View Full Version : ITALY - Blackberry
I am travelling to Italy for 8 months this year and am planning on unlocking my new BOLD 9700 to use there. The services/plans are a little confusing to me. I understand you can buy prepaid SIM cards but are there options of data plans for Blackberries? I need a plan to use for Blackberry Messenger and some International Texting... Any suggestions?
I'm an expat living in Italy for some time. My Blackberry is happy on prepaid Vodafone Italy plan, with an additional cost of 3 Euro a week for Blackberry BIS option (includes 500Mb of data traffic weekly, and is necessary for BB services such as BB Messenger).
More info on Vodafone offer here (http://www.areaprivati.vodafone.it/190/trilogy/jsp/programView.do?contentKey=48353&pageTypeId=9609&channelId=-8671&programId=9390&tk=10444%2Cc&ty_key=pri_mobile_internet_per_blackberry)
There are other networks (3 Italy, TIM, Wind) but I don't use them. I'm sure other people will provide you with more info. 3 Italy is good in urban areas, don't know about rural coverage.
In general, mobile communication in Italy is expensive, customer care (for a non-Italian) is hard to deal with, especially if you don't speak italian ;-), calling plan advertising is often ambiguous, non-transparent and misleading and I can advise you to take things slowly, enjoy the 'dolce vita', italian style. Phone unlocking service is barely legal here so I would try online before coming here.
When a friend of mine, who had bought his Blackberry Bold 9000 on contract from O2 Germany, moved to Switzerland, he was not able to register for Blackberry service with Swisscom because his handset was tied to an existing Blackberry account, from which only O2 could unregister it. Afaik a Blackberry handset is always tied to an account with Blackberry, which can only be created or deleted by operators. So I fear even if you unlock your Blackberry, you won't be able to use it in Italy unless your Canadian provider releases it, so you can re-register an Italian provider can re-register it for Blackberry service.
Got your point inquisitor, however I didn't have such problems. I bought my BB8900 in Croatia, postpaid contract, T-Mo branded. There I didn't sign up for BIS service (BB can very well work without BIS/BES, not BB Messenger though). Trick is to setup new network's APN in Options-TCP/IP menu. In Italy I use BIS from Vodafone's basic prepaid plan and everything works great (Voda SIM loads relevant service books). And vice versa, when outside Italy, T-Mo service books show up. However, maybe global.girl should give a ring to her home network prior to going overseas.
There I didn't sign up for BIS service...That's the point, your device was never associated to a BIS account. But if you had signed up for BIS with T-Mobile Croatia, you would not have been able to sign up with any other operator in the world, as Blackberry's system would not have accepted your handset.
Right, but then when I put Voda Italy SIM in and when relevant service books are loaded (I have registered e-mail accounts on provider's BIS management page in order to use BB's push mail service) I should not be able to use T-Mo Croatia SIM or any other operator because I'm registered with Voda IT's BIS. But then my 8900 works with other operators and it would probably work with T-Mo's BIS service (which I didn't try as I don't want to pay for two BIS at the same time).
No, it wouldn't. The whole BIS service (at least the push eMail thing) doesn't run on network operators' servers, but on Blackberry's own servers (that's why Blackberries are considered a security risk (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/blackberry/6546234/BlackBerry-a-security-threat-claims-French-businessman.html)). So when you sign up for BIS with your network operator they actually register your device with Blackberry, as operators don't even have the infrastructure for running BIS on their own. And that's where problems start, since Blackberry will refuse to register a device, that exists in their database and is already assigned to an existing BIS account, to a second account.
Just to proof my allegation, check out these BIS registration pages of different network operators, which all run on blackberry.com:
Only if your old operator deletes your BIS account on Blackberry's system, it will be released and you'll be able to re-register for BIS with another operator.
P.S.: Here's one of many sources on the web confirming what I'm explaining: http://telecominformatics.com/2010/01/22/when-you-change-bis-service/
Thank you for a detailed and thorough reply..you made your case ;-) and I learned something new. One thing though is not true (as stated in the article you linked under PS), a BlackBerry CAN work without BIS/BES. It requires a bit of simple hacking but is doable (Shangmail/Funambol for push mail, Opera mini for browsing, Google Mobile App for mail/news/navigation, Nimbuzz for IM).
I am amazed at what you are saying. If I buy an unlocked BB, and put my t-mobile sim card in for the US which requires a BB account. When I go to the UAE or UK I cannot use my sims for those country's? This is because the phone is registered with t-mobile. If this is truly the case I will stick with Nokia. I have the E71 so I get all e-mail and calender functions that I need. If this is the case why spend $ 600.00 for an unlocked BB. I have never heard of this.
I am amazed at what you are saying. If I buy an unlocked BB, and put my t-mobile sim card in for the US which requires a BB account. When I go to the UAE or UK I cannot use my sims for those country's? This is because the phone is registered with t-mobile.Unless you are able to cancel your BIS-option with T-Mobile USA and so your BIS-account is being deleted, you won't be able to get BIS from any other operator in the world. But of course - as far as your BB is unlocked - you would be able to use it for calling and texting and according to dilijasi there are some hacks to use alternative applications/services.
But having used a Nokia E71 until recently and also having toyed with BBs, I would never swap it for a BB, as Nokia's push eMail service is free of charge, not tied to an operator and there's much more software available for Symbian S60 than for Blackberry's proprietary OS. Further the E71 (as most current Nokias) has an excellent VoIP-client integrated, so you can use it for cheap VoIP-calls over WiFi or 3G with audio quality being indistinguishable from a GSM call.
But having used a Nokia E71 until recently and also having toyed with BBs, I would never swap it for a BB, as Nokia's push eMail service is free of charge, not tied to an operator and there's much more software available for Symbian S60 than for Blackberry's proprietary OS. Further the E71 (as most current Nokias) has an excellent VoIP-client integrated, so you can use it for cheap VoIP-calls over WiFi or 3G with audio quality being indistinguishable from a GSM call.[/QUOTE]
I was thinking very hard about a BB as I am a consultant. I travel International quite a bit and have always used unlocked phones. I see why T-mobile does not want to give up the data download as they charge $15.36/MB. As you can see the EU has no cap on them so you would have a huge bill at the end of the trip. I must say that you opened my eyes on the nokia phones. When I go to the UAE I pop in my sim card and my email is there like at home. I thought this was the same way with a BB. This is my 3rd one and I guess when this goes out I will get another. I do have skype on the phone and it is great. As always it is great to learn something new. This time it saved me hundreds of dollars. Thanks again.
related to data service speeds, forgot to mention Vodafone Italy does not offer EDGE so your BB will be fed either with 3G or GPRS protocols (my BB8900 does not support 3G so I'm stuck with GRPS). In non-geek terminology that means very slow while 3G is pretty fast browsing on your BB ;-)
. Further the E71 (as most current Nokias) has an excellent VoIP-client integrated, so you can use it for cheap VoIP-calls over WiFi or 3G with audio quality being indistinguishable from a GSM call.
All the TMobile USA Blackberrys are also VOIP/Wifi calling enabled...
vBulletin® v3.8.1, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.