At 6:11 am -0800 on 19/11/03 Nick Frengle wrote:
> I got to use a prior model of Vodafone made by NEC this summer when travelling to Europe, and thought it worked brilliantly.
In the sense that people here in Japan could call your local Japanese number and reach you in Europe?
> It did not, actually support regular e-mail in Japan, ONLY SMS, meaning that to send an e-mail to another mobile phone user, you could only enter their phone number, not an e-mail address. It basically only worked if the receiver was a J-Phone or Tsuka customer.
Interesting but I'm not a fan of mobile e-mail.
> It also did not have sha-mail, though it has videophone features.
Does the videophone work via live streaming or is it downloaded video clip?
> The new phone has MMS roaming, meaning something very like sha-mail. However, at this point I am not totally sure of the data roaming agreements that Vodafone KK and other European OpCos have.
This seems to be the bottleneck in obtaining that elusive "universal number". If your operator does not have roaming agreements with the targeted country you plan to visit, then you're short of luck no matter if technically it is possible.
I was assuming that the Vodafone in different countries would all be seamlessly connected but it seems that this is not the case at the moment.
> I know that this will improve if it is not currently perfect (yes, I actually work for Vodafone KK).
That's good to hear. But, from what I hear, working out roaming agreements is notoriously difficult and expensive.
> As far as cost goes, as an employee and pilot use of the NEC model, I didn't have to pay anything.
I guess I should wander over to the Vodafone site and see what the roaming charges are.
> I do know that the phones are all SIM locked. There is one model, made by Nokia, though, that is not locked, and supports a wide variety of SIMs. You have to buy the phone from a dealer, however, and then go to a Vodafone shop and purchase the SIM separately. It is not a cheap handset, either, because we are not subsidising it, and I believe it is about 70,000-80,000 yen.
This wouldn't be a problem for me if I only traveled anywhere else but North America.
> Neither the NEC model nor the Nokia model are tri-band GSM, either, so they will basically not work on the 1900 mHz networks in North America.
Since I travel constantly to North America, I must have a phone that works there.
> The new Sanyo model due out in December IS tri-band, and a very cute little package to boot.
Is this model also SIM locked?
> Hope this was reasonably helpful.
Thank you and I appreciate the feedback.
Eric Bossieux eric_at_tti-jpn.com
Received on Thu Nov 20 04:34:51 2003