How reliable/expensive or cheap is using a Blackberry abroad?
Thread poster: Manuela Junghans

Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:28
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Aug 2, 2006

I recently considered signing up for a Blackberry contract but I am not sure if it is really worthwhile and wanted to hear some opinions.

I am based in Spain but travelling quite a lot, mainly to the UK and Germany. In order to be able to check my mails regularly as well as being able to work I would need some kind of mobile internet connection.

The offer I got from Vodafone Spain was a 18 month contract with a monthly flatrate of 25 Euros, plus 5 Euros per 1 MB when using the Blackberry abroad.

Another question I couldn´t get an answer to yet is, will I be able to connect the Blackberry to my laptop in order to transfer data (downloaded or to upload)? And, will it also work in more remote areas or only in bigger cities?

Does anyone have hands-on experience with a Blackberry?

I´m looking forward to your answers.


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Anita Cassidy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
English to German
works fine for me Aug 2, 2006

Although I can only speak for the email bit... my provider is T-Mobile in the UK and I've had perfect push email service while abroad in Spain, Germany and Austria. No problems so far, and the amount of my monthly bill is always around GBP 30 (I don't normally surf the web or use it as a mobile phone, though). So far I think it's well worth the monthly expense, no more worrying about unanswered emails while I am at the shops / out for a coffee / on holiday...

I have a suspicion that surfing the web abroad on a Blackberry could be quite expensive, though.

Cheers,
Anita


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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:28
Member (2004)
English to German
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TOPIC STARTER
Hi Anita Aug 2, 2006

thank you for your answer. Sounds pretty good.

Yes, checking mails and replying would be the main purpose I would want to use it for.

May I ask you whether the GBP 30 are on a pay as you go basis or whether you have the Blackberry on a contract basis?

And do you know, whether I can network the device with my laptop?

Thanks in advance, Manuela


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:28
English to German
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Works a charm, but can get expensive abroad Aug 2, 2006

Hi Manuela,
A general warning: using a Blackberry can be addictive (my wife refers to it as "the curse"...).


I am based in Spain but travelling quite a lot, mainly to the UK and Germany. In order to be able to check my mails regularly as well as being able to work I would need some kind of mobile internet connection.

I have been using a BB for a couple of years now, mainly in Germany, the UK and France.

The offer I got from Vodafone Spain was a 18 month contract with a monthly flatrate of 25 Euros, plus 5 Euros per 1 MB when using the Blackberry abroad.

Depends on how many e-mails you get, obviously - IIRC a normal text mail is between 5K and 15K. I get several hundred a day, so things can add up...

Another question I couldn´t get an answer to yet is, will I be able to connect the Blackberry to my laptop in order to transfer data (downloaded or to upload)?

Yes. The BB comes with an USB cable and software, including a synchronisation utility to connect to Outlook.

And, will it also work in more remote areas or only in bigger cities?

As the BB works with GPRS, network coverage is very good - the only place where I couldn't get connected recently was in a very remote village in the Black Forest.

Does anyone have hands-on experience with a Blackberry?

Too much, I'd say...

Cheers, Ralf


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 17:28
Swedish to English
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Another alternative... Aug 2, 2006

I was seriously considering buying a BlackBerry, but have ended up with a Nokia E61, which I'm very happy with. It's primarily for checking e-mail/opening attachments - so far I've managed to install everything I need myself, both on my laptop/phone and set up my e-mail accounts on it (and the battery seems to last forever, which is a big plus!). Network coverage is fine - if it works where I live it will work almost anywhere in Europe!

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Anita Cassidy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
English to German
contract Aug 2, 2006

Manuela Junghans wrote:


May I ask you whether the GBP 30 are on a pay as you go basis or whether you have the Blackberry on a contract basis?

And do you know, whether I can network the device with my laptop?

Thanks in advance, Manuela


It's a contract (as far as I know, or at least when I got mine about a year ago, there were no pay-as-you-go offers in the UK). The device did come with a cable to connect to / synchronise with the PC, but I never use this feature as my only reason to get one was to be able to have instant email access "on the road", and that's basically all I use it for, except for the occasional phone call or text when my personal mobile is out of juice. The basic fee for my service is around 17 pounds, plus around 12 pounds for a '6 MB internet bundle' option (which seems enough for all my emails, around 100 a day, some with vast attachments). My 'calls and other usage' portion tends to be around 2 to 4 pounds, so not all that much.

Britain being what it is (expensive!), your offer seems similar to what I have, on a pound for euro basis.

Hope this helps,
Anita


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Maria Eugenia Farre  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:28
English to Portuguese
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another name for the evil berry Aug 2, 2006

[quote]Ralf Lemster wrote:

Hi Manuela,
A general warning: using a Blackberry can be addictive (my wife refers to it as "the curse"...).

[quote]


Hi Ralf

Someone at a dinner party called it "Crackberry" because it's supposed to be as addictive as crack.

Based on my experience with the foreign executives I meet in interpreting assignments, I guess that is pretty accurate.

Cheers
ME



[Editada em 2006-08-02 23:11]


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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:28
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Ralf, Clare and Anita... Aug 3, 2006

...for all the useful information.

There´s one more question I would like to ask Ralf. You said that it synchronizes with Outlook. Is that the only e-mail program it works with or does it support receiving e-mails from any other account as well?

Thanks a lot,
Manuela


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 17:28
Swedish to English
+ ...
E-mail Aug 3, 2006

Not relevant to your question really, but this was a pleasant surprise for me (as a non-technical person) - I don't know how it works on a BlackBerry, but the Nokia receives e-mails from my server but also leaves them on there, so that I don't have to worry about moving them from the phone to the computer when I get home, as they are still there on the server for Outlook to download as normal. If you see what I mean...

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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 17:28
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
90% sure it does Notes as well Aug 3, 2006

... why 90%? Cause a) the management upstairs in our house is all Blackberried and b) we're damned to Notes.

Why not 100%? I'm fine as it is - i.e. I dont as yet know what Ive been missing;)

smo

[Edited at 2006-08-03 11:12]


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