1. mp3mills's Avatar
    Hello I'm Sam and new to the site, next year I will be doing aid work in Kenya, the project that I am going to be working with recommends taking an unlocked pay-as-you-go-mobile phone and buying a sim card out there for about 0.90. However I have been seduced by the idea of being able to send and receive emails and surf the web. I am very new to blackberries and I have a few questions.

    Firstly do they charge via the mains or USB and do they have USB port on them? This would be useful to transfer pictures onto the blackberry from my digital camera so I can email them home. Also my mp3 player charges using USB ports. I know that adapters are available so you can charge them from the mains however if it is included in the blackberry then it is one less thing to buy and pack.

    Secondly, what is the cost of surfing the web and sending emails on a blackberry? Is it free or does it depend on your provider, if so can I have a ballpark figure per minute as I do not yet know the name of the Kenyan company that they recommend buying the sim card with ( I can look into it further when I know the provider’s name). Also can you buy them unlocked and if not is it possible to unlock them and also which would be the cheapest option.

    And thirdly are they quad-band? I’m not sure whether you need a quad-band or just a tri-band phone in Kenya so to be safe I thought that I should ask this as the person in the Carphone Warehouse suggested a quad-band (I personally thought that this was only needed for Canada and America, but I could be wrong…) So does anyone know whether I definitely can get away with tri-band or if the blackberry is Quad-band then I suppose it doesn’t matter.

    Thanks for all your help, please respond if you have an answer to one of my questions,

    11-04-07 09:26 AM
  2. Trevor's Avatar
    1. Yes, they charge by [Mini]USB.

    2. Cost depends on your provider. You will need a BlackBerry data plan to send and receive emails and surf the web. Usually it is calculated by megabytes not by minute. You can unlock a blackberry. Shop around.4

    3. I will let someone else answer the third paragraph.
    11-04-07 09:53 AM
  3. daddybear's Avatar
    try telestial for an international sim that works in kenya and has email access...


    people from the states can call you like its a local call...

    11-04-07 10:21 AM
  4. Berryman's Avatar
    Like in Europe, GSM/GPRS networks in Kenya operate on the 900 and 1800MHz bands. There are several carriers in Kenya, the largest is Safaricom. Safaricom have built a GPRS network neccessary for data coverage. As Trevor said, to specifically connect a Blackberry to the GPRS network, the SIM card must be Blackberry activated, (prior to arrival)

    Here to Safaricom's website including coverage maps etc.
    ..:: Safaricom ::.. The Better Option - Home

    This link should be of interest too
    GSM Roaming - Kenya

    Prepaid SIM cards for Kenya - good info/offer
    Kenya SIM Cards

    Transfering photos from your digital camera to your Blackberry will be very difficult/bordering on impossible without a PC. If you are happy to send snapshots, rather than your best images - perhaps just take and send photos directly from the Blackberry
    Last edited by Berryman; 11-04-07 at 04:19 PM.
    11-04-07 03:51 PM
  5. blane64's Avatar
    I know this is a little off topic...but at least it is about Kenya!

    I lived in Kenya from 1978-1983 (Nairobi and Kisii, but also Kijabe.) and it never ceases to amaze me how much technology has transformed the world. When I was in Kenya an airmail letter to the US was about3 weeks round-trip. At first we did not even have a phone. Then we got our first telephone, one with a crank on the side! You "rang-up" the operator and waited for the switchboard to connect the call. Then we moved to a dial phone about the time I moved out. Now, the Kenyans we keep in contact with have email, and cell phones. I know it has been 25 years, but it still blows my mind.

    BTW, what part of Kenya are you headed for? Try to make trip to the beach, it is lovely, white sands, perfect water temp, etc.
    11-05-07 11:07 AM
  6. mp3mills's Avatar
    Thanks a lot for all of your help. Closer to the time I’ll look into it again to see how much money I have to spend (hopefully they will go down in price between now and then).

    I will be arriving at Nairobi airport. I will be working with street Orphans for about 2 weeks roughly a days travel from Nairobi. I then will have about a week off in which I will climb Mount Kenya and also go on safari. I will then spend the rest of the time at the beach with a few of the children I have been working with from Nairobi. It will be a magical experience if I can raise the money. If there is anyone who works in Pubilc Relations who will be willing to sponsor me, I will have my picture taken at the summit of Mount Kenya holding their company’s logo. Although I am not that photogenic I believe that the picture will look good in a lobby area or a corridor…
    Last edited by mp3mills; 11-06-07 at 10:38 AM. Reason: I typed in 'P-R' and it appeared and Page Ranking
    11-06-07 10:30 AM
  7. Berryman's Avatar
    I may sound like your grandfather here, but all credit to you for doing charity work/helping those less fortunate. I wish you success, enjoy Kenya.
    11-06-07 03:06 PM
  8. burnteye86's Avatar
    Will I be able to use my Tour in Kenya? I appologize to those of you out there who are more technologicaly advanced than I am but I'm 53 and sorta new to all this. And, I've never been out of the US before. So, how can i communicate with people in S.C. from Kenya?
    Last edited by burnteye86; 01-09-10 at 06:29 PM. Reason: had more to say
    01-09-10 06:24 PM
  9. FF22's Avatar
    I've got 10 years on you!!!!

    You probably will be able to - the issue would be cost. Cost for PHONE calls and cost for email (DATA). TXT/SMS is yet something else again.

    First, you should call verizon and have them UNlock the sim card slot. You call their GLOBAL services number or listen at their phone-prompts.

    With the sim unlocked you may (but don't have to) use a foreign sim card. Altho, it you are calling the US from Kenya, that may not be much cheaper but you'd have to check.

    UNlocked has no impact if you continue to use the SIM card that verizon provided when it sold the Tour to you but you still should call them and let them know you will be traveling out of the US. But unlocked will not adversely affect the tour/sim combo Verizon sold you. If you get a local sim, you get a new/local phone number. All calls to US would be international for you and for callers calling you from US. They generally do NOT include DATA (email).

    Now I don't know Kenya but in Europe, I used the Verizon combo but before I left I signed up for Verizon's GLOBAL PLAN (same number as above once you reach them). FOR EUROPE the costs were $69/month and it provides UNlimited data which is EMAIL and browsing. And again, Europe, calls were still pricy at 99 cents/minute in/out and to/from US. US callers call your regular cell number and they don't know it is international nor do they pay any more. While paying the approx $69/month you stop paying your normal $30/month BB data charges so it is approx $40 more per month for this International package.

    TXTing/sms is different and I know nothing about it since I don't use it.

    As for communicating with people in S.C. - continue to use your drawl! (g)

    Have a great trip.
    Last edited by F2; 01-09-10 at 06:49 PM.
    01-09-10 06:47 PM
  10. Masahiro's Avatar
    1. Yes, they charge by [Mini]USB.
    Newer model BlackBerries (anything newer than 9000) use MicroUSB.
    Last edited by Masahiro; 01-09-10 at 07:17 PM.
    01-09-10 06:49 PM
  11. eazymac's Avatar
    I went to Rwanda via Nairobi airport two years ago and had a safaricom sim I bought in Nairobi which I plugged into my unlocked gsm blackjack 2 from att.
    Most everyone there communicates via sms because its so dang expensive to use voice and data there. I haven't traveled with a blackberry but make sure you unlock AND TEST your phone long before leaving. Now, I would check on vzn's global plans but I wouldn't really count on using your phone to send pictures or surf the web because of the costs to do so via cellular. Best bet is to take a netbook to a local coffee shop offering wifi and connect that way. Make dang sure you completely lock down your laptop security wise because viruses and hacking are very prevalent these days there.

    Oh and they told us don't hang your arm out the window of your bus or taxi if you're wearing jewelry or a nice watch because they'll machete it off for your valuables. Kenya, not Rwanda that is.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    01-09-10 07:12 PM