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johnsharrington 08-17-2006 10:53 AM

Blackberry in Thailand
 
I am travelling abroad to Thailand this fall and I want to purchase a handheld to use for accessing my Gmail account, browse the web, and make and receive phone calls. I would like to use a Thailand based sim card to keep the cost down. (also, there is not a GSM provider in my hometown.. I am on Verizon)

I can live without the web if it means I will be saving on the cost of the device and the service.

I have not owned or used a blackberry device before. Can somebody offer me advice on where I should begin?

Through minimal research I determined that I need an unlocked gsm blackberry. I have found the 7290 to be relatively inexpensive and most seem to be unlocked. I am considering purchasing one, however, I don't want to get to Thailand and find out I went about this all wrong. Any suggestions?

finch 08-17-2006 11:33 AM

Your best bet if your going with an unlocked GSM BB is to check with the GSM carriers available to you eg Cingular, TMo and check out their roaming agreements, Based on that you can move forward. When purchasing do your homework and be certain the past user has deactivated their PIN/IMEI, the unit is indeed unlocked and there are no IT Policies.
Quote:

Originally Posted by johnsharrington
I am travelling abroad to Thailand this fall and I want to purchase a handheld to use for accessing my Gmail account, browse the web, and make and receive phone calls. I would like to use a Thailand based sim card to keep the cost down. (also, there is not a GSM provider in my hometown.. I am on Verizon)

I can live without the web if it means I will be saving on the cost of the device and the service.

I have not owned or used a blackberry device before. Can somebody offer me advice on where I should begin?

Through minimal research I determined that I need an unlocked gsm blackberry. I have found the 7290 to be relatively inexpensive and most seem to be unlocked. I am considering purchasing one, however, I don't want to get to Thailand and find out I went about this all wrong. Any suggestions?


johnsharrington 08-17-2006 12:16 PM

I am not planning on roaming with a US carrier. I am planning to buy a local (Thailand) sim card when I arrive in Thailand for use on a Thailand based service provider. (probably "True" which was formerly Orange)

supafli20 08-17-2006 11:35 PM

then you need to make sure that the phone operates on the band used in thailand. for example, the 8700g is a quad band phone so it is a good bet that it would work. its the only one i know about since i'm new to the BB community but i'm sure there is more, you just need to research it a little

NJBlackBerry 08-17-2006 11:38 PM

The 7100, 7105, 7130c, 7290 or 8700 will work fine there.

However, with a local (Thai) SIM card, all you will most likely get is voice and SMS text. Unless you can find a local carrier with a BlackBerry Data Plan, you will be out of luck.

Without a BlackBerry Data Plan on the acoxxxx/SIM, the BB will be limited. You may want to investigate a GSM/GPRS phone which can do your GMail.

carl rifkind 08-18-2006 12:41 AM

Hi,

I too am visiting Thailand and Southeast Asia this fall and this is what I'm planning to do with my GMAIL account and my 7290 from Cingular...

*Using BIS2.0 services I'm currently synchronized with GMail via Stinsondog's integration guidelines.

*Cingular has unlocked my device, so a foreign SIM chip will work. I'm going to deactivate the voice services w/ Cingular so all calls go directly to voicemail and by doing this I won't incur any int'l voice roaming charges for missed calls.

*Have the Int'l Unlimited data plan so email/data services will work while abroad for no additional cost. The little research I've done, it's difficult to get a prepaid SIM plan with data coverage, so I might just have to switch between my Cingular SIM card and foreign card for voice. Sounds like a pain I know, especially since these java based machines take a long time to reboot but if you can have a real cheap local number, and free data with the Cingular SIM, it might not work out too bad.

So, I'm gonna give this a try for a little while and see if it all works out. Worst off, I can always disable or minimize the Cingular account completely since I'm leaving for 6 months.

Please let us know on this thread if you learn anything to be different or discover a better method.

Best of luck and more importantly safe travels!

infernox 08-20-2006 09:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carl rifkind
*Cingular has unlocked my device, so a foreign SIM chip will work. I'm going to deactivate the voice services w/ Cingular so all calls go directly to voicemail and by doing this I won't incur any int'l voice roaming charges for missed calls.

Can you get charged for not answering a call?

carl rifkind 09-05-2006 11:24 PM

Wirelessly posted (RIM BlackBerry 7290, 4.1OS: BlackBerry7290/4.1.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

Yes, you can be charged by your provider while roaming internationally and your phone rings and no one answers the call. Call has to be routed int'l, then back to the states for voicemail. This reality totally sucks.

By the way, I've been working with switching between my cingular unlimited GPRS data services and a local number via new sim chip here in New Zealand- other than the hassle of switching sim chips when I want to change servicves, its waaaaaay more cost effective. Here, the carriers only incrementally charge for every second used after the first minute. Not like Cingular who charges by rounding up to the minute. The 'swapping' works since Vodafone NZ charges rediculously high for GPRS use but is cheap for voice so I'm getting the best of both but the drawback is of course is the inconvienience of switching chips.

Maybe there's a more simple solution solution out there? Thought I saw a couple posts here from folks who figured out a way to use a special modification that could utilize mutiple sim chips- but my BlackBerry™ 7290 stuggles as is.


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