Dear BBCool: Help using a BlackBerry in Sri Lanka

26 Comments

Group photo Sri Lanka

Dear BlackBerry Cool, As you know, Sri Lanka has been in a state of civil war for many years now and there are thousands of civilian casualties. I work for an NGO and soon I will be flying to Sri Lanka to help with development efforts.

Before I leave, I have to figure out what to do with my Rogers BlackBerry Bold.

I spoke to 3 reps from Rogers, including a senior supervisor and got the following information:

  • There is no voice or data plans/packages available for Sri Lanka
  • The BlackBerry is currently on a Right Fit plan at $97.45 per month
  • Cancellation of contract = $500 + charge for phone $300 = $800
  • To use voice or data in SL will cost $3.50 per minute for roaming charge + $6.00 per minute to talk

I have been told by a technician that my BlackBerry is a world phone and is not locked. Could your readers help me out? Here are my options as I see them:

  • Keep the phone and maintain the contract @ $97.45 plus taxes per month and pay local rates in SL.
  • Cancel the contract, pay the difference for the phone and use it in SL.
  • Cancel the contract and sell the phone to someone and get a regular phone in SL.
  • Transfer the contract/phone to someone who will continue the payment.

World peace and happiness for all,

-Lauren

  • Jason

    Ouch!

    Uhm, how long are you going to be in Sri Lanka? I know some carriers have an option of suspending the account for a bit without fees. You should see if that’s an option for you, if not, I’d probably try to transfer the phone to someone who will take over payments.

    Those fees are horrendous!

  • Jason

    Ouch!

    Uhm, how long are you going to be in Sri Lanka? I know some carriers have an option of suspending the account for a bit without fees. You should see if that’s an option for you, if not, I’d probably try to transfer the phone to someone who will take over payments.

    Those fees are horrendous!

  • Bhumiputhra

    If your phone is unlocked you will be able to get a non contract plan with a carrier in Sri Lanka. Dialog GSM cell phone company is a popular one.

  • Bhumiputhra

    If your phone is unlocked you will be able to get a non contract plan with a carrier in Sri Lanka. Dialog GSM cell phone company is a popular one.

  • charles

    The SIM card option is the best one. When I stayed in the Philippines for a couple of months, I used Globe and kept service with AT&T.

  • charles

    The SIM card option is the best one. When I stayed in the Philippines for a couple of months, I used Globe and kept service with AT&T.

  • Charles

    Posted a reply but didn’t show up. :-( Anyway, the SIM card option is the best one. I stayed in the Philippines for a couple of months early this year and I used Globe. I kept my service with AT&T because I would only be away for a short period of time. I couldn’t suspend service because that would have left my daughter without service.

  • Charles

    Posted a reply but didn’t show up. :-( Anyway, the SIM card option is the best one. I stayed in the Philippines for a couple of months early this year and I used Globe. I kept my service with AT&T because I would only be away for a short period of time. I couldn’t suspend service because that would have left my daughter without service.

  • Ncheng

    i’m gonna fine tune your options a bit:
    1) keep everything and use both the bold and your rogers sim in SL (most expensive option)
    2) cancel the contract and pay the ECF (early cancellation fee). it should be no more than $400 + $100 =$500. keep the bold and then use it in sri lanka. make sure its unlocked tho. the technicians on the phone can be vague about what they describe. a ‘world phone’ is a phone that is capable to be used internationally but may not necessarily mean it takes a sim card from an international carrier
    (this is the middle option in terms of cost)
    3) transfer ownership of contract and bold to a friend or colleague. (cheapest option). then buy a cheap phone and chip in sri lanka.
    i used to work for both rogers and blackberry and i used to here these situations on a weekly basis.

  • Ncheng

    i’m gonna fine tune your options a bit:
    1) keep everything and use both the bold and your rogers sim in SL (most expensive option)
    2) cancel the contract and pay the ECF (early cancellation fee). it should be no more than $400 + $100 =$500. keep the bold and then use it in sri lanka. make sure its unlocked tho. the technicians on the phone can be vague about what they describe. a ‘world phone’ is a phone that is capable to be used internationally but may not necessarily mean it takes a sim card from an international carrier
    (this is the middle option in terms of cost)
    3) transfer ownership of contract and bold to a friend or colleague. (cheapest option). then buy a cheap phone and chip in sri lanka.
    i used to work for both rogers and blackberry and i used to here these situations on a weekly basis.

  • fijianbrownguy

    i work for them

    i agree with 3 on Ncheng’s list …….but ur phone is a world phone but it is locked to its carrier, all phones are in the North america

    it is a world phone because it can be used all over the world, voice and data pricing aside, it doesnt necessarily mean its unlocked, by unlocking it, that means u can use it with another carrier, there is a difference

    secondly change ur voice plan, that right fit plan is garbage …if u cant transfer ownership then just reduce the plan and take off the data and dont use it or turn it off …

  • fijianbrownguy

    i work for them

    i agree with 3 on Ncheng’s list …….but ur phone is a world phone but it is locked to its carrier, all phones are in the North america

    it is a world phone because it can be used all over the world, voice and data pricing aside, it doesnt necessarily mean its unlocked, by unlocking it, that means u can use it with another carrier, there is a difference

    secondly change ur voice plan, that right fit plan is garbage …if u cant transfer ownership then just reduce the plan and take off the data and dont use it or turn it off …

  • http://www.wheelhousedigital.com/ Ryan

    My 1st choice would be…

    the sim card option through a local SL carrier in your Blackberry through hopefully a local carrier that offers prepaid service or affordable contract plans. then i would contact rogers and have them downgrade your plan to the cheapest no frills voice only plan the offer (i they will do this, ATT lets you downgrade if need be)

    My 2nd choice

    similar to the 1st choice but go with a local SL provider + set up a skype account with a local SL skype go number and skype “in” number. you would be able to use voice through your BB but over a combination of the local SL network and the skype network (really cheap long distance this way). As well as use skype on your PC/laptop. Also still downgrade the rogers plan to the bare minimum

  • http://www.wheelhousedigital.com Ryan

    My 1st choice would be…

    the sim card option through a local SL carrier in your Blackberry through hopefully a local carrier that offers prepaid service or affordable contract plans. then i would contact rogers and have them downgrade your plan to the cheapest no frills voice only plan the offer (i they will do this, ATT lets you downgrade if need be)

    My 2nd choice

    similar to the 1st choice but go with a local SL provider + set up a skype account with a local SL skype go number and skype “in” number. you would be able to use voice through your BB but over a combination of the local SL network and the skype network (really cheap long distance this way). As well as use skype on your PC/laptop. Also still downgrade the rogers plan to the bare minimum

  • Ncheng

    forgot to add to the first option, if you are gonna keep everything, lower your price plan to the cheapest possible. you’ll save about $30 a month but its still gonna cost you.
    i recommend you cancel everything or give away everything if you will be away for more than 9 months. if you plan to come back in less than 6 months, then you might want to keep everything so you can keep the same number when you return to canada.
    hope this helps Lauren! and best of luck in helping Sri Lanka

  • Ncheng

    forgot to add to the first option, if you are gonna keep everything, lower your price plan to the cheapest possible. you’ll save about $30 a month but its still gonna cost you.
    i recommend you cancel everything or give away everything if you will be away for more than 9 months. if you plan to come back in less than 6 months, then you might want to keep everything so you can keep the same number when you return to canada.
    hope this helps Lauren! and best of luck in helping Sri Lanka

  • Charles

    Just to add something that someone brought up. I found out the hard way about “locked” phones when I was in the Philippines. I had to call AT&T to get the unlock codes from them, so it might be a good idea to do that (unlock phone code(s)) from Rogers before you go!

  • Charles

    Just to add something that someone brought up. I found out the hard way about “locked” phones when I was in the Philippines. I had to call AT&T to get the unlock codes from them, so it might be a good idea to do that (unlock phone code(s)) from Rogers before you go!

  • http://twitter.com/BlackBerryCool/statuses/1861101640 BlackBerryCool (BlackBerry Coo

    Dear BBCool: Help using a BlackBerry in Sri Lanka http://bit.ly/40DXlC

  • kathy

    Thanks for the ideas folks! It seems that if the ‘cheapest’ option does not materialise – that is transferring the contract, it makes sense to cancel the contract pay for the phone, get it unlocked and use it in SL.

  • kathy

    Thanks for the ideas folks! It seems that if the ‘cheapest’ option does not materialise – that is transferring the contract, it makes sense to cancel the contract pay for the phone, get it unlocked and use it in SL.

  • kathy

    Does the wireless network Dialog Telekom support use of the blackberry bold in Sri Lanka?

  • kathy

    Does the wireless network Dialog Telekom support use of the blackberry bold in Sri Lanka?

  • http://www.rpgiv.info/ Chamara

    Unlock your phone and take it to Sri Lanka and get a connection from Dialog telikom their the best service provider and check their web site at http://www.dialog.lk/mobile

    you can get a BB package
    Rent – 20 (USD Approx)

    this is the same thing what Im doing when I travel to Sri Lanka.

  • http://www.rpgiv.info Chamara

    Unlock your phone and take it to Sri Lanka and get a connection from Dialog telikom their the best service provider and check their web site at http://www.dialog.lk/mobile

    you can get a BB package
    Rent – 20 (USD Approx)

    this is the same thing what Im doing when I travel to Sri Lanka.