Mob all charge more for BES service - typically around 30 quid per month (ex VAT) wheres the BIS service is typically around 10 per month. Bear in mind that 75% of all shop/call centre droids wont understand the BES / BIS diffence so if you go 'mystery shopping' I'm sure you'll get more wrong answers to boot..

Given that in the majority of cases (say 90%) the BES users are businesses then the view is they can afford the 1 per month to provide mobile email and much much more to their users... bear in mind that if you only use the BB APN then you're not paying an extra for an bandwidth either...




I know it galls to be charged more, but he needs to either decide he can't live without BES and pony up or cut his losses and move back to BIS.
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Old 06-06-2008, 04:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bertiebassett View Post
I know it galls to be charged more, but he needs to either decide he can't live without BES and pony up or cut his losses and move back to BIS.
Fair enough. But you'd think the carriers would want to shout a bit louder about such a juicy revenue opportunity. For example, BES not mentioned at all as a device connection option on UK carriers' websites, only in the context of paying UKP2.5k for the back end.

Just asking for a bit more clarity...
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Fair enough. But you'd think the carriers would want to shout a bit louder about such a juicy revenue opportunity. For example, BES not mentioned at all as a device connection option on UK carriers' websites, only in the context of paying UKP2.5k for the back end.

Just asking for a bit more clarity...
UK mobile carriers are morons with respect to promoting BlackBerry services properly. AFAIK none of them really mention BES/enterprise solutions anywhere unless you ring some special "business" phone number and get bored to death by someone in sales, when you probably don't want any of the things they are trying to sell you (i.e. a BES server for 1000's. ;) I've never had any dealings with o2 as regards BES (a.k.a enterprise) but I know Vodafone won't enable enterprise on personal BlackBerry's as I did talk to them about it recently. I wouldn't waste my time with that network anyway.

T-Mobile UK charge 5p/m for BIS and when I spoke to their business support team almost two years ago I was able to have enterprise activated for an extra 5p/m totalling 10p/m for the two combined. On the paper bill it is called "BlackBerry Email Solution". A friend of mine has the same on his BlackBerry and got it by simply asking T-Mobile Business Support to "copy" what I had configured on my T-Mobile UK account. Another friend of mine wants to get a BlackBerry on T-Mobile UK once the Bold is out and I imagine he will also be able to get the same rate as me. To be on the safe side we'll be sure he checks with them first. AFAIK T-Mobile UK don't charge any more than 10p/m for enterprise, unless anyone else knows otherwise.

Orange UK charge 5.11p/m for unlimited BIS (new tariff) if you're on an 18 or 24 month contract. I originally managed to get enterprise added for free by fluke rather than the 35p/m they advertise it costing on their web site, when talking to various people at Orange. They briefly broke this a couple of months ago after I made an enquiry about a missing icon and it took me a day of complaining until someone put it back on for me because, I was told, I had been using it before so was now entitled to keep it. I've now learned my lesson and so won't ring up again about anything technical and have anyone meddle with my configurations. I even managed to activate two more BlackBerry's for enterprise but with only the new BIS tariff (I won't say how), but it's frowned upon officially. I use an outsourced BES service and I don't see why I should pay a silly 35p/m for enterprise activation. RIM may well charge more for BES data than BIS data but it's still a stupid price given how little 250Mb of data on Orange costs (about 6) which anyone could use with Wireless ActiveSync and AUTD 2.0. Also Orange UK list BES for 35p/m with 20Mb allowance but BIS is 5.11 with a 250Mb allowance. How can that ring true since if you have BES you also get BIS included, therefore shouldn't the BES data allowance be 270Mb?

Getting enterprise for free on Orange (well it's 5.11 for BIS with enterprise activated) is very difficult. Getting it for 10p/m on T-Mobile with BIS included seems a lot easier and this may actually be the correct price. That is why I recommend anyone wanting enterprise on a UK BlackBerry goes with T-Mobile UK because I know it's not difficult to get it activated and doesn't cost very much.

Ideally all of the networks would promote enterprise to all and be more open about their prices. Orange list the 35p/m fee together with a 2500 activation price for the BES licence I assume. T-Mobile don't mention enterprise anywhere AFAIK.

No network seems to consider that people may use outsourced BES providers or may already have a BES server. BlackBerry enterprise seems to have been considered a complete end to end service provisioned by the mobile networks until recently, so they've not opened up their prices to take account of emerging alternatives. This is probably due to them wanting to squeeze as much money out of it for as long as they can and also due to the right people at the networks not realising outsourced BES exists.

It is a pity that the networks don't make it easier for their customers to talk to the right people who work at the network and can make a difference.

Finally I really hope that me making this post doesn't eventually result in me getting any of my enterprise provisioning bu**gered up or I will be mad! Will i regret opening my mouth!

Last edited by classact : 06-07-2008 at 03:29 AM.
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Old 06-07-2008, 06:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by classact View Post
UK mobile carriers are morons with respect to promoting BlackBerry services properly. AFAIK none of them really mention BES/enterprise solutions anywhere unless you ring some special "business" phone number and get bored to death by someone in sales, when you probably don't want any of the things they are trying to sell you (i.e. a BES server for 1000's. ;) I've never had any dealings with o2 as regards BES (a.k.a enterprise) but I know Vodafone won't enable enterprise on personal BlackBerry's as I did talk to them about it recently. I wouldn't waste my time with that network anyway.

T-Mobile UK charge 5p/m for BIS and when I spoke to their business support team almost two years ago I was able to have enterprise activated for an extra 5p/m totalling 10p/m for the two combined. On the paper bill it is called "BlackBerry Email Solution". A friend of mine has the same on his BlackBerry and got it by simply asking T-Mobile Business Support to "copy" what I had configured on my T-Mobile UK account. Another friend of mine wants to get a BlackBerry on T-Mobile UK once the Bold is out and I imagine he will also be able to get the same rate as me. To be on the safe side we'll be sure he checks with them first. AFAIK T-Mobile UK don't charge any more than 10p/m for enterprise, unless anyone else knows otherwise.
Yeah, I am pating 10 pm for BES/BIS on T-mobile, plus 7-50 for web n walk (1 gig internet).

I must say though that I jumped through a lot of hoops when I first asked for it 18 months ago with T-mobile, talk about pillar and post!

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Old 06-07-2008, 07:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, I am pating 10 pm for BES/BIS on T-mobile, plus 7-50 for web n walk (1 gig internet).

I must say though that I jumped through a lot of hoops when I first asked for it 18 months ago with T-mobile, talk about pillar and post!

Mike
I've learnt that most first line people in network call centres don't usually know about BlackBerry services other than BIS. I now deal straight with the business or data support departments of the two networks I cited previously if I want anything other than basic BIS billing dealt with. When I asked for enterprise to be added on T-Mobile it did take a little bit of toing and froing before I found someone who understood what I wanted. The same was with Orange. As you probably found out, one just has to persevere and eventually you will be transferred to someone who is technically senior enough to understand it all. I'm happy where I am with the knowledge I have of the processes with both T-Mobile UK and Orange UK. I dread to think how I'd ever get into the same position, if I had to, with the other two networks!

On a side note, there is another thread on this forum discussing whether the 7.50 WnW extra is really required. I am wondering if it was simply offered to cover anyone using more than the original BlackBerry plan 50Mb fair usage allowance. T-Mobile's BlackBerry bundle is now unlimited so what is the need for WnW? I have three browser icons and both the WnW browser and MDS browser using BlackBerry IP addresses so I presume they use the BlackBerry data allowance. Unlike on other mobiles, such as Nokia, you aren't able to choose the access point you connect out with AFAIK so why wouldn't everything be covered by the BlackBerry allowance.

If I remember correctly, if you took T-Mobile Flext + WnW + BlackBerry email, you got a 5p/m discount which meant that WnW only really cost 2.50 after you factor in the cost of BlacBerry email at 5 and whatever your Flext tariff cost.

Last edited by classact : 06-07-2008 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Other than the fact that it's for "business" use, I don't see the rationale why BES should cost more. After all, I'm hosting my own BES server and mail infrastructure; how can a carrier claim that the packets "cost" more?

Drives me crazy...
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by legacyb4 View Post
Other than the fact that it's for "business" use, I don't see the rationale why BES should cost more. After all, I'm hosting my own BES server and mail infrastructure; how can a carrier claim that the packets "cost" more?

Drives me crazy...
Maybe not that packets costs more... but simply that there's a lot more of them.
With BES, you get such wireless features as full two-way PIM sync, backup, OTA software delivery, security management, IT policy, address lookup, etc.

There's simply a lot more to BES than there is to BIS.
Whether you actually use those features is not up to the carrier, but they're likely charging you for the potential of you using them.
From RIM/Carrier's side, there's a lot more to support... and support costs money.

You can't expect that the typical BIS user would demand the same level and quality of service as a BES user.
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by penguin3107 View Post
Maybe not that packets costs more... but simply that there's a lot more of them.
With BES, you get such wireless features as full two-way PIM sync, backup, OTA software delivery, security management, IT policy, address lookup, etc.

There's simply a lot more to BES than there is to BIS.
Whether you actually use those features is not up to the carrier, but they're likely charging you for the potential of you using them.
From RIM/Carrier's side, there's a lot more to support... and support costs money.

You can't expect that the typical BIS user would demand the same level and quality of service as a BES user.
I don't mind paying a bit more for BES than BIS. T-Mobile UK charge double for BES than they do for BIS and I pay that. Orange UK would charge me seven times more for BES than BIS. From what I have gathered most of the other UK networks charge similar for BES as Orange do. It's way too much when for ordinary data bundles, T-Mobile UK charge 7.50 for 1Gb "Web N Walk" and Orange charge 6.50 for 250Mb business data. If T-Mobile UK can afford to charge just 10 for BES (including BIS) I don't believe that RIM is charging inflated prices for BES. I suspect the networks are pricing it too high because they can get away with it, and because they "hide" it away on business only web pages and often require those interested to ring a special number for more information. Getting BES as a UK personal user isn't easy or sometimes possible with some networks.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classact View Post
I've learnt that most first line people in network call centres don't usually know about BlackBerry services other than BIS. I now deal straight with the business or data support departments of the two networks I cited previously if I want anything other than basic BIS billing dealt with. When I asked for enterprise to be added on T-Mobile it did take a little bit of toing and froing before I found someone who understood what I wanted. The same was with Orange. As you probably found out, one just has to persevere and eventually you will be transferred to someone who is technically senior enough to understand it all. I'm happy where I am with the knowledge I have of the processes with both T-Mobile UK and Orange UK. I dread to think how I'd ever get into the same position, if I had to, with the other two networks!

On a side note, there is another thread on this forum discussing whether the 7.50 WnW extra is really required. I am wondering if it was simply offered to cover anyone using more than the original BlackBerry plan 50Mb fair usage allowance. T-Mobile's BlackBerry bundle is now unlimited so what is the need for WnW? I have three browser icons and both the WnW browser and MDS browser using BlackBerry IP addresses so I presume they use the BlackBerry data allowance. Unlike on other mobiles, such as Nokia, you aren't able to choose the access point you connect out with AFAIK so why wouldn't everything be covered by the BlackBerry allowance.

If I remember correctly, if you took T-Mobile Flext + WnW + BlackBerry email, you got a 5p/m discount which meant that WnW only really cost 2.50 after you factor in the cost of BlacBerry email at 5 and whatever your Flext tariff cost.
That is the same costing that I signed up to about 20 months ago with T-Mobile. However at the time in the store I ended up with only BIS for 8 if I recall, the guys in the store new almost nothing about BES.
MAny calls later to TMO and I had BES on the account, for 10 instead of 8.

I'm currently trying to get my wife moved on to the BES but am starting to jump through the same fiery hoops that I did 20 months ago or so!

In fact the chap at TMO told my wife that what she had, BIS was superior to BES and she didnt need it? Anyway, next stage is to call them back and then put me on the phone.

AFAIK if you don't have the WnW bundle on the phone, then the BES service is 30 ppm or something silly? Not sure about this.

Also when I renewed my contract earlier this year with T-Mobile, I was not told that the WnWalk was reduced from 2gb to 1gb. Bit sneaky, however I still think that 1gb is a good amount for what I do.

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Old 09-07-2008, 07:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Post Solution to Corporate Provider Billing over charges

We are currently evaluating various corp provider billing statements and discovering various issues. Our lastest clients savings were in excess of $150,000 per year. This brings to question the current issues with IT departments up keeping of records on a company BES. I think its worth a few dollars to have an outside solutions company do an eval on current provider billing statements. ActiveOTA.com might be able to help you with savings.
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