1. alect's Avatar
    I have just moved to Australia from US (AT&T/Congular) and for the moment am on Virgin Mobile using my 8700 just as a phone (no data). I am shopping around for more long term providers/plans and it isn't clear where to go.

    Most providers/carriers here offer data as part of a plan. Is this enough to enable the Blackberry internet service (ie email push from all of my POP3 accounts)? So for instance, I am considering ThinkMobile. They include data but use the Vodafone network. I knwo Vodafone has implemented BIS. As a customer of a reseller on that network, can I register for Vodafone BIS? Or do I need to be a Vodafone customer?

    And am I forced to go specifically onto a Blackberry plan or is any data plan fine?

    Alternatively, is there another solution (third party app possibly) for the blackberry which achieves the same thing as BIS without being on a BIS plan just on a data plan? (I don't include mobile/wap access to my email provider - must be email downloaded to the handset).
    04-17-08 11:00 PM
  2. gregory_opera's Avatar
    Most service providers will make you select a service plan that suits your needs, and then you pay an additional amount for a BlackBerry Individual Solution (BIS) that essentially "bolts on top of" your plan...

    A small number of service providers offer stand-alone BlackBerry plans, though these are usually not widely advertised (in favour of the above service plans) and/or store staff are not familar with them.

    I'm quite familar with Telstra's BlackBerry solutions and you're more than welcome to send me a message with any questions, but I suggest you head over to the Australian BlackBerry Forums (BlackBerry Support Forum - Asia Pacific) as there is at least one member on each service provider over there, and they will be able to give you the specific details of the BlackBerry solutions from the service providers I am not familar with...

    Be prepared to pay significantly more than you would in North America.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    05-04-08 10:12 AM
  3. gregory_opera's Avatar
    Oh yeah, you cannot use a "standard" data plan with a BlackBerry device...

    Well you CAN, but "core" functionality (such as "push" e-mail) won't work.

    Telstra, Vodafone, Optus and "3" all offer BlackBerry Solutions.

    In a nutshell, here's the main differences between them:
    Telstra will give you the most coverage by far, reaching deep into rural and remote areas - sometimes you will pay a little more, but they have VERY high levels of reliability and customer service... Telstra also operates the world's fastest 3G/UMTS network, which is roughly 3-4 times the speed of their closest competitor (in Australia OR otherwise).
    Optus has similar urban coverage and customer service levels to Telstra, but may be slightly cheaper - if you need the coverage and don't want to go Telstra for some reason, Optus is your next best bet.
    Vodafone has considerably less coverage than Telstra or Optus, but they are typically cheaper than either and have the largest list of roaming partners in the world by far - if you travel overseas frequently and plan to use your 'Berry, you want Vodafone. Vodafone also has the most experience with BlackBerry solutions as they have been offering them pretty much since day one.
    "3" has the smallest coverage map in the country (unlike everyone else, they primarily cover the capital cities only), but they are Australia's only DEDICATED 3G/UMTS network, plus their services and content directly target the younger consumer, so if you're 20-something, they will probably appeal to you in a big way.

    A small number of "re-sellers" (companies like ThinkMobile that sell airtime on one of the above networks) offer BlackBerry solutions, but unlike the re-seller's other plans, their BlackBerry solutions are almost always the same as those offered by the parent networks.

    You will usually find that re-sellers will also have less experience with BlackBerry solutions, and this is part of the reason why BlackBerry technical support is almost always re-routed to the network's technical support department, instead of your service provider's.

    From my 10-ish years in the mobile telecommunications industry with almost every Australian company you can name, you will usually have a "better" experience when dealing with the networks directly, particular with regards to BlackBerries and high-end/specialized data products.

    If you already have a BlackBerry device (or you're prepared to buy one "outright", at the full retail price) and you're not sure who to pick, all of the parent networks mentioned above offer month-to-month (non-contract) plans, so you cancel at any time without penalty...

    Pick a network and sign-up to a month-to-month (non-contract) plan - if you're happy, stay there; if not, pick someone else and see what you think.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    05-04-08 10:45 AM
  4. bumblepie's Avatar
    I work for the Blackberry Department within Telstra.

    We support and provide many different BIS and BES plans. Some of these include the handsets within the monthly plan, some are just the data plan.

    take a look at www. telstra.com/blackberry for more information.

    Good Luck!
    05-12-08 12:54 AM