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mobile phones and blackberrys

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My last contract on my mobile phone has just run out, so I’m free to switch. I’m currently with T-Mobile on a £25 a month tariff. I don’t really use my mobile all that often, usually it’s a couple of dozen text messages and some 50 minutes of calls a month.

One of the things that’s actually really expensive on my tariff is data. Browsing the internet and accessing email are both possible on my phone, I’ll just have to pay an arm and a leg to do so. And really, it’s something that I’d like to be able to do. I’ve always got emails to check, and I travel a reasonable amount, it would be helpful to have be able to access them whilst I’m not connected to t’internet with wires.

So, I’m contemplating getting a Blackberry. I can get one with O2 for free on a two year contract with 250 texts, 75 minutes and unlimited WAP and “Blackberry Data” (in quotation marks because I have no idea what that means). Oh, and the total cost is £25 a month.

Apart from the contract being twice as long as my existing contract this seems too good to be true. It does have fewer phone minutes than my existing contract, but still more than I actually use each month. Is there something that I’m missing?

Naturally, I can’t make an important decision like getting a new mobile phone without some input from  you guys, so what do you think? Am I just imagining  that a Blackberry would be good? Is there a fatal flaw in this plan?  And what exactly is Blackberry Data anyway?

Thanks in advance :) .

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12 comments for “mobile phones and blackberrys”

  1. Sorry, can’t give you any advice, but I’m interested in the answers, as I’m in a similar situation. I’ve had my current Orange contract for a couple of years, and am paying £35ish per month for maybe 20 - 30 texts per month and an hours worth of calls (I know, I’m being ripped off).

    Three seem to have some good deals, but I’m hoping to give Orange a call and see if they can match the deal.

    Posted by Rob Lewis | July 31, 2008, 1:01 pm
  2. @Rob:
    There’s an Orange deal for new customers that’s about £15 a month that might well cover your needs.

    I’m always looking at the packages on offer, and questioning how much some people must use their mobiles. 1000 texts is more than 30 a day.

    Posted by plonkee | July 31, 2008, 1:26 pm
  3. ‘Blackberry Data’ is misleading, because it means email bandwidth, which is only really an issue if you’re getting a thousand emails a day. One nice thing about Blackberry (or nasty, depending on your point of view) is that it’s ‘push’ email, so every time you get an email, your phone buzzes. But it’s really set up (currently) for business email, managed through an Exchange server. If you’re talking about business email in your post above, then go for it.

    However, if you’re talking about personal email (Gmail for example) then a better option is to get T-Mobile’s Web N’ Walk addon, which is £7.50 a month on top of your existing tarriff (so £32.50) for effectively unlimited downloads. You can download podcasts, surf any number of web pages and read webmail.

    T-Mobile is currently the best deal out there for data (O2’s iPhone data bundle is comparable, but their base tariff is higher to subsidise free or low-cost iPhones). Orange is a joke when it comes to data.

    Basically, for work email, get a Blackberry (or get your firm to buy you one!). For personal stuff, get a proper data tariff with T-Mobile.

    Posted by Dave | July 31, 2008, 1:55 pm
  4. Thanks Plonkee - I definitely think I need to call Orange and threaten them with moving to see if they can offer me rate as competitive as if I was a new customer.

    Does anyone worry about coverage these days - a few years ago, that was one reason to stick with Orange, because other networks weren’t as reliable in terms of coverage, at least that’s what I heard (”don’t choose T-Mobile, you’ll never get a signal”). Is it still an issue? The T-Mobile web n walk sounds quite interesting.

    Posted by Rob Lewis | July 31, 2008, 2:33 pm
  5. Well, I’ve had a solid signal everywhere from central London to a Hebridean island, and all points in between. I can’t recommend Web N’ Walk highly enough, it’s a great tariff. I’m a huge nerd and on my phone constantly, and it’s consistently saved me a bare minimum of £30-40 a month of data charges.

    Posted by Dave | July 31, 2008, 2:55 pm
  6. @Rob:
    I’ve been with a couple of providers there’s no major difference in their coverage. They all have some blank spots, but those are only an issue if you actually live in one, since no one provider has any worse than anyone else.

    £32.50 is still quite a bit more than I’m currently paying, but I may be able to add it on to a cheaper tariff.

    I’m talking about work email and my personal webmail, but my work email actually has a webmail facility, so that would still be ok.

    It’s funny how I’m not really bothered about an iPhone at all. I’m like one of those old school people ‘I just want a phone that makes calls, sends texts, and surfs the web’ I don’t also need an iPod or life organising features. The calculator and phone are handy though.

    Posted by plonkee | July 31, 2008, 3:03 pm
  7. Well, if your work email has a webmail option, definitely go for a decent data package and just do it through that. I’d imagine by threatening to leave you could probably get your base tariff with T-Mobile down to £15 (maybe even a tenner), keep your minutes and texts and then add Web N’ Walk, shaving £2.50 or so off your standard bill and eliminating data charges into the bargain. Result.

    Posted by Dave | July 31, 2008, 3:23 pm
  8. I can’t give you any advice … But I wish you all the best on your hunt for a plan! I would love to get a Blackberry (I think they are such wonderful phones) but really don’t need it and so can’t justify spending the money on one.

    Posted by Maggie | August 4, 2008, 2:12 pm
  9. You might want to check to see if they have upgraded the Blackberrys so that you can open attachments to emails. My boss used to say he could receive my email but not be able to open any attachments I sent. I have not owned one, so I couldn’t say if it was a device problem or a user problem.

    Posted by Kate | August 31, 2008, 4:01 pm
  10. Maybe you should wait for the new Android. The blackberry is quite addictive though as I know plenty of people that can’t put them down even to stop and eat lunch.

    Posted by Ben | September 30, 2008, 7:42 pm
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