1. andmcdon's Avatar
    Hey guys,

    I need to get some advice.

    My brother is traveling abroad with a program where he will be in 10 different countries over the next few months.

    He is signed up for an international data, text, and calling plan. (He will only be using data for texts and emails. No apps or web-browsing.)

    He currently has an HTC, but we're thinking a Blackberry would be better for traveling abroad--based on a few things we've heard, but want to confirm with you guys.

    So we have a few questions:

    1. Does the BBM service use less data than a standard text message?
    2. Does the Blackberry service compress the data size of emails or text messages (compared to using other phones, like an HTC)?

    3. Will it make a difference, in regards to data (for BBM, text, emails), whether he has an HTC or Blackberry?

    As always, thanks for the help. You guys are the best!
    01-11-12 11:48 PM
  2. jcastilloalonso's Avatar
    He is signed up for an international data, text, and calling plan. (He will only be using data for texts and emails. No apps or web-browsing.)
    Be careful those plans include very low limited data/texts and discount on voice usage.

    1. Does the BBM service use less data than a standard text message?
    BBM utilizes data, while text messages uses carrier, totally different. Yet I've notices that BBM is VERY efficient on data usage.

    2. Does the Blackberry service compress the data size of emails or text messages (compared to using other phones, like an HTC)?
    All BIS traffic (BlackBerry data) is compressed and encrypted, so it will use less data than regular. Not so long ago I read how even a 25MB podcast ended up in a 17MB download, so definitely less data than on other platforms

    3. Will it make a difference, in regards to data (for BBM, text, emails), whether he has an HTC or Blackberry?
    It will make a difference, but I do think that if he is going to be out for MONTHS, it would be better to find another alternative, either use a local SIM and unlock his phone, try to live off Wi-Fi as much as possible and use VoIP (Skype, Vonage, etc) over Wi-Fi than paying AT&T for the roaming charges (which even on VERY light use will be on the hundreds extra per month) If he goes with AT&T make sure he understands the policies of this plans and their limits, I know some roaming plans force the user to spend more than half the time during two months inside the USA.

    It still makes me sad how roaming usage is so high when it could be as cheap as a local minute (if not more) but that's the current situation.

    Hope your brother has a great time!
    01-12-12 12:27 AM
  3. ccdawg's Avatar
    i travel a lot with my work and i always carry an unlocked blackberry and just use local sims with phone cards. that is the best solution i have come up with.
    JBenn911 and Mecca EL like this.
    01-12-12 08:34 AM
  4. JBenn911's Avatar
    I did the same.. carried an unlocked BB and iPhone with a local sim.. Last trip, I bought a USB 3G modem and used that for a hotspot to make VOIP calls/data
    01-12-12 09:09 AM
  5. robsteve's Avatar
    The Blackberry can be set to use the wifi only for data, not sure about the HTC. If he turns data roaming off and just uses wifi and limits his cellular use to what the plan covers he should be able to get by. The problem will be if he turns the data roaming on when he doesn't have wifi, he may forget to turn it off.

    The other thing about Blackberries and data is that you can also limit the file size of email sent to the phone. For example if he gets a lot of attachments and etc, he can then select these emails later when in wifi and select get more.

    As for the suggestion to get Pay as you go local sim cards, it may be more of a problem to get each sim card and make sure it works in the country where he needs it. The sims with Blackberry service may cost more and setting of the email is one more problem.

    A compromise would be to bring the Blackberry on AT&T plus an unlocked GSM phone to use local sim cards in for local calling. The one problem I have found with pay as you go sim cards is that I seemed to run out of minutes when I really needed them, such as when confirming flights and etc. You then need to go find a store/kiosk and get the refill.

    A final note, if he is young and your parents want to keep in touch, as long as he keeps the data under control, the $1.50 -$2.00 per minute for the call back to USA is pretty reasonable for the peace of mind to always be able to call him using his regular number. To put it into perspective, if he is traveling within Europe, a Starbucks coffee will cost almost as much as five minutes on the phone with the parents.
    Last edited by robsteve; 01-12-12 at 09:16 AM.
    01-12-12 09:10 AM
  6. s7khan's Avatar

    1. Does the BBM service use less data than a standard text message?

    So much less. Just to give you an idea, when I cross over from Canada to US, the texting rate is $0.75 per message (Incoming is free, but I don't think that's the case with AT&T. When I use BBM a fair bit, my total roaming data bill is less then $1.00 for maybe a week's worth of moderate bbming. I don't use the browser, ensure that my podcasts only download on wifi and switch of any other data services. Depending on the BlackBerry, you could also use BBM in a wifi area.

    2. Does the Blackberry service compress the data size of emails or text messages (compared to using other phones, like an HTC)?

    Yes, very much so. It helps that it's push too, so not constantly pinging to check email. I don't know if the HTC is push or not, but my friend's old Android on 2.3 would check for email every 20 minutes or so. That's data intensive.

    3. Will it make a difference, in regards to data (for BBM, text, emails), whether he has an HTC or Blackberry?

    BlackBerry uses much less data in general. Text is non data, it's a voice type service, so any phone, it's the same rate.
    10 characters
    01-12-12 09:11 AM
  7. tack's Avatar
    My plan through Verizon is unlimited world wide on data.
    01-12-12 06:31 PM
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