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Blackberry in Cape Town

Blackberry in Cape Town

Old Apr 20, 10, 10:53 am
  #1  
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Blackberry in Cape Town

I will be visiting Cape Town for a week in early May. I have an AT&T Blackberry here in the US. What is the best (cheapest) route for accessing the data network while in Cape Town?

Thank you!
JefCarver is offline  
Old Apr 20, 10, 3:31 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portland Oregon
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Sim card

Buy a South Africa sim card. They are much cheaper on data than ATT international plan. And all your data comes thru. I didn't know that until I started getting my email automatically on a 2 week trip last year. You can probably call the States cheaper this way also. And on SA sim cards, you are only charged on the calls you make, not those you receive. ANd texts, called SMS in SA, are much cheaper anyway than a call. Be sure and unlock your phone before you go. I forgot to do this and it took a few days for ATT to get back to me. Luckily I was staying with friends who let me use their laptop.

Last edited by kimwhits; Apr 20, 10 at 3:32 pm Reason: Forgot something
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Old Apr 20, 10, 3:38 pm
  #3  
 
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Make sure you check on the pricing for the data plan when you're looking at SIM cards. It's been my limited experience that some SIM cards have great pricing for phone calls but high pricing for data so comparison shop. You should be able to find a SIM card with a daily flat rate if you look around.
MatthewT is offline  
Old Apr 20, 10, 6:30 pm
  #4  
 
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By using the phrase "accessing the data network" I assume you mean getting your emails that you normally receive in the U.S. while in CPT. I'll use my experience with T-Mobile and AT&T as background.

With AT&T you can, with a lot of work, get AT&T to turn on BB email service (emphasis on email service) international roaming for just a month, no annual or two year contract required.

International data (email service) on a month to month basis on a BB with enterprise
service IS available. See below.

You want the "Data Global Plan."

Data Global
20 MB $24.99
50 MB $59.99
100 MB $119.99
200 MB $199.99
All plans above available on month to month. Pro-rated - no
contract required. Per calls with AT&T Customer Service, AT&T
International Provisioning Department and AT&T Business Services (e.g.
three different departments)

Unlimited data (e.g. using your BB to surf and access the web) is $64.99 but there is requirement of 1 year contract and early termination fee of $175.00 (per same departments above).

My contact was with the Small Business Department You may have to go to a different department to get the service turned on (see below).

NOTE: In business department, there is SIGNIFICANT confusion about
these services, I was on hold quite a bit while reps had to check things out. I suspect many front line reps would have similar difficulties.

Call International Provisioning Dept
@
+1 916 843 4685
for set up problems and questions. Note that they also seemed to have a pretty good handle on the available plans, services, costs, requirements, etc.

The big difference is between email data (which is available month-to-month) and web data (which requires an annual contract). I make a point of signing up for the former, not the latter and of making sure that I don't surf the web with my BB while traveling abroad and also turn off any automatic web access programs on my BB (e.g. Google Latitude, Evernote, TripIt for BB).

All this info is current as of mid-March. Good luck and enjoy CPT.

Of course, the other thing is how much email do you send receive and can you set up filters to cut even that down in your absence, you might be better just "roaming" and paying the higher rates while in CPT (its only a week) for a very very limited amount of BB use. But, carefully analyze the costs of this before just "chancing" it.
jsnydcsa is offline  
Old Apr 21, 10, 6:03 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Originally Posted by jsnydcsa View Post
With AT&T you can, with a lot of work, get AT&T to turn on BB email service (emphasis on email service) international roaming for just a month, no annual or two year contract required.
It doesn't take a lot of work - you can add or remove the international data feature from the AT&T Wireless website once you sign in to your account. Can't speak for South Africa but it worked fine in France and Brazil within the past month.
ttjoseph is offline  
Old Apr 21, 10, 7:00 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by ttjoseph View Post
It doesn't take a lot of work - you can add or remove the international data feature from the AT&T Wireless website once you sign in to your account. Can't speak for South Africa but it worked fine in France and Brazil within the past month.
Can't disagree more. I went through more supervisors, specialists, etc. at AT&T before finally getting the Data Global Plan activated.

Nevertheless, it will work. Once you speak to the right person who knows what they're doing.
jsnydcsa is offline  
Old Apr 21, 10, 9:35 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Originally Posted by jsnydcsa View Post
Can't disagree more. I went through more supervisors, specialists, etc. at AT&T before finally getting the Data Global Plan activated.
I do have an employer discount, so I might be in their system as a business subscriber, which might make things easier. I don't really understand what's going on behind the scenes though. All I know is I checked the box, clicked the button, and it worked. Apparently YMMV.
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Old Apr 28, 10, 3:54 am
  #8  
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Use a local SIM card. Data in South Africa is cheaper than in most countries (which is unexpected, because almost all other telecom costs are extortionately high).
I think that without a data bundle, I pay someting like ZAR 2 / MB (U$ 0.27 / MB) on my mobile.
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