Nice LuandaCam, Shame About The Smartphone

Finally took delivery of my new Blackberry Bold 9700 yesterday, a mere four weeks after ordering it — but then, I’m in Luanda so what should I expect?

Typically, what should have been a pleasant experience was tinged with disappointment when I learned the in’s and out’s of Blackberry communications. To explain…

I’m in Angola but on a UK (O2) SIM card, and O2 doesn’t have a data roaming agreement with Unitel, the local provider. What this means is that, if you’re here on O2 Roaming, you can make calls and send/receive SMS but you can’t do Internet. AHA!, I thought, that’s OK because the new BB has Wi-Fi, so at least while I’m at home I’ll be able to get email, facebook etc.


Blackberries work differently from other Internet-enabled smartphones, in that they need to connect to either a Blackberry Enterprise Server or the Blackberry Internet Service, and neither of those seem to want to connect via Wi-Fi. I can use the web browser (by selecting “Hotspot” mode), but that’s all. You’d think that “Hotspot Mode” would let me do facebook as well, and if I HAD the facebook app it probably would, but to GET the facebook app you need Blackberry App World and to use THAT you need… oh never mind.

So, for the time being I have a nice shiny new phone and video camera, and will make full use of the latter for posting amusing clips from the passenger seat as we crawl around the city. We’re going away for a long weekend tomorrow — you won’t believe where — and I hope that where we’re going will have mobile internet and I’ll be able to get my email activated at least. The theory is that, if I can at least get an initial connection and email activation via the mobile network, Internet will continue to work via Wi-Fi from then on. But I’m clutching at straws.

More news about our trip tomorrow.


About Chris Neal

Personal Technology Consultant. Tailored services and advice for people who want more from their technology.
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