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T-Mobile, UMA, and international roaming

T-Mobile, UMA, and international roaming

Old Nov 11, 09, 7:41 pm
  #1  
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T-Mobile, UMA, and international roaming

Hi,
I checked on Howard's Forum but I though I check here with the frequent travelers. I have T-Mobile with a Blackberry Curve and often use UMA Wifi to make calls, especially when abroad. I last used this feature in Serbia and Canada this past summer where I would turn off mobile reception and just keep UMA and have my phone on. The calls that I would make would appear as "U" on my bill and I would not be charged international charges.

I suggested this idea to my friend who moved to Hong Kong and also had a curve and T-Mobile. However, it seems he got stuck with a large bills as those UMA calls were billed as international. I am not sure if he forgot to turn of mobile connection or if T-mobile changed it's policy but I am embarking on a 2 month trip to Asia where in hotels I will have free Wifi and being able to make UMA calls will be very useful.

Can anyone post recent experience with this?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 11, 09, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by pred02 View Post
Hi,
I checked on Howard's Forum but I though I check here with the frequent travelers. I have T-Mobile with a Blackberry Curve and often use UMA Wifi to make calls, especially when abroad. I last used this feature in Serbia and Canada this past summer where I would turn off mobile reception and just keep UMA and have my phone on. The calls that I would make would appear as "U" on my bill and I would not be charged international charges.

I suggested this idea to my friend who moved to Hong Kong and also had a curve and T-Mobile. However, it seems he got stuck with a large bills as those UMA calls were billed as international. I am not sure if he forgot to turn of mobile connection or if T-mobile changed it's policy but I am embarking on a 2 month trip to Asia where in hotels I will have free Wifi and being able to make UMA calls will be very useful.

Can anyone post recent experience with this?

Thanks!
I'm guessing that he wasn't on UMA. If you're on UMA, it's not roaming.
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Old Nov 11, 09, 10:58 pm
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I believe you need to be a subscriber to the Hot Spot at Home feature in order for UMA calls to be unlimited.
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Old Nov 11, 09, 11:09 pm
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Originally Posted by entrada View Post
I believe you need to be a subscriber to the Hot Spot at Home feature in order for UMA calls to be unlimited.
Yes, but if you're not then they just come out of your regular minutes.

OP's friend must not have turned his GSM radio off.
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Old Nov 12, 09, 1:59 pm
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sorry, double entry

Last edited by dtsm; Nov 12, 09 at 2:02 pm Reason: duplicate
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Old Nov 12, 09, 2:00 pm
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There are different opinions/experiences on FT re whether you need to be enrolled in [email protected] for "free" UMA calls. Some say UMA works without [email protected] and I don't disagree....

My definition of free is: 1) doesn't come out of your bucket of minutes, 2) no international roaming or othes fees when connecting to a US number.

I have a BB 8830, the [email protected] add-on program and it works completely free of charge when either the UMA or uma icon comes on my BB. Been using this feature for more than 16 months, made numerous calls from Asia back to states without ever jacking up the bill one cent. On your statement, such calls will have a "U" classification.
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Old Nov 12, 09, 2:28 pm
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I have a BB 8830, the [email protected] add-on program and it works completely free of charge when either the UMA or uma icon comes on my BB. Been using this feature for more than 16 months, made numerous calls from Asia back to states without ever jacking up the bill one cent. On your statement, such calls will have a "U" classification.
My experience is the same.
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Old Nov 12, 09, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by dtsm View Post
There are different opinions/experiences on FT re whether you need to be enrolled in [email protected] for "free" UMA calls. Some say UMA works without [email protected] and I don't disagree....

My definition of free is: 1) doesn't come out of your bucket of minutes, 2) no international roaming or othes fees when connecting to a US number.

I have a BB 8830, the [email protected] add-on program and it works completely free of charge when either the UMA or uma icon comes on my BB. Been using this feature for more than 16 months, made numerous calls from Asia back to states without ever jacking up the bill one cent. On your statement, such calls will have a "U" classification.
"Free" requires the add-on Hotspot at Home service. Absent that, calls come from your regular bucket as noted above, based on the time of day at your billing location (I think).

If the OP's friend was on UMA, perhaps he was calling back to non US numbers and incurring long distance charges? Google voice, btw is a great way around that.
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Old Nov 12, 09, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by mbreuer View Post
"Free" requires the add-on Hotspot at Home service. Absent that, calls come from your regular bucket as noted above, based on the time of day at your billing location (I think).
Yep, I remember the update you provided on earlier thread - which is also way I mentioned the 'difference experiences' .....
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Old Nov 12, 09, 7:32 pm
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I used UMA last month in London and didn't get charged for international roaming - and since I have Tmo [email protected] service it didn't burn minutes, either.

The only problem I had was that neither my 8320 or my wife's 8120 could get a connection unless we had at least 3 bars of signal strength. Seems the BB gets a much weaker wifi signal than a laptop. I finally just broke down and bought a SIM with cheap rates to the US.

FWIW, I found that I could call the US - using either UMA or my cheap SIM - and connect to my GoogleVoice account and make an international call back to the UK cheaper than calling direct. (Simpler to do that to describe. <G>)
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Old Nov 13, 09, 9:14 am
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Originally Posted by airsafety View Post
FWIW, I found that I could call the US - using either UMA or my cheap SIM - and connect to my GoogleVoice account and make an international call back to the UK cheaper than calling direct. (Simpler to do that to describe. <G>)
Appreciate if you would tell us how to do this!
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Old Nov 14, 09, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by dtsm View Post
Appreciate if you would tell us how to do this!
As noted, it's simpler to do than describe. Basically, assuming you have GV, you set up billing (on the website) for paid calls.

Once done, you can either install the google voice application onto your phone (then "call with google voice"), or use the call-in # (instructions on the GV site). The call-in option works like a calling card - you call a GV #, enter your pin and # to call. Using the app on the BB, you can pick a # in your address book and select "call with google voice." Or you can use the application, select an address entry or enter a number to call.

The call uses your minutes, but google does the long distance, at extremely attractive rates. Calling a landline in france is $.02/min.
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Old Nov 14, 09, 9:32 pm
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Using my BB 8320 I just used the GV dialer app like any other call. Using UMA I didn't get charged for an international call, and since I have [email protected] I didn't burn minutes. The only charge was the 2 cents/minute GV charges for an international call from the US to UK.

Using a different phone I just called my GV number and hit * (or #, can't remember) while the call was ringing. That put me in to the GV menu where I could enter my PIN.
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Old Nov 15, 09, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by mbreuer View Post
As noted, it's simpler to do than describe. Basically, assuming you have GV, you set up billing (on the website) for paid calls.
Thanks to mbruer and airsafety - I did not know there was a BB app for GV. I was fortunate enough to subscribe to grandcentral years back but never did learn how to use it properly.
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Old Nov 15, 09, 1:04 pm
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Thanks to mbruer and airsafety - I did not know there was a BB app for GV. I was fortunate enough to subscribe to grandcentral years back but never did learn how to use it properly.
Just installed it. Works like a charm an integrates real well with the BB for calling international numbers cheap. Much better than the PIN based services and even Skype Out.

Thanks!
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