★ Mobile Vikings & Blackberry

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).
Browser: check.

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.
Mail: semi-check

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.

★ Mobile Vikings & Blackberry

11 thoughts on “★ Mobile Vikings & Blackberry

  1. nice overview.
    For us (Mobile Vikings) it is too expensive to pay Blackberry for their service. Their licensing contracts already make it quite impossible to offer the service on a prepaid sim card.
    Windows Mobile on the other hand does allow services like gMail to use Push email using the Activesync protocol. I feel that RIM is not being honest by selling devices that are crippled in functionality unless you pay expensive license fees.

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  2. Celine says:

    Nuttig! Mocht ik voor die combinatie gaan dus… Maar ik werk ook met Mac, en vind het net als jij een beetje zonde om je BB niet ten volle te benutten… Wat is, volgend op mobile vikings, het goedkoopste alternatief?

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  3. Mooi artikel, hier stonden nieuwe dingen voor mij 🙂 .

    Celine, laat het ons zo zeggen: toen ik een maand of vier geleden aan het rondkijken was voor mobiel internet, kwam het hierop neer: bij Mobistar/Proximus/Base betaal je iets minder of iets meer dan ?15, énkel voor de internetoptie. Je hebt natuurlijk wel een snellere verbinding (3,5G). Onder de ?25/maand zal je niet veel vinden. Hoe het zit met prepaid weet ik zo niet, die formules veranderen alle vijf stappen.

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  4. @ Koen
    Thanks for the reply! And I agree with you on RIM forcing your hand in this.
    I’ll be writing something about alternatives and other platforms soon.
    1 other question: Since MV is using the Base network, would the Base-BIS-server be on option?

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  5. That was exactly the same question I was asking myself. If you guys (mobile vikings) work on the Base network, why not use the Base-BIS-server. If you would be able to offer BIS + 60 minutes calling and 1000 sms messages for 15 euro, I’m sure you would get a lot of BlackBerry customers. A lot.

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  6. Totally agree. If I would follow my heart, I would become mobile Viking. Just for the sympathy I feel for the project. But I won’t settle for a half-baked Blackberry. The reason I chose for such a device is just that functionality that other phones do not offer in my opinion. A combination of RIM Base license with the strengths of Mobile Vikings would be great.

    My wife, who works with iPhone is very pleased with Mobile Vikings and their service and support. The day that I can switch to a full blackberry service, I will switch instantly.

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  7. Björn Pennings says:

    Hmmm… Same here…
    I would take mobile Vikings… But they don’t work fully with my blackberry, and that is a problem.

    When this will be solved, i would take Mobile Vikings

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  8. Tomas says:

    I have Mobile Vikings and a Blackberry Curve 8900
    And I can use the Blackberry browser, I also can use Google Maps
    And on top of that, i can use the facebook app. Not the 1.8 version, but the older 1.6.0.22
    But it’s very easy to upload pictures, update your status, send messages or leave stuff on peoples wall.
    It’s not easy to make this work, but it’s possible 🙂
    I just can’t make the e-mail app work!

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  9. esther says:

    Weet er iemand hoe het vandaag zit met de wisselwerking tussen blackberry en MV? Heb me net een sim kaart aangevraagd en laten activeren en helaas te laat gezien dat blackberry niet volledig werkt met de operator. Iemand een idee hoe ik de push functie voor gmail kan laten werken?

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