1. fof9l's Avatar
    We move between Canada and the UK, and in my Canada phase, I bought myself an unlocked Passport. Now, back in the UK for a while, I need a new SIM - I`ve been using my Z10 for the last year, but now need a nano. At the same time, I want to take advantage of the ability to use 4G, so I need to change my carrier from Orange 3G.

    In doing my research, I`ve noticed that the data usage showing up on my Orange account has always been zero; I would assume that`s because the phone was using the BlackBerry network, although Orange didn`t seem to be charging any extra for that. I`m looking at Tesco or Three (EE are just too expensive and not flexible enough for our usage patterns). Three says I need a BlackBerry SIM, for which they do charge. Tesco says that I can use a regular iBend-type nano SIM, doesn`t need to be the specific BlackBerry SIM any more. I do understand that, under OS10, at least some of the communication doesn`t go through the BB network any more.

    Does anyone know the actual detail of this, whether I do need a specific BB SIM (nano not available from Tesco, I`d have to cut it down manually), and if not , how much data would I need for moderate usage? And, given that my current Orange setup doesn't seem to be showing any data usage, whether I'd be better off just staying where I am and ignoring 4G?

    Thanks in advance.
    11-23-14 06:29 AM
  2. jpvj's Avatar
    Hi,

    In general BB10 devices does NOT need any special dataplan. However... some carriers have limited access to the BB infrastructure unless you by a BB addon to your subscription. This would prevent BBM etc. from working via the carriers network, but email, browsning would work just fine. I don't know if Orange/UK requires the addon or not.

    Before 4G/LTE i would have said "1 GB is a bit more than the average user spends" (numbers from the DK carriers). LTE can REALLY transfer data fast, so depending on your usage it might not be enough.

    If you carrier just caps your speed when you hit the limit of the data package, go for 1-2 GB and see if you hit the limit.You can always "upgrade" your package, but it's now always so easy to downgrade them again. Ask your carrier.
    fof9l likes this.
    11-23-14 06:53 AM
  3. Branta's Avatar
    I would assume that`s because the phone was using the BlackBerry network, although Orange didn`t seem to be charging any extra for that. I`m looking at Tesco or Three (EE are just too expensive and not flexible enough for our usage patterns). Three says I need a BlackBerry SIM, for which they do charge. Tesco says that I can use a regular iBend-type nano SIM, doesn`t need to be the specific BlackBerry SIM any more. I do understand that, under OS10, at least some of the communication doesn`t go through the BB network any more.
    All BB10 devices should operate perfectly using a "standard" data provision. For the avoidance of doubt, that is exactly the same service plan as used for either iPhone or Android devices. The old style BlackBerry add-on should NOT be required, and a network which demands you pay extra to use a BB10 device is committing fraud.

    Does anyone know the actual detail of this, whether I do need a specific BB SIM (nano not available from Tesco, I`d have to cut it down manually), and if not , how much data would I need for moderate usage? And, given that my current Orange setup doesn't seem to be showing any data usage, whether I'd be better off just staying where I am and ignoring 4G?
    The first and most critical consideration is where you purchased the Passport, and which frequency bands it is configured for. If it was purchased outside Europe and configured for North American networks it may have very limited support for European 4G/3G. In simple terms, data might not work, or it might only work in limited areas on a few networks, or you might find it is constrained to 2G (EDGE).

    Given the current disgraceful 4G coverage in UK (should I say non-coverage?) I suggest you begin by checking proposed service providers' coverage maps against where you are likely to use the service - and treat them with appropriate caution. When you have selected a candidate get the cheapest available prepay SIM offering 4G and test for yourself. If it proves to be a lemon you can toss the SIM without a long term commitment for something which doesn't work. If you find an acceptable service the chosen network will be more than happy to convert you into a monthly account customer.
    jpvj likes this.
    11-23-14 06:57 AM
  4. fof9l's Avatar
    Hi Branta:

    Thanks for your very informative response. I've now done what you suggested; I seem to have a choice of two non-EE carriers, Three and O2, so I went down to the Three shop just before closing today and bought a PAYG nano SIM to try out the service. Haven't yet found any spots where 4G appears on the screen, even though we're in an area where their advertising says we should be getting it, but I'm going up to London tomorrow and I'll take the PP with me on the train to see how good the phone service is as well; that's a route that I've always found challenging with my Z10 on Orange.

    I sent BBMs to two of my BBM contacts; one didn't seem to get through, although he may have his phone off, and the other one did, so it looks as if BBM is actually working. I'll try another one tomorrow to my wife while I'm in London and we'll see what happens.

    Knowing how I use my phones, I've been careful to make sure the specs will work in both countries before I bought. I know that the Canadian-spec Z10 will not receive 4G here in the UK, so I made sure that the Z30 I bought on Kijiji was the STA100-2 model, which includes UK bands as well as Canadian ones; it works well in Canada, and now I know it works well here too. As far as the Passport is concerned, I compared the bands included on the phone, and it looked that the Canadian (and US) spec PP covered many of the bands offered in the UK; in fact, the UK model shown on the ShopBB website for the UK was the same model as is sold in Canada and the US, so there should be no general problem. Of course, with the fragmented state of 4G spectrum in the UK, it may be that some carriers may only be offering 4G on a waveband that the PP doesn't cover, but we can only find out the answer to that by trial and error.

    So, once again, I thank you for your input and I'll try to report back in a week or so to let people know the results. I may also try a PAYG SIM from Tesco (using the O2 network, my other choice) before I actually pull the firing pin on a contract.

    Best wishes,

    Nigel
    11-23-14 04:15 PM
  5. fof9l's Avatar
    Hi,

    In general BB10 devices does NOT need any special dataplan. However... some carriers have limited access to the BB infrastructure unless you by a BB addon to your subscription. This would prevent BBM etc. from working via the carriers network, but email, browsning would work just fine. I don't know if Orange/UK requires the addon or not.
    Thanks for this, jpvj. As you may see from my response to the next reply, I've tried BBM today with a PAYG SIM that doesn't have the specific BlackBerry service attached to it, and it does appear to work, at least half the time. I'll keep checking, as well as checking data usage for the next couple of weeks; I'll have to see how quickly I burn through my initial ten pounds!!

    Thanks again,

    Nigel
    Last edited by fof9l; 11-23-14 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Included quote
    11-23-14 04:20 PM
  6. guygardner73's Avatar
    Thanks for this, jpvj. As you may see from my response to the next reply, I've tried BBM today with a PAYG SIM that doesn't have the specific BlackBerry service attached to it, and it does appear to work, at least half the time. I'll keep checking, as well as checking data usage for the next couple of weeks; I'll have to see how quickly I burn through my initial ten pounds!!

    Thanks again,

    Nigel
    Hi, just to clear a few things up and save you some time, there's only one model of passport, it'll work anywhere in the world that doesn't use CDMA. That means pretty much anywhere. In the UK, you're good to go with any network. O2, Vodafone, EE (T-Mobile, Orange) Three. And any MNVO such as Virgin, Tesco, GiffGaff etc. When it comes to 4G, you'll want to check the network's website as most have a coverage checker. Lastly, if you're in London, any one will do as they're all good there.

    PassportSQW100-1/10.3.0.1418 O2 UK
    jpvj and fof9l like this.
    11-24-14 04:53 AM
  7. guygardner73's Avatar
    Also, the networks are more than happy to give you a nano sim for free on a paygo basis, but the best deals can be had by going 30 day contract or 12 month sim only deal.

    PassportSQW100-1/10.3.0.1418 O2 UK
    fof9l likes this.
    11-24-14 04:56 AM
  8. guygardner73's Avatar
    Lastly, if you're ever asked to specify what phone you have when ordering sim cards, i've found that it's better to just say "generic smartphone" as the moment you mention BlackBerry, someone will try to tell you that you need BIS, BlackBerry data, BlackBerry plan etc....when you don't (at least not here in the UK) nano sim, generic smartphone, 4G enabled sim. That's all you need.

    PassportSQW100-1/10.3.0.1418 O2 UK
    11-24-14 05:00 AM
  9. Thalakar's Avatar
    Lastly, if you're ever asked to specify what phone you have when ordering sim cards, i've found that it's better to just say "generic smartphone" as the moment you mention BlackBerry, someone will try to tell you that you need BIS, BlackBerry data, BlackBerry plan etc....when you don't (at least not here in the UK) nano sim, generic smartphone, 4G enabled sim. That's all you need.

    PassportSQW100-1/10.3.0.1418 O2 UK
    It's because it used to be like that pre bbos10 and many idiots out there don't bother to update their knowledge before giving advice that might be a few years old



    Posted via CB10
    11-24-14 05:41 AM
  10. fof9l's Avatar
    In the UK, you're good to go with any network. O2, Vodafone, EE (T-Mobile, Orange) Three. And any MNVO such as Virgin, Tesco, GiffGaff etc. When it comes to 4G, you'll want to check the network's website as most have a coverage checker. Lastly, if you're in London, any one will do as they're all good there.

    PassportSQW100-1/10.3.0.1418 O2 UK
    Today's train trip to London was interesting; I brought two phones with me, a Z30 on Orange/EE 3G, and the Passport on Three 4G. I thought it would be good to compare coverage, indications of 4G coverage, etc. I'm familiar with the route and the places where I get signals dropping on Orange, so I paid careful attention to the PP in those places to see if it was showing signal where the Z30 was not. Much of the time, the Three SIM was better than the Orange one, although there were one or two places where Orange had a signal and Three did not. More interesting was that, despite Three's coverage checker, the magic "4G" display only showed up once I was well and truly in central London. I'd say from observation that Three's 4G coverage is patchy at best, and I'll keep looking.

    Oh, and I also received a call from EE. They'd noticed I had been given a PAC code which, as my wife puts it, means you're serious about leaving them. They wanted to know how they could retain my account. They ended up making me a really good offer which I'm mulling over and will decide when they call me back on Tuesday!
    11-24-14 07:30 PM

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