First off, let me introduce Mobile Vikings.
Mobile Vikings is a joint-venture between City-Live and Base, and a mobile operator in Belgium. Currently offering only a pre-paid plan, at every top-up, you get 1000 text messages and 1 GB of mobile data. And it’s the last part that gets us all excited. Compared to other providers in Belgium, 1GB every €15 is dirt-cheap.
How does Mobile Vikings work with blackberry? Perhaps I should first explain how a Blackberry works
Wen you first set up a Blackberry, you have to link the device you have (that’s your phone) to your mailbox (lets say your gmail). You do this on the Blackberry Internet Service-server of your service provider.
Once you’ve done this, the BIS-server will constantly be ‘listening’ to your mailbox and will forward the messages to your phone.
This feature is what makes the Blackberry-platform what is it is: solid and lightning fast push-mail on the road.
The BIS server handles other tasks as well: Internet-browsing, software-downloads, etc.
These features come from a central server, operated by Research In Motion. The server pulls it’s data from the internet (web-content, downloads), compresses and encrypts it and then sends it to your phone.
Back to Mobile Vikings. Using Mobile VIkings on a blackberry sounds tempting, but do consider the fact that Mobile Vikings does not offer BIS-service. So all those features mentioned above are not going to work.
What is going to work? (I tried this myself with a Mobile Vikings-simcard and my backup bb)
First off, trying to configure BIS is pointless, it’s not going to work, because Mobile Vikings doesn’t have the service running on their network (I called to confirm this).
Then how do you get online? How do you loading apps? How do you get your mail?
Note that the built-in Blackberry applications (browser, messenger, app-world, mail) are not going to work.
Again, those require BIS-service.
However, the Blackberry-browser is going to work over Wifi. And that’s your way in. From there, you can download and install applications.
For internet-browsing, you can use Opera Mobile 10 Beta. It does not require a BIS and will connect with basically anything over direct TCP/IP (so it’ll work on Mobile Vikings).
Next up is email. Google has a gmail-application for blackberry-devices which get you your mailbox. It periodically updates but does not do the ‘push-mail’ you get with a BIS.
So if just want to be able to check your mailbox, this should do the trick. But if want (or need) your mail from the moment it arrives in your inbox, this is a no-go.
Other apps that will work: Google Maps, Übertwitter, SocialScope, BeeJive IM
Other apps that will NOT work: Facebook, App World.
Personally, I think that once you’ve used a blackberry with BIS-service, you won’t want to lose that. Using a blackberry without BIS-service, is kinda like running windows on a mac: it works but you know it can do so much better.
But, on the other hand, if you’re new to the blackberry platform, this could be what you want.
Feel free to add your comments or questions and I’ll try to answer them if I can.