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Old 05-06-2006, 03:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mailstreet BES in Hong Kong

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Am currently with Three in Hong Kong on a BIS plan. Am struggling to get Mailstreet functioning with my BB here.

The Three blackberry team seems woefully ignorant of these issues, and I'm looking for the magic words to carefully dictate what needs to be done (if anything can indeed be done without switching carriers).

Any help on the following specifics would be appreciated, as well as extra thoughts, brainstorms:

My setup: 8700g, HK CSL 4.1 (un-vendored) OS

1. Current plan: BIS ("Blackberry for Individuals") and GPRS. Can I connect to the mailstreet BES with this package?

2. OTA Enterprise Activation with mailstreet fails (times out with just "Activating..."). Is this a sign I need a corporate account?

3. Do I need to have Three "release my pin"?

Many thanks for any thoughts or help. I am slowly going insane with this, but won't give up till it's working...
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Old 05-07-2006, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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An old posting on Mailstreet's Support database:

===============
[MSKB9] Unable to use Blackberry in Asia or Hong Kong Would you like to...

Problem: You are unable to send or receive data/email from your blackberry while in Hong Kong or other parts of Asia.

Resolution: None. Unfortunately, Blackberry coverage in Hong Kong and other parts of asia is effectively blocked in this region to local users in the People's Republic of China. You must connect to a local Blackberry Enterprise Server and will not be able to use MailStreet's Blackberry service in this region. There is no work around for this.

===========

Check with Mailstreet since this item has been in their database for over 12 months and the situation may have changed -- but you may be blocked unless you use a Hong Kong-based BES (at least that's the way I read this).
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Solved for now... but stay away from Three!

After reading what felt like every possible post on BlackberryForums (thanks for this great site!) I called up Three. Here's what happened. I've summarized, but this is really how the conversation progressed.

Three Hong Kong: Immediate denial that this was technically feasible. 'technically impossible'

Me: Baloney. I've read up on this. It's possible.

Three: Nope, impossible.

Me: No. Really.

(repeat, lather, rinse, about 10 minutes)

Three: (sounding very annoyed that I'm requesting a potentially more lucrative service from them) Ok, it's possible, but we won't do it.

Me: So what are you saying? That I have to find a different carrier in Hong Kong that will do this? You are willing to lose me as a customer rather than open this service up? Wouldn't this end up being more data revenue for you, as well as probably a high cost service in general?

Three: Yes, but you'll have to switch carriers.

Me: Can I have your manager?

Three: Uh... they'll call you. In three days.

(I get the manager's name, I write an email and wait)

(three days later...)

(nothing)

(I call back. It's late evening Saturday night. Unbelievably, I get someone in the blackberry team)

Three: We were just about to call you back. Honest.

Me: Uh-huh.

Three: (grudgingly, clearly unhappy) Ok, we will allow this special exception. But you are on your own and it probably won't work and you'll be sorry. Here are your new expensive rates (within what I expected)

Result? I'm now happily using the so-far excellent Mailstreet service, syncing with it wirelessly, using iCal, Mail.app, and Address Book all nicely synced up with it as well. Lovely.

However, this has been one of the worst among my service experiences with a Hong Kong telecom. Here I am, a high value customer (through data plan usage alone, not to mention BB etc.) asking to pay them more money for a service that will probably result in more revenue for them anyhow (I'm not going to switch to buying a full BES server from them as an individual, so it's not a lost sale for them). Despite what seems like a great deal for them, they try to first completely mislead me and then proceed to ignore my request until I again pester them at which point they agree to do so through gritted teeth. What a dissapointment.

I'd be curious to hear how other HK users have fared with CSL or Vodafone. In a market with such commoditized service offerings, I don't feel like sticking with Three when they handled this so poorly. Plus they are only GPRS, not even EDGE!

An aside: Mailstreet support is pretty amazing. I've had good, complete, and helpful responses from them on all points. Excellent.
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Anyone try using TMO with unlimited international data with a US based BES and roam in Hong Kong? Do they block your communication with US based BES if you are on roaming?

Or do they just block Hong Kong users from subscribing to non-Asian based BES?
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aau007
Anyone try using TMO with unlimited international data with a US based BES and roam in Hong Kong? Do they block your communication with US based BES if you are on roaming?

Or do they just block Hong Kong users from subscribing to non-Asian based BES?
Yes I have roamed in HK using TMO unlimited international plan and works with my company BES. No blocking was noticed.
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abstract Trances
After reading what felt like every possible post on BlackberryForums (thanks for this great site!) I called up Three. Here's what happened. I've summarized, but this is really how the conversation progressed.

Three Hong Kong: Immediate denial that this was technically feasible. 'technically impossible'

Me: Baloney. I've read up on this. It's possible.

Three: Nope, impossible.

Me: No. Really.

(repeat, lather, rinse, about 10 minutes)

Three: (sounding very annoyed that I'm requesting a potentially more lucrative service from them) Ok, it's possible, but we won't do it.

Me: So what are you saying? That I have to find a different carrier in Hong Kong that will do this? You are willing to lose me as a customer rather than open this service up? Wouldn't this end up being more data revenue for you, as well as probably a high cost service in general?

Three: Yes, but you'll have to switch carriers.

Me: Can I have your manager?

Three: Uh... they'll call you. In three days.

(I get the manager's name, I write an email and wait)

(three days later...)

(nothing)

(I call back. It's late evening Saturday night. Unbelievably, I get someone in the blackberry team)

Three: We were just about to call you back. Honest.

Me: Uh-huh.

Three: (grudgingly, clearly unhappy) Ok, we will allow this special exception. But you are on your own and it probably won't work and you'll be sorry. Here are your new expensive rates (within what I expected)

Result? I'm now happily using the so-far excellent Mailstreet service, syncing with it wirelessly, using iCal, Mail.app, and Address Book all nicely synced up with it as well. Lovely.

However, this has been one of the worst among my service experiences with a Hong Kong telecom. Here I am, a high value customer (through data plan usage alone, not to mention BB etc.) asking to pay them more money for a service that will probably result in more revenue for them anyhow (I'm not going to switch to buying a full BES server from them as an individual, so it's not a lost sale for them). Despite what seems like a great deal for them, they try to first completely mislead me and then proceed to ignore my request until I again pester them at which point they agree to do so through gritted teeth. What a dissapointment.

I'd be curious to hear how other HK users have fared with CSL or Vodafone. In a market with such commoditized service offerings, I don't feel like sticking with Three when they handled this so poorly. Plus they are only GPRS, not even EDGE!

An aside: Mailstreet support is pretty amazing. I've had good, complete, and helpful responses from them on all points. Excellent.
Sorry about your experience with 3. I would switch to HKCSL. They are more expensive and for a good reason. I have services from HKCSL and 3 and they are like day and nite! 3 is a virtual company and have outsourced all their operation to vendors. Unfortunately this has lead to low moral at 3 and their service has subsequently suffered.
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Old 05-07-2006, 11:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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aau007: Haven't noticed any blocking when friends/colleagues come to town with their blackberries.

RFGuy: Thanks for the suggestion. I've contacted CSL and they immediately offered a "yes, absolutely possible" and are putting together a package now.

I'll have to break a year-contract with Three (which I'm part way into), but depending on what my total monthly Three charges would be over the next several months compared to the CSL charges, I would still happily do this if it means better, faster customer service.
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