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Old 08-05-2007, 01:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Sprint 8830: International Data - Central America > Panama - GPRS??

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Hi everyone,
I am considering getting the 8830 from sprint with the intl data plan. I am currently a treo user but I am considering switching to the BB for the intl data (and nice other features) but the data is my key need. I am moving to Panama and need data in Panama 9 months out of the year and 3 months in the US. Then also would be nice to have the intl data for other countries I may visit. I need data access at all times and I like to travel so intl data devise would be a huge stress reliever.

ANYWAY... I need some things cleared up about the devise and GSM and GPRS as my research and info from sprint conflict a bit.

So if you go to this page:
Sprint Panama Coverage

You can see under "phones you can use" it lists the BB 8830, then under services it lists GPRS Data.

Now I know that it supports only the 900/1800 GSM but is that independent of the GPRS? is the GPRS restricted to the GSM band? Sprint Intl said no.. but looking for further verification.

Looks to me like Panama is on the 850 band:
Panama GSM

Now when I talked to sprint they said they were told the phone will work in all but like 7 countries in the world.. now "work" doesn't mean data will work. I'm having trouble finding an example where a country does not have CDMA or 900/1800GSM seems like everyone has one or the other. So then the sprint internatainal page can say that the 8830 does work in all these countries however it doesn't say if data will be available. So again like in panama the GSM in not compatible but does that mean the GPRS will not work? or are the independent?

Also am I allowed to get the Data plan without a voice plan? Sprint Intl said I must have a voice plan but in store they said no voice needed.

Also I saw in another thread about moving up and down from domestic to Intl data plan. It would be ideal if when I was in the states if I could go down to the domestic plan. Any consensus on this?

Finally if anyone has any other suggestions for INTL data plans that would work better / be cheaper etc I would really appreciate it. 9 months in panama and 3 months in the us per year is the plan.

Thanks for everyone's help!
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Whew...I am confused too. It looks to me like, based upon what you have posted, there is only 850 GSM in Panama. That means that GPRS and GSM (data and voice) will not work, since the 8830 is only 900/1800 ass you point out.

There is CDMA voice coverage (apparently) so your 8830 should work off that service. Whether or not Sprint has any data roaming agreements with whatever CDMA provider(s) exists in Panama, I have no idea.

I think you should be able to add the int'l plan then go back to domestic when you return, just keep in mind every time you go back to the int'l data plan you will need to renew your contract for an additional year.
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well on Sprint's chart it says PCS e-mail, PCS Voice, PCS web browsing in countries that they have a data agreement with on CDMA. (Like Canada)

So then I guess that would indicate voice would be available but not data (which is what I need) in Canada. That is if we are 100% positive that the GPRS data is dependent on the GSM band. If this is the case, the INTL data plan will most likely NOT work in most countries in this hemisphere.

However this is all speculation at this point. Any further comments??
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Old 08-05-2007, 10:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If im not mistaken, wont a carrier drop you if your roaming for 3 consecutive months on somone elses network? I think i saw that in another forum about that being hidden in your user agreement. With that being said you might be better of getting a phone in panama insted of roaming for 9 months.
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Old 08-05-2007, 11:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse J View Post
Well on Sprint's chart it says PCS e-mail, PCS Voice, PCS web browsing in countries that they have a data agreement with on CDMA. (Like Canada)

So then I guess that would indicate voice would be available but not data (which is what I need) in Canada. That is if we are 100% positive that the GPRS data is dependent on the GSM band. If this is the case, the INTL data plan will most likely NOT work in most countries in this hemisphere.

However this is all speculation at this point. Any further comments??
GPRS is dependent upon a usable GSM signal. To put it into simple terms, GRPS is the GSM equivalent of 1XRTT (1X) on a CDMA network.

I am going to Jamaica in Dec and there will the CDMA and GSM roaming there, as it seems one carrier in Jamaica is running 900/1800 while other GSM carriers in Jamaica are using the North American bands (800/1900). In that regard, it is just going to be country specific I guess.
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Old 08-05-2007, 11:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlondeBoyL View Post
If im not mistaken, wont a carrier drop you if your roaming for 3 consecutive months on somone elses network? I think i saw that in another forum about that being hidden in your user agreement. With that being said you might be better of getting a phone in panama insted of roaming for 9 months.
Sprint is sorta vague in this regard (not as black and white as Verizon). However, in the case of the OP, yes I think Sprint would cancel his service if he roamed 9 months of the year.

I am sure it is cheaper to use Sprint's $70 unlimited world data plan than it is to pay for similar services from a Panamanian carrier, but in this case, I bet the OP is out of luck.
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthroMatt View Post
I think you should be able to add the int'l plan then go back to domestic when you return, just keep in mind every time you go back to the int'l data plan you will need to renew your contract for an additional year.
Not sure that is correct ... I've seen other postings where it was quoted by Sprint that one can change from the BB Domestic to Intl Plans literally on a monthly basis with "no implied" extension of the contract.

/BD
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Old 08-05-2007, 02:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As long as the OP has a voice plan on the BB the BB data service can be changed from domestic to Int'l and back without any issue.

As for as coverage in Panama from the sprint.com/international site it appears voice and data are provided in 8 cities.
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Old 08-05-2007, 03:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Any areas of Panama that are NOT covered? Specifically the Kuna Yala area?


cheers
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Old 08-05-2007, 04:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikedogrun View Post
Not sure that is correct ... I've seen other postings where it was quoted by Sprint that one can change from the BB Domestic to Intl Plans literally on a monthly basis with "no implied" extension of the contract.

/BD
Oh, well that's cool then. The pre-release info stated a 1 yr contract exntension was required to sign up for the Int'l Data plan.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southwestcomm View Post
As long as the OP has a voice plan on the BB the BB data service can be changed from domestic to Int'l and back without any issue.

As for as coverage in Panama from the sprint.com/international site it appears voice and data are provided in 8 cities.
Well yes this was my impression, but as noted above the data is GPRS data which is dependent on the GSM bands which are NOT compatible with the Sprint 8830. So that means that in Panama I think we would only have CDMA voice service.

I am working on further research for anyone who finds this thread. Panama Cable & Wireless offers GSM 8800 and 8300 models and they do offer international voice and data roaming. I am waiting for a reply from them regarding INTL data roaming prices.

So far this is what I've found:

Cable & Wireless International Roaming - Overview - Panama (English)

Cable & Wireless Internatinal Roaming - Voice Pricing - Panama (English)

Cable & Wireless Panama - Blackberry Plans (English)
Not sure what the deal is since the voice/data and data only plans are the same price.

Cable & Wireless Panama - Blackberry Models (English)

So overall not bad... $99c north/south america roaming and $1.49 Europe roaming. Better than sprint offers. Just waiting on that intl data pricing.
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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If that were true I doubt Sprint would list Panama - and the specific cities they list - as covered.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse J View Post
Well yes this was my impression, but as noted above the data is GPRS data which is dependent on the GSM bands which are NOT compatible with the Sprint 8830. So that means that in Panama I think we would only have CDMA voice service.

I am working on further research for anyone who finds this thread. Panama Cable & Wireless offers GSM 8800 and 8300 models and they do offer international voice and data roaming. I am waiting for a reply from them regarding INTL data roaming prices.

So far this is what I've found:

Cable & Wireless International Roaming - Overview - Panama (English)

Cable & Wireless Internatinal Roaming - Voice Pricing - Panama (English)

Cable & Wireless Panama - Blackberry Plans (English)
Not sure what the deal is since the voice/data and data only plans are the same price.

Cable & Wireless Panama - Blackberry Models (English)

So overall not bad... $99c north/south america roaming and $1.49 Europe roaming. Better than sprint offers. Just waiting on that intl data pricing.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southwestcomm View Post
If that were true I doubt Sprint would list Panama - and the specific cities they list - as covered.
Well as mentioned. They offer GSM coverage there and CDMA coverage there. BUT the GSM is the wrong band for the 8830. Hence my original question. Is the GPRS data dependant on the GSM? and above the answer was YES. So that means that yest the phone will "work" in panama but will only work on the CDMA voice.. no data as it doesn't support the GSM bands that are in Panama. The carts on Sprint's website to not indicate which services are available for which phones in the list.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Sprint $70 unlimited world data plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthroMatt View Post
Sprint is sorta vague in this regard (not as black and white as Verizon). However, in the case of the OP, yes I think Sprint would cancel his service if he roamed 9 months of the year.

I am sure it is cheaper to use Sprint's $70 unlimited world data plan than it is to pay for similar services from a Panamanian carrier, but in this case, I bet the OP is out of luck.

Sprint's $70 per month is so expensive. You would have switched to T-Mobile for $29.99 on BlackBerry Unlimited Data Plan plus $19.99 additional BlackBerry International Unlimited E-Mail Data Plan which is a total of $49.98.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shona67 View Post
Sprint's $70 per month is so expensive. You would have switched to T-Mobile for $29.99 on BlackBerry Unlimited Data Plan plus $19.99 additional BlackBerry International Unlimited E-Mail Data Plan which is a total of $49.98.
Looks like that intl plan only gets you e-mail not actual data :/

Otherwise seems like a pretty good deal. One bad part is the panama roaming voice minutes are $2.99! ouch.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Here is the actual chart from the Sprint site:

Bocas del Toro GSM GPRS Data, GSM Voice
Boquete Digital dual band, IP-830W, Tri-mode; Blackberry-8830; GSM, IP-A790 GPRS Data, GSM Voice, PCS Voice
Chitre Digital dual band, IP-830W, Tri-mode; Blackberry-8830; GSM, IP-A790 GPRS Data, GSM Voice, PCS Voice
Colon Digital dual band, IP-830W, Tri-mode; Blackberry-8830; GSM, IP-A790 GPRS Data, GSM Voice, PCS Voice
Concepcion Digital dual band, IP-830W, Tri-mode; Blackberry-8830; GSM, IP-A790 GPRS Data, GSM Voice, PCS Voice
David Digital dual band, IP-830W, Tri-mode; Blackberry-8830; GSM, IP-A790 GPRS Data, GSM Voice, PCS Voice
Panama Digital dual band, IP-830W, Tri-mode; Blackberry-8830; GSM, IP-A790 GPRS Data, GSM Voice, PCS Voice
Panama City Digital dual band, IP-830W, Tri-mode; Blackberry-8830; GSM, IP-A790 GPRS Data, GSM Voice, PCS Voice

GPRS data, GSM voice are both provided. I still don't understand where your dispute is coming from?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse J View Post
Well as mentioned. They offer GSM coverage there and CDMA coverage there. BUT the GSM is the wrong band for the 8830. Hence my original question. Is the GPRS data dependant on the GSM? and above the answer was YES. So that means that yest the phone will "work" in panama but will only work on the CDMA voice.. no data as it doesn't support the GSM bands that are in Panama. The carts on Sprint's website to not indicate which services are available for which phones in the list.
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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There are 4 bands of GSM. The Blackberry 8830 only supports GSM 900 / GSM 1800

Panama GSM carriers only broadcast GSM 850. So it's a totally different band.
i.e. Totally Incompatible
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:58 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It is a little confusing. Sprint does have GPRS data in Panama if you have a GSM device that supports the 850 frequency. Sprint has GSM only devices that support the 850 frequency for voice and data and that is why they list it on the site. you would need to be aware though that the blackberry doesn't support 850 so it won't work in GSM mode only CDMA.
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:00 PM   #19 (permalink)
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one other way to check is to go to Sprint PCS Clear Pay Program Terms
and that will list the frequencies and carriers for each country.
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