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cell phone/blackberry help

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I'm looking to buy a Blackberry 8820 for T-Mobile. It's a "world" phone with wifi.

What does unlocking the phone mean and what does it do when you're traveling abroad?

How does the wife capability affect your ability to receive e-mail, surf the web, use the tethered modem abroad?

What is the t-mobile "hotspot" plan? There are very few places with free wifi as far as I know. Most places charge for wifi. I'm guessing that by paying for the hotspot plan, you get to access the wifi at Starbucks, B&N and other places that charge for wifi access?
 

Icarus

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Eric,

With a normal (non-bb or non-iphone type) phone, an unlocked GSM phone means you can buy a SIM from anybody and use it in your phone. You have a different phone number with each SIM that you get.

If you are just using your phone for voice, you can save a lot of money when traveling overseas to most of Europe and Asia (Japan is a big exception for 2G GSM) by buying a SIM in the country, and using that instead of the exorbitant roaming rates your normal carrier charges you.

I have no idea how that works with the blackberry, because with bb, you also need a data plan, and bb's use a specific data plan.

-David
 
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When you buy a local sim card, I assume that means you save money when you make local calls. If you're in a foreign country and you want to call the US, what sim card do you use to save money?
 

djs

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When you buy a local sim card, I assume that means you save money when you make local calls. If you're in a foreign country and you want to call the US, what sim card do you use to save money?

I used one when I was in Ireland a few years back and it wasn't "that" bad to call back to the US. I may be mistaken here, but my fear was that if I had my US SIM card in the phone and a call came through during that time I'd be hit for high fees.

Another thought is that your "roaming" rate is probably significantly higher than the rate you'd be paying on a SIM card from wherever you traveled to.

In Ireland (and I suspect many other countries) the card was prepaid and I could easily add additional funds to it.
 

Icarus

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When you buy a local sim card, I assume that means you save money when you make local calls. If you're in a foreign country and you want to call the US, what sim card do you use to save money?

It varies along with the method you use to make the call. Usually it's cheaper to dial a local access number to call overseas. Sometimes the cheapest method is to use a separate call-back service, because except for the US, incoming airtime is often free. I usually ask somebody that lives there. You have to decide which method you want to use depending on how many overseas minutes you intend to use.

It's always cheaper to use a local SIM to call the US, since you avoid all the roaming charges and exorbitant overseas rates charged by your carrier and the roaming carrier.

Again, you have a lot more research to do for the bb data plan you might need overseas, if you intend to use it overseas.

-David
 
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Thanks for the info. I've long neglected to stay up to date and now it seems hopelessly confusing but I'm unlocking the puzzle a piece at a time.
 
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