1. yooper08's Avatar
    I will be travelling to Italy with my WE 8830. I have already unlocked the device through Verizon and have the Verizon/Vodaphone SIM card. I read that I may replace the Verizon/Vodaphone SIM with any International SIM. I have been searching, and find myself very confused about this next step in avoiding Verizon's roaming costs and also $5 incoming text messages. Many of the international SIM card provide a European number. Does this replace my existing phone number or does this create 2 phone numbers for one phone, one US and one EUR? If anyone could explain the cheapest and easiest way to approach this next step in a manner a second grader could understand, I would really appreciate it! Thank you!
    08-21-09 07:26 PM
  2. 312's Avatar
    Imagine your phone having a split personality...an American side, and a European side. Through the phone's options you can do one of 3 things: Turn on the American side (Options>Mobile Network>Network Mode=1XEV), the European side (Options>Mobile Network>Network Mode=GSM), or have it be bi-polar and let it decide on it's own when it feels like it (Options>Mobile Network>Network Mode=Global).

    When you're in Italy, you're going to buy a SIM. The SIM will have it's own Italian phone #. When you put the SIM in your phone, you'll want to turn your phone into European mode. (Options>Mobile Network>Network Mode=GSM) The phone will temporarily forget about it's American side. YES, the American side is still there for you to use when you're back in the states, but you won't need it in Italy. So, if someone needs to reach you, they will call the Italian phone number. (That goes for both contacts in the states AND Italy.

    Just a side note: That Vodafone SIM is Verizon's little trick into getting paid for when you travel. I think they want you to assume you're still using Verizon's service when you're out of the US, but really it's Vodafone's network you would be using. (I'm not sure if Verizon owns Vodafone, or if they just get kickbacks.)

    Hope this helps.
    08-22-09 10:29 AM
  3. yooper08's Avatar
    Thanks again, 312! This is very helpful!
    08-22-09 03:16 PM
  4. FF22's Avatar
    I just used my 8830 in Italy (and a bit in Austria and Germany) but mostly for data. I opted for the Verizon Global plan. Calls are $0.99/minute including in/out/USA/Europe (other???) So your number is still the same. Obviously, this means European (Italy) callers have to call INTERNATIONAL to reach you back.

    Data is UNLIMITED.

    The plan is either $64 or 69 per month and it REPLACES your current plan on a pro rata basis. So if you use it for 2 weeks, you'd pay half your normal BB costs and then half of the $69.

    I used mostly data when I was over there - weather, web and email.

    I do NOT do texting. But I think your $5 may be incorrect but I don't know that part. But it probably is not cheap.

    And, I think, Voda actually has a stake in Verizon but could be the other way.

    I know I saved about $330 on data after paying the global fee
    08-22-09 03:33 PM
  5. gadgetfan's Avatar
    Just to add to what's been said here, there's a cost vs. convenience tradeoff. You can buy a prepaid Italian SIM when you get to Italy, and as 312 said, your BB then has an Italian phone number. Or you can use the Verizon/Vodafone SIM and keep your U.S. phone number. I believe - though someone can correct me if I'm wrong - the only way you'll be able to keep using your BB's data features (aside from SMS, which should work no matter what) is if you use the Verizon/Vodafone SIM and sign up for the global plan mentioned by F2.

    With an Italian SIM, it's almost certainly cheaper for you to call Italian (and probably U.S.) numbers than if you used the Verizon/Vodafone SIM. It'd also be cheaper for Italian phones to call you, since they wouldn't be calling a U.S. number. But it does mean you have a different phone number than you're used to, and that means giving that number to anyone in the U.S. who might want to call you while you're in Italy. If you're planning on using the phone in Italy for dinner reservations, getting tourist information, making other local calls, and don't expect many or any calls from the U.S. or expect to need/want your data services, this will likely be your cheaper option.

    If you use the Verizon/Vodafone SIM, you're going to pay more per call, plus the pro-rated monthly fee, but you get to keep your U.S. number. It'll be expensive for Italian phones to call you, but people calling from the U.S. would pay whatever they normally pay to call you...their carrier doesn't know you're out of the country. If you think you'll be getting a lot of calls from the U.S. and/or don't mind the higher per-call prices, this option saves you the minor inconvenience of obtaining and installing an Italian SIM. If you need/want your email and other data services, I think you'll have to go with this plan.

    Verizon Wireless is jointly owned by Verizon Communications (55%) and Vodafone (45%). Verizon Communications has expressed an interest before in buying out Vodafone's portion, but Vodafone so far has been uninterested in selling.
    08-24-09 05:39 PM
  6. 312's Avatar
    I believe - though someone can correct me if I'm wrong - the only way you'll be able to keep using your BB's data features (aside from SMS, which should work no matter what) is if you use the Verizon/Vodafone SIM and sign up for the global plan mentioned by F2.
    Hmm...I am not 100% positive on this either, but I don't believe that's necessarily true. I believe it's whether or not the carrier provides BlackBerry Internet Services.

    People unlock other phones all the time, such as the Storm and Tour, and don't ever use Verizon's services but instead use another GSM carrier.

    I actually use both T-Mobile and Verizon on my Storm. BIS works both on GSM and 1XEV.
    08-24-09 05:49 PM
  7. yooper08's Avatar
    Thanks, everyone! This is all very informative and explains everything greatly! I do have to note that I did indeed have the price of text messaging incorrect after speaking to Verizon. The cost to receive text messages is 5 cents, and to send is 50 cents. I think after much consideration, I am going to go for the convenience of keeping my US number and opting for both the International calling plan as well as the Global email access.

    When I get back, I am going to cancel my Verizon account, get an iPhone (joke), and keep the 8830 for future use with whatever country I need a SIM for.

    Thanks, again! You all have been most helpful!!
    Last edited by yooper08; 08-25-09 at 08:46 PM.
    08-25-09 08:43 PM