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Old 02-11-2008, 02:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sprint 8830 (International) GSM Problem

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I have searched and cannot find anything regarding this post however if there is something that I am missing please close this thread and direct me to the right place.

I recently traveled to Amsterdam, NH and experienced a problem with my Sprint 8830. I called Sprint in advance and authorized internation roaming, checked rates on the SIM they provide and had them verify that my SIM was unlocked. I was told that all should go as expected and if I use my Sprint SIM than calls are $1.29 a minute, SMS are $.29 (if it will work, the rep said coverage is spotty at best) and data will not work.

When I got off the plane in AMS I turned the phone to GSM only and disabled data. The coverage indicator turned red when it picked up ANY of the available GSM networks with the SIM that Sprint ships with. I attempted to make a call and the phone started to dial emergency services which I canceled immed. I went into one of the many local cell phone shops and asked to test a working SIM before I purchased an international one (which they willingly provided for me to test with) and I got the same problem.

I called Sprint as soon as I returned and they told me that don't really support International GSM usage and that I was out of luck. They could not provide me with any additional help in the matter.

I am traveling to Paris in a matter of weeks and was curious if anyone here had an idea as to what was occuring. I plan on taking an old international enabled RAZR (yuck!) just in case it is needed. Thank you for any help.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chadswhitney View Post
I have searched and cannot find anything regarding this post however if there is something that I am missing please close this thread and direct me to the right place.

I recently traveled to Amsterdam, NH and experienced a problem with my Sprint 8830. I called Sprint in advance and authorized internation roaming, checked rates on the SIM they provide and had them verify that my SIM was unlocked. I was told that all should go as expected and if I use my Sprint SIM than calls are $1.29 a minute, SMS are $.29 (if it will work, the rep said coverage is spotty at best) and data will not work.

When I got off the plane in AMS I turned the phone to GSM only and disabled data. The coverage indicator turned red when it picked up ANY of the available GSM networks with the SIM that Sprint ships with. I attempted to make a call and the phone started to dial emergency services which I canceled immed. I went into one of the many local cell phone shops and asked to test a working SIM before I purchased an international one (which they willingly provided for me to test with) and I got the same problem.

I called Sprint as soon as I returned and they told me that don't really support International GSM usage and that I was out of luck. They could not provide me with any additional help in the matter.

I am traveling to Paris in a matter of weeks and was curious if anyone here had an idea as to what was occuring. I plan on taking an old international enabled RAZR (yuck!) just in case it is needed. Thank you for any help.
I had some problems in London that were similar to yours, but they went away when I scanned for GSM networks and selected a specific network. I would also recommend that you contact the International Department at Sprint directly, because they may have better information. That number is 888-226-7212. Good luck.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I spoke with an International rep yesterday afternoon and was told... "Sprint currently offers no Blackberry that will function outside the US. Thank you for calling Sprint." Sprint's support is abysmal. I will try back this afternoon and hopefully get a rep who is educated on the phone selection they offer.

I attepted the 4 available networks when I was in Amsterdam and received the same problem when attempting to connect to each one.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chadswhitney View Post
I spoke with an International rep yesterday afternoon and was told... "Sprint currently offers no Blackberry that will function outside the US. Thank you for calling Sprint." Sprint's support is abysmal. I will try back this afternoon and hopefully get a rep who is educated on the phone selection they offer.

I attepted the 4 available networks when I was in Amsterdam and received the same problem when attempting to connect to each one.
Sprint certainly has a bad rep. for their service, although my experiences have largely been positive -- my worst experience did pertain to international travel with the BB. Maybe that's because I'm on a (small) business account.

If I had to guess, I'd say that your SIM was never really activated, or you have a defective SIM. It doesn't sound defective because it apparently was successful in attempting to dial emergency numbers. I had called before going abroad and it was supposedly activated. I ended up having to call from London and have them work on it from there, at which point the situation was resolved.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You have to check with Sprint and the foreign service provider if there's roaming agreements/facilities in place/available between them... if you can't get a definitive and confident answer, then there's probably not. . .

Personally, T-mobile has worked well for our international travel needs... whether on a GSM-equipped cruise ship out in the Atlantic ocean (@$4.99/min, ouch) or in the Aussie outbacks... as long as there's a GSM tower to hit, TMO roaming connects. . .

Last edited by crisambo : 02-13-2008 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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....was told... "Sprint currently offers no Blackberry that will function outside the US. Thank you for calling Sprint." ...
I love it! How about that absolutely, postively wrong info straight from the carrier. Long live BlackberryForums!
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well you have to activate roaming on the Sprint network here in the US since the provisioning occurs here. Its best to give it AT LEAST a week before traveling. International Roaming is the site with more information. There is also a link there to show the countries where the sprint SIM will work and what services you will get there
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I called Sprint and activated roaming before I left, I verifired that Sprint has roaming agreements with carriers in the Netherlands, Paris and London and I cleared them to allow any additional charges that are associated with international roaming ($1.29 a minute, $.29 texts). I prepared about three weeks in advance for the trip.

I went to the Sprint Corporate store in Overland Park, KS this afternoon to speak to them directly about the problem. They were fully aware that Sprint offers international roaming (and has a GSM capiable phone). When checking my account information, everything came up as being ready to use. They took my phone to the service area where they found that the SIM was not activated when I origianlly purchased the phone. It took them less than 5 minutes to discover the problem and resolve it effectively. I spent a total of 10 minutes in the store. If anyone here lives in the KC area and has problems I would highly reccomend them making the trip to the store on the campus as this is the third I have been and gotten excellent service each time.

@Crisambo - My friend who was with me has a European Nokia N95 running on T-Mobile. He used his phone numerous times for voice and data all without issue. He was able to download an Amsterdam (several meg) within seconds. I completely agree, T-Mobiles international coverage is spot on.

Thank you everyone for your help. As always your comments were very useful.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Good. I'm pretty sure that you will now have good voice and, if you have requested it, data services on your next trip. I've had good luck in Europe with my 8830 -- will find out soon about India. (Mumbai should be OK, but Delhi may be the [data] problem.)
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This has been an interesting thread. I am planning a trip to Amsterdamn in March and was thinking of using my 8830 from Sprint there as well. I know that I have to activate my SIM for my phone to work in Amsterdam. If I want to receive emails I need to pay for the Sprint Int'l data plan as well. What I am wondering from user "djim2" is if he was able to use the GPS and BB maps while in Europe with the Sprint 8830.

Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Patrick - I would reccomend calling Sprint International Services (From US - 1.888.226.7212, Collect International - +1.817.698.4199). They will activate international roaming on your account, should be able to check your SIM and give you any further advice on rates, costs, etc. If you don't mind (and if you think of it agian) can you send me a PM with how the service worked? I plan on making a trip back to that area in the near future.
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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welcome to the forums patrick. make sure to activate international roaming several days before your trip, just to be sure. Whats being recommended to Sprint reps is to activate international roaming on every 8830 they sell. it doesnt matter if the user ever travels or not, its a free service that needs to provision on the Sprint CDMA network before the trip
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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[...] I've had good luck in Europe with my 8830 -- will find out soon about India. (Mumbai should be OK, but Delhi may be the [data] problem.)
I was in both cities last year and data worked for me (via Airtel I believe)
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by patrick271999 View Post
This has been an interesting thread. I am planning a trip to Amsterdamn in March and was thinking of using my 8830 from Sprint there as well. I know that I have to activate my SIM for my phone to work in Amsterdam. If I want to receive emails I need to pay for the Sprint Int'l data plan as well. What I am wondering from user "djim2" is if he was able to use the GPS and BB maps while in Europe with the Sprint 8830.

Thanks.
GPS did not work -- was not even recognized on the BB. Curiously, however, BB Maps would work in manual mode. By this I mean I could key in an address and get directions, etc., but this did not use the GPS in any way, shape or form.
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I was in both cities last year and data worked for me (via Airtel I believe)
I hope it works for me in Delhi. Sprint coverage map (as of a few weeks ago) said that Delhi had voice but no data services available through its partners. We'll see. (And I've noted in the trip planner to try to log on via Airtel.)
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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FYI to All Sprint 8830 owners... your BB's GSM-bands are unlocked when shipped so you can actually use local SIM cards at your travel destination where they use GSM 900/1800mhz . . .
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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FYI to All Sprint 8830 owners... your BB's GSM-bands are unlocked when shipped so you can actually use local SIM cards at your travel destination where they use GSM 900/1800mhz . . .
Very true, but if you want data services, you will need the Sprint SIM and an International data plan. Unless, of course, you want to swap the SIMs in and out as you shift from voice to data and back again.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:05 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Very true, but if you want data services, you will need the Sprint SIM and an International data plan. Unless, of course, you want to swap the SIMs in and out as you shift from voice to data and back again.
If you mean blackberry data service, then yes you need the Sprint International SIM. However, it may be possible to pull data via GPRS with the local SIM card. . .
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:03 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well my trip is March 19 and that is when I will test my Sprint 8830 in Amsterdam. I will be testing the following features with the plan of buying the international data service before hand and have international roaming enabled:
- BB maps
- BB maps with GPS
- BB maps with local search
- email
- calendar updates
- contact updates
- mobile broadband (phone as dial-up modem feature)
- internet browser

I will post my results when I return from my trip.

Thanks guys.
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Old 02-21-2008, 05:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick271999 View Post
Well my trip is March 19 and that is when I will test my Sprint 8830 in Amsterdam. I will be testing the following features with the plan of buying the international data service before hand and have international roaming enabled:
- BB maps
- BB maps with GPS
- BB maps with local search
- email
- calendar updates
- contact updates
- mobile broadband (phone as dial-up modem feature)- internet browser

I will post my results when I return from my trip.

Thanks guys.

FYI I believe phone as modem is an extra charge over and above the "standard" international data plan.
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