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Old 08-29-2004, 05:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[Edit by Mark Rejhon: Please note, this post was based on outdated information. Some of the information in this post is not possible on most carriers.]

Doing research.

I have discovered few number of people are doing a "Bring Your Own Access" technique to get Blackberry email on prepaid SIM cards and other cellphone plans. This appears to be possible on other carriers.

1. Your SIM does not need to be Blackberry provisioned.
2. Your SIM card MUST have a GPRS data plan (preferably unlimited)
3. You must buy a 3rd party BES/MDS hosting service (starts at $10 per month)
4. You will get NO BWC.
5. Your push email will come from an Exchange mailbox instead rather than BWC.
6. You do, get access to Internet apps such as WebMessenger.

This is a technique that makes Blackberry email on Fido possible, as well as on other cellphone networks not equipped for Blackberry; as long as they have full GPRS data capability.

I need to hear from more other people who are using Blackberry in this particular manner.
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Old 08-29-2004, 07:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ok....let me make sure I get this right (because if I'm understanding you correctly, this is amazing!).

If I get my BB unlocked from Rogers and then slide in my Fido SIM card (with no changes to the card), I could get the same instant email (push) functionality as I'm currently getting? My current setup is I have an Exchange server that is set to automatically forward my email to my BWC. If I sign up for Mailstreet, how would it work - I would forward my Exchange to a mailstreet email address and it would then push it to my device? If I don't have a BWC account, how are they sending the email?

Is there anybody out there is currently doing this that can attest to how well the system works?
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Old 08-29-2004, 08:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's why I posted this message -- since this technique appears to work in certain cases (i.e. one user here uses a plain AT&T phone plan without a Blackberry plan. They get no access to AT&T BWC but has no problems with BES/MDS).

I am trying to collect information on users doing this "Bring Your Own Access" technique so that a FAQ can be made, or that my BES/MDS Hosting FAQ can be extended to include this information.
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Old 08-29-2004, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Good Research Mark

We should create some sort of registry for this.
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Old 08-29-2004, 08:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Gothalyptic's post about him using a non-Blackberry plan and it successfully with BES/MDS was the impetus of me starting research on this, and this is why I post this message to solicit more users who are using "Bring Your Own Access" technique with the Blackberry, because, apparently, it does work in certian cases. I am trying to research under which cases this works.

Perhaps it only works with existing carriers that already enables the Blackberry APN even on their non-Blackberry plans. Fido is supposedly a special case since they did enable the Blackberry APN but never commercialized it.

Also, with international roaming, sometimes I am able to roam my Blackberry onto cellphone companies that doesn't even offer Blackberry, yet my Blackberry email works. What happens in these cases? Maybe they added access to the APN because of their roaming relationships?

It does need to be tested out: Which carriers allows generic access to Blackberry's own network? Does the configurable APN in the TCP/IP setup in Options on BlackberryOS 4.0 allow bypassing the need to use a Blackberry-specific APN?

Questions that need to be answered in the course of testing and experimenting, and existing users' experiences.
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Old 08-29-2004, 09:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mark, you are an extremely valuable resource!

Does anyone know if any of the 3rd party BES providers offer a 'free trial' of their service?
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Old 08-29-2004, 11:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Another interesting idea that popped up is -- carrier politics. The question is, do they consider it cheating. On RIMROAD, I got mentioned that this could be cheating. To this, I responded:
Quote:
American online had something called "Bring Your Own Access" (BYOA) whereupon you used another ISP in order to access American Online. Other BYOA concepts are similiar, such as providing your own Internet infrastructure for your own telephone line (Voice over Internet - VoIP). This is no different, in technical terms. So technically (rather than politically/competitively) this is NOT considered cheating as you are still paying the carrier for the data connection. However, for political or competitive reasons, you may be right about cheating if that is the general stance of the carriers. (Can anyone else confirm this?)

Blackberry actually uses less bandwidth than a Treo 600 or a PocketPC phone, so any cheap unlimited plan loopholes would hurt the carriers less than if the person was using the other phones. It is definitely unclear to an outsider whether this is really cheating, since the carrier doesn't provide access to BWC and thus isn't paying the expense for BWC -- just an Internet connection that connects to a third party provider -- and RIM still gains by the sale of the BES/MDS licenses used for BES/MDS hosting. And you're still paid up for bandwidth.

Also, technically, RIM could theoretically allow Blackberry data connectivity to work over any Internet-enabled APN (simply tunnelling Blackberry functionality over a standard Internet connection). That would mean the server component would be moved upstream somewhat, and be just a generic IP address accessible in a data plan, rather than an APN, and thus you would just use any TCP/IP link to get to the Blackberry server. But of course, for profit-model and the viability of Blackberry reasons, it may not have been designed that way.

However, the carriers need to be involved -- and RIM needs to have a viable business model that the carriers like -- and carriers need to see a profit in offering the BlackBerry. So that argument is valid. This could nullify the ability to BYOA on a BlackBerry. For carrier politics / competitive reasons, they may consider it cheating -- I'd like to confirm from insiders if possible. Either way, I would like to hear more opinions from others (especially from someone who knows more about carriers). It's possible different carriers have a different opinion on this.

And we have to respect our wonderful company Research In Motion for their innovation on Blackberry, we just don't know their specific stand on the BYOA concept. RIM wins either way (sales of BES servers), but we've got to consider the carriers, and RIM being nice to carriers, and RIM successfully growing because of carriers providing Blackberry services.

That is why I posted an inquiry -- to get any kind of information about this. This is not for myself but for my FAQ. I am not switching from my Rogers Blackberry plan, but I would like to update my BES/MDS FAQ document if this turned out to, indeed, be a legitimate way to get Blackberry working on carriers that do not currently support the Blackberry (the main intention). It can provide the impetus, for example, for certain carriers to finally offer the BlackBerry if a few users were using BYOA on the Blackberry successfully even though they don't offer the Blackberry yet (i.e. Fido).
Information about this would be greatly appreciated. It is a valid question: Is Blackberry "BYOA" considered cheating from the carrier viewpoint?
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Further information that I have received from Aquiname on RIMROAD indicates a potential trespassing issue with the BYOA concept -- because you still have to go through a carrier-side Blackberry gateway even before you reach a BWC server or a BES server. This is the usual hierarchy for the push email.
Quote:
Blackberry ->
Carrier-side Blackberry gateway (Blackberry APN) ->
Carrier-side Blackberry Web Client
If you decided to try to bypass the BWC server by BYOA (Bring Your Own Access) with a third party BES service, you still end up with:
Quote:
Blackberry ->
Carrier-side Blackberry gateway (Blackberry APN) ->
Internet-side Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES/MDS Hosting service)
As a result, it seems like one would now be trespassing a carrier-side Blackberry gateway when one attempted BYOA (Bring Your Own Access). It also indicates Blackberry functionality is likely not possible on networks that don't have a Blackberry-specific gateway, although technically RIM could make Blackberry work (albiet less reliably) over non-Blackberry gateways due to problems with varying IP addresses and the connectionless protocol that Blackberry uses for push email.

Another question is why Blackberry sometimes work on some cell networks that don't even support Blackberry. This is probably because of special cases where the network has set up a Blackberry gateway, but not deployed Blackberries. It would seem that this would probably be considered 'trespassing' by the carrier themselves, even when connecting to a third-party BES server.

It would be really nice to hear an official word from RIM themselves to clarify.
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Newer technologies such as iDEN network (Nextel) which allow static IP addresses and some 3G systems support incoming addressability (i.e. static IP addresses, etc) that makes push email much easier without requiring a Blackberry specific gateway. So it is possible that BYOA won't be a can of worms, for those people who choose to BYOA, and carriers/RIM is far more likely to not mind because of the clear BYOA distinction since both would still profit either way.
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Old 09-01-2004, 02:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Are there any 3rd party BES providers that integrate with your own Exchange account?
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Old 09-01-2004, 04:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This topic isn't finished.

There's a good roaring bonfire in these RIMROAD threads:
BYOA (Bring Your Own Access) -- Blackberry on cellphone networks without Blackberry, Page 2
BYOA (Bring Your Own Access) -- Blackberry on cellphone networks without Blackberry, Page 3

I will copy any possibly interesting information into this thread. I am tempted to invite these forum members over here to continue the interesting debate about this subject, but we don't want to scare new users away with a damburst of technical information, when BlackberryClub is already starting to be a firehose of information flow!
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Mark, I currently have a Sony T-610 which I use as a GPRS Bluetooth modem for my IPAQ 1945 and Toshiba Laptop with D-Link Bluetooth adapter. I am considering upgrading to the Blackberry 7100t or the 7230 with T-Mobile in Atlanta. I currently have the ability to forward my emails because I use Fastmail.fm to collect all my emails. I use their wonderful webmail interface, and can even use it quite well on the PPC. I just really miss my keyboard like I use to have on my old Treo 90. They have a forwarding service in their "rules" options to send the complete message, summary, etc. Right now I send a summary email, as a text message to my tmomail.net address on my phone. This let's me know within seconds if I have an email. I receive faxes online and am notified the same way. I am concerned however, about losing the full "HTML" web experience I now have by switching to Blackberry. I believe there are at least 2 options for me to consider. 1) Use the Blackberry Web Client to manage my emails, (My company will not be running BES anytime soon) and hope the full internet portal is open to surf the web with the ReqWireless WebViewer. 2) Keep my GPRS Internet with T-Mobile and forward my emails to an address on the phone. This will enable "Full" intenet, but I'm not sure if the Blackberry will be able to configure the email client correctly. I would like to keep the T-610 to use as a modem for my laptop this way. Thanks for posting this thread. I hope you can enable more users of the ubiquitous Blackberry.
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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As one post stated... this will probably only work with Fido as they are the test network for all the RIM employees. This is probably one of the only carriers that has a connection to the RIM NOC and doesn't offer blackberry service to it's customers. I think i'll try this shortly to see if it works.

Cheers,
Andrew
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Old 10-25-2004, 07:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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has anyone gotten a unlocked gsm blackberry to work on fido for sure with a prepaid sim?
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 11-10-2004, 03:17 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 11-13-2004, 12:24 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:26 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berryapps
As one post stated... this will probably only work with Fido as they are the test network for all the RIM employees. This is probably one of the only carriers that has a connection to the RIM NOC and doesn't offer blackberry service to it's customers. I think i'll try this shortly to see if it works.

Cheers,
Andrew
Have you gotten this to work? What about getting fido to provision your sim's profile with the blackberry.net APN?
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