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Old 09-24-2008, 12:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sprint 8830 - what's best way to get voice, email and web in Europe?

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About to buy my first BB (pls be gentle...), live in USA and will need to use it in Europe 20% of time (mainly UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, France and Italy). Reading a lot of good stuff about the Sprint 8830 and about to purchase. I see I can buy a 3rd party SIM for cheaper calling but I also read that BB email is disabled when I do that. Can I still surf the Web and use Google Maps on a 3rd party SIM? I'm assuming that if I use the default Sprint SIM card, I can access voice, email, web and GPS but from the comments here the Sprint Intl calling and data plan must be very expensive.

Sprint 8830 is $219 after rebates. I can get a T-Mobile 8700G for only $99 and know it works great all over Europe, but having used a corporate version of that for 2 years, the USA voice quality has been, well, lousy. So I'd rather go Sprint.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have used the 8830 in each of those countries. Personally I have always used the Sprint supplied SIM with their international data plan because I wanted the push email. I also wanted to allow my clients the option to call me, if necessary, even though the phone calls were something like $1.29/minute. My opinion is that the data plan isn't too bad, but the calls are expensive. Sprinty will let you turn the international data plan on and off, as needed for your travels.

However, your GPS will not work abroad; why I am not sure. I know it doesn't with the Sprint SIM and I would be absolutely stunned if it worked with a foreign SIM. BB Maps worked if you manually keyed in addresses; I would guess that Google Maps would function the same way.

Can you get the web with a foreign SIM? I believe so, if that SIM has a vanilla data plan associated with it.

Oh, and welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, djm2, for both the advice and the welcome. Now that I'll be running my own business, I care more deeply about the cost of those phone calls! But I will need the push email feature there. Could I swap SIMs in and out as needed? I.E. - when it's time to call home or to call back the client.

Bummer on the GPS. Thought I could save the GPS car rental fee. My current 8700G lacks GPS but I've gotten by in London, Amsterdam, Zurich, Munich, Konstanz and Paris just using it as a map with directions.

Another concern - how is the Tech Support access for Sprint in Europe? I know Verizon is very strong due to Vodafone and T-Mobile is great there.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockiesRanger View Post
Thanks, djm2, for both the advice and the welcome. Now that I'll be running my own business, I care more deeply about the cost of those phone calls! But I will need the push email feature there. Could I swap SIMs in and out as needed? I.E. - when it's time to call home or to call back the client.

Bummer on the GPS. Thought I could save the GPS car rental fee. My current 8700G lacks GPS but I've gotten by in London, Amsterdam, Zurich, Munich, Konstanz and Paris just using it as a map with directions.

Another concern - how is the Tech Support access for Sprint in Europe? I know Verizon is very strong due to Vodafone and T-Mobile is great there.
Yes, swapping SIMs is an option. A bit of a pain in the butt, but doable.

You can get the maps and view those. I too was disappointed in not having the GPS while abroad.

Tech support can be a bit of an issue. The big thing that you need to make sure of is that they activate the SIM before you leave and that they get it properly provisioned for international use. The international department (888-226-7212) can help with this, and you should make sure to guarantee that they have everything in place. My first time over they had activated the SIM but not properly provisioned it, I believe, and that required an expensive long distance call on a UK land line. I would suggest calling in and activating a few weeks before your first trip, and then checking back to make sure that it is properly provisioned.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djm2 View Post
...

However, your GPS will not work abroad; why I am not sure. I know it doesn't with the Sprint SIM and I would be absolutely stunned if it worked with a foreign SIM. BB Maps worked if you manually keyed in addresses; I would guess that Google Maps would function the same way.
.....
I am fairly certain that is because GPS signals use by GPS's in the states use different satellites (ones over the US for obvious reasons) and can not track any over other countries.
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