Email is the killer app - help me go wireless
April 7, 2005 7:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking into getting a Blackberry to have access to support requests via email when I'm away from my computer. However, I'm also going to be outside the US for four months this year, attending school, and I'd like to take it with me. Does anyone travel globally while using their Blackberry, and how is the coverage? This will be email only, I don't need the phone capabilities.

It seems like it would be ideal - access to my email instantly, from anywhere, without need for a computer, plus the ability to update my website via email. But I haven't heard much about the realistic global coverage for Blackberries and am not sure where to look. I am thinking of going with T-Mobile but any carrier recommendations or stories about your Blackberry would be immensely helpful. This would ideally be how I keep in touch with my friends, family and clients while I'm abroad.
posted by annathea to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Where is school?

I use mine in the US and Western Europe and have never had a problem except for a few trips to very rural areas.

They are disturbingly addicting.
posted by JPD at 8:24 AM on April 7, 2005

JPD - who is your carrier?
posted by MeetMegan at 8:26 AM on April 7, 2005

Response by poster: School is divided between Tuscany and an island in Greece about 110 miles from Athens. Coverage maps don't usually give me enough detail to tell if the island is covered or not, though Tuscany looks good.
posted by annathea at 8:26 AM on April 7, 2005

Just make sure in advance with your carrier that you get one with coverage for these areas. Many Blackberry carriers are limited to North America. And yes, they are addicting. They aren't nicknamed CrackBerries for nothing.
posted by caddis at 8:36 AM on April 7, 2005

O2 - I am based in the UK.

Tuscany will be absolutely fine.

Cosmote has GPRS service, so I guess it depends on how isolated the island you are going to. I would assume you could e-mail customer service there and get an answer. On their website they claim to cover 94.3% of the territory, and 99% of the population but I don't know if the network has the same quality everywhere.

I would note that you might get absolutely killed on access charges, as you will be roaming the entire time you are there. I don't pay for mine though so can't really give you anymore then that.
posted by JPD at 8:40 AM on April 7, 2005

Best answer: Er- Cosmote is the biggest Greek mobile operator.

I think Telecom Italia owns another big player in Greece as does Vodafone.

I am not sure how data prices out, but it may matter whose network you roam on. Ask before you sign a contract so you can make sure that network can support GPRS where you will be.
posted by JPD at 8:48 AM on April 7, 2005

I can't be certain but I seem to remember that T-Mob in the UK offered a £20/month 'roaming' option which gave you unlimited international roaming on your Blackberry with no additional charges. Maybe they offer this in Italy/Greece, too?

Get a Treo instead, though, and not only will you get Blackberry-style 'push' email - thanks to ChatterEmail - you'll also be able to SSH into your sever, edit pages though a CMS etc. And you won't have to carry a second device round with you all the time.
posted by blag at 9:36 AM on April 7, 2005

Response by poster: blaq - seriously? It has the same push technology AND ssh? That's awesome! I was hoping to find the same push email options, but it seemed like only the Blackberry had that capability. Thank you for the recommendation!
posted by annathea at 9:46 AM on April 7, 2005

Best answer: annathea - yup, seriously! Well, almost. It's not the same technology as a Blackberry, but the end results are identical. Basically, you need the ChatterEmail software and an IMAP server that supports the IDLE expansion. Lots of services support this - there's a list of free providers here. Alternatively, if you're running your own server you could upgrade to IMAP server software that does support it. These are discussed on the same thread.

For other web dev stuff, you can browse the web with the built-in browser, have instant messenger conversations with friends on any network, FTP (2), SSH (2), VNC, connect to a Windows computer via Remote Desktop (2) or even use it as a webcam!
posted by blag at 10:46 AM on April 7, 2005

My carrier - ATT wireless, now apparently Cingular - charged me an oh-so-worth-it extra $20 a month to upgrade my service to international coverage before a trip last year. HOWEVER, they said all I had to do to cancel it was call when I got back but they never ever did kill it and no matter what I do I still get that extra $20 charge every month. Was still worth it though.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:16 PM on April 7, 2005

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