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Old 09-06-2008, 08:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Curve 8320 Wi-Fi with ATT Prepaid?

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I spend 1-12 months in USA, and 1-12 in South America for work, so it is difficult for me to sign a long term contract. I recently bought an un-locked Blackberry 8310 b/c of good keyboard and GSM quadband world use. I started using ATT pre-paid, but blew through $25 in a few phone calls.

I did some research and saw the 8320 can be used with Wi-Fi to get free calls through your home network or un-blocked W-Fi signal.

I was thinking of returning the 8310 and buying an un-locked 8320. Then I could make free calls at home and near Wi-Fi signals, while using my ATT pre-paid credits when I am outside a Wi_Fi signal.

Can this be done? or do I need to get an un-locked 8320 and sign up for TMo Individual plan with $9.99 Hotspot service? Or maybe wait to buy the BB Bold?

Thanks in advance for any help with my situation...
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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AT&T does not support UMA so you definitely will not be able to make wifi calls with AT&T. Sounds like you would have to do a contract with Tmobile.

Tmobile does have a way of prepaying rather than signing say a 2 year contract. But there's no phone subsidy with those.

Also note that even though you can call over wifi, the calls are only free to US phone numbers with the hotspot plan. If you call South America you'll pay the regular long distance charges.

Last edited by monkeypaw : 09-06-2008 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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To elaborate..I guess I will buy a month-to-month plan with like 300 minutes from either ATT or TMo..I was just wondering if it is cheaper and better overall to buy like a $39.99 + 9.99 Wi-Fi add on plan from T-Mobile or a $49.99 straight minute plan from ATT. I would make most of the calls from my house and get rid of my land line. I originally went to ATT b/c people say TMo has un-predictable coverage in my area outside NYC.

Not planning on using phone to call South America, use SKYPE for that. I just want a BB that I can use in any GSM, I also want a phone with W-Fi feature other than iPhone. Since call rates are so high in SA, I mostly text. Curve 8320 seems like the perfect fit. Plus I hate paying the same price for a new Motorola KRZR in SA as I can get a new Curve here in USA!!!!

Last edited by spgny : 09-06-2008 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That's a tough decision. You may want to try a Tmobile prepaid card to see if the network is ok where you're normally at.

One kind of technical loophole that may or may not happen for you is that almost none of the UMA calls I make show up on my bill. So even though I call maybe 200-400 minutes a month, my bills usually show about 50 minutes. Those are mostly regular cell network calls. You might be able to save about $10 per month and have UMA capability.
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Monkeypaw..are you suggesting that maybe I do TMo pre-paid and try to make calls over my Wi-Fi home network w/o buying extra package?

I thought that even if you have a 8320, you cannot make W-Fi calls w/o buying the TMo Hotspot package....thanks...

I am sort of leaning towards paying a premium over the 8310.(around $400 vs $300) and buying an un-locked 8320 from eBay just so I have the flexibility of switching to TMo or ATT depending on whose plan works out better for me.....
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Old 09-07-2008, 09:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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No, I think monkeypaw was suggesting that you get a T-Mobile sim card to test out the coverage in your area. You're right in saying that you will not be able to make UMA Wifi calls without the Hotspot package on your monthly bill.
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spgny View Post
Monkeypaw..are you suggesting that maybe I do TMo pre-paid and try to make calls over my Wi-Fi home network w/o buying extra package?

I thought that even if you have a 8320, you cannot make W-Fi calls w/o buying the TMo Hotspot package....thanks...

I am sort of leaning towards paying a premium over the 8310.(around $400 vs $300) and buying an un-locked 8320 from eBay just so I have the flexibility of switching to TMo or ATT depending on whose plan works out better for me.....
What I was saying was to test the Tmobile coverage using a prepaid sim in your area before you decide to go one way or another. That way you won't get stuck with Tmobile if the service is bad in your area.

On the regular plans you CAN use UMA without the Hotspot at Home add on. I use UMA all the time and I do not have the Hotspot at Home add on. It just acts as if you're using the cell network and deducts minutes.

The Hotspot add on lets you make unlimited calls on UMA. That's what you're paying extra for.

What I was mentioning is that the system does not deduct minutes for most of the calls I make on UMA. They just do not even show up. My bill for August has 20 UMA minutes on there.

Over time it does seem like more calls show up on my bill, but even last week there's a 16 minute call that's not on my account page and about half the others are. I've never gotten close to maxing out my 1,000 minutes in real life so it's not helping me any. But for someone with a 300 minute plan, it might help.
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