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Old 08-03-2008, 01:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default SIM card Blackberry Provisioning: the real deal

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Hi guys, I would like to ask any inputs from the experts (you) about SIM card provisioning and what is the real deal behind it. Is it really necessary, etc, etc..

my scenario:
I have a Blackberry Enterprise server with more than a hundred users all over the world (yes, we have users from Asia, Africa, Middle east, Europe and some America). We are based in the Philippines.

Okay, so for local users in our country, our providers offer a post paid Blackberry plan which includes:

- phone calls, SMS (the basic package)
- data access via GPRS/EDGE or 3G (phone unit dependent)
- Blackberry Enterprise Service (BES) and/or BIS Provisioning for the SIM and the phone (?)

Okay, so now the first two things above, I can perfectly understand, the third item, well, is quite vague.

What I know is they do something from their side (provisioning) to enable your SIM card to BES/BIS or both. Right?

So here are my questions:

- Is this really necessary? Do your providers offer you the same?
- How will you know from your side as a Blackberry administrator that your (or your client's) SIM card is already provisioned for BES and/or BIS (service book?)
- Does this entail additional charges from your provider (the provisioning) over the fixed plan's monthly charges?
- The handheld unit needs BES/BIS provisioning too?
- what about if, say, a user from country A (using a SIM card and a handheld from country A) roams to country B will the provisioning back in country A by the user's provider still be applicable- or will the SIM card need re-provisioning? (in my experiences, so far, with the Philippines' providers we didn't have to request the provider to re-provision, as longa s GPRS works in that country where the user roams, then it's all good.


Any more inputs about provisioning?


Thanks!!!

Last edited by cyberkamote : 08-03-2008 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Its all about the level of blackberry service. The sim card and device can change once a week if you like, just call in the numbers. There should be no charge for using your devices or current sims (as long as they are the same provider you are going through)

Most carriers offer a BIS or a BES plan. The BIS plan gets you data and the ability to attach a gmail, hotmail ect type account.

Make sure they understand you will be putting your devices on an enterprise that has a BES. And specify you need the BES option. It is usually more expensive, as 99% of people that do this option pass the expense to their employer.

You donxxx8217;t need to do anything with the devices, or shouldnxxx8217;t be charged for something I should say.

Help at all? I donxxx8217;t deal with the service much, as its a procurement duty, but when they order 100 devices with BIS service because it was cheaper, I get involved because I cant add them to the BES and you wont know until you try and activate it on the server and it just sits there...
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Last edited by danedel : 08-03-2008 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberkamote View Post
- Is this really necessary? Do your providers offer you the same?
Absolutely. Try switching a BB with a BES data plan to a BIS data plan or a "regular" data plan. You'll quickly find how necessary it is. The BB requires access to the BB APN which is only granted with a BB data plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberkamote View Post
- How will you know from your side as a Blackberry administrator that your (or your client's) SIM card is already provisioned for BES and/or BIS (service book?)
See above. A BB that doesn't have a BB data plan will display lowercase gprs or edge by the signal meter. It may also say "Data Connection Refused" across the top. If you don't have a BES data plan for a BES device then you won't be able to activate it. Basically, things don't work wihtout the right data plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberkamote View Post
- Does this entail additional charges from your provider (the provisioning) over the fixed plan's monthly charges?
Can you restate this question? It doesn't make sense to me. Are you asking if a BB data plan costs more than a standard data plan? Are you asking if the data plan is in addition to the voice plan? Or something else entirely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberkamote View Post
- The handheld unit needs BES/BIS provisioning too?
"Provisioning" generally refers to what the carrier does on their end. In short, no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberkamote View Post
- what about if, say, a user from country A (using a SIM card and a handheld from country A) roams to country B will the provisioning back in country A by the user's provider still be applicable- or will the SIM card need re-provisioning? (in my experiences, so far, with the Philippines' providers we didn't have to request the provider to re-provision, as longa s GPRS works in that country where the user roams, then it's all good.
No matter what, the SIM card does not need re-provisioning. Coverage in country B really depends on the carrier, the data services that they offer, etc. In other words, if the BB doesn't work in country B then re-provisioning won't help.

Last edited by takeshi : 08-04-2008 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 08-04-2008, 12:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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wow! Thanks a lot Takeshi, regarding my 3rd question, it's okay , it doesn't matter, I figured that BB data plan here in our country entails an additional cost over the standard call+SMS+data plan.

But one of the most impirtant question I made was my 2nd question. Is it possible that I have capital letter GPRS but then the provisioning is not active or set yet? Is there any way that I can see the provisioning status in the service books menu in the handheld?

Also, I am hoping to get a point of view of people who works for the carrier/provider: Is it possible for provisioning to be dropped from the carrier's end? (if for example provisioning has been set and the BB is already activated, then all of a sudden BB does not work because of the provisioning dropping or something..)
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danedel View Post
Its all about the level of blackberry service. The sim card and device can change once a week if you like, just call in the numbers. There should be no charge for using your devices or current sims (as long as they are the same provider you are going through)

Most carriers offer a BIS or a BES plan. The BIS plan gets you data and the ability to attach a gmail, hotmail ect type account.

Make sure they understand you will be putting your devices on an enterprise that has a BES. And specify you need the BES option. It is usually more expensive, as 99% of people that do this option pass the expense to their employer.

You donít need to do anything with the devices, or shouldnít be charged for something I should say.

Help at all? I donít deal with the service much, as its a procurement duty, but when they order 100 devices with BIS service because it was cheaper, I get involved because I cant add them to the BES and you wont know until you try and activate it on the server and it just sits there...
Hey Danedel, thanks too.

By the way what was the most common error you get when you try to activate (in BES) some SIM that was wrongly provisioned (to BIS) is it this error
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