22 Jan 2011

Blackberry BIS over WiFi on SMS Roaming

I was in the UK with my Vodacom South Africa Blackberry Bold 9700 on SMS roaming. The setup worked great as I could SMS when I was out and about and make use of full BIS functionality when I was in range of a WiFi network. I was receiving push email, using Twitter for Blackberry, sending BBM and making use of all my applications as I usually would back in South Africa. BIS over WiFi really works great on the Blackberry Bold.

However, I made the mistake of inserting a Vodafone SIM card into my BlackBerry to make a voice call. I didn’t realize that Vodafone would push its Blackberry service book settings onto my BB automatically. So at that point my BB was reduced to plain old WiFi hot-spot browsing. I lost push email, Twitter, BBM etc. and I couldn’t find a way to restore my Vodacom BIS settings manually. I had to make do with using the BB browser (and Opera Mini) for all my web needs. Of course I could have just signed up for a BB data plan on the Vodafone SIM but I figured I would learn my lesson and just manage without BIS.

Within 10 minutes of returning to South Africa (and deactivating SMS roaming), I received push email on my BlackBerry again – Vodacom had restored my BIS settings. I don’t know if there is a way to prevent your BB from downloading provider service book settings automatically, but do be aware that your BIS can be messed up if/when you use an alternative provider’s SIM. This can be particularly troublesome when you are on SMS roaming, as you won't be able to get your native provider's BIS settings back until you return to their local network.

19 Jan 2011

Free SMS to MTN, CellC and Vodacom from your PC or mobile phone

Free082SMS has added CellC SMS and MTN SMS to its offering in the last two months. So it's now possible to send free SMS to the 3 largest cellular providers in South Africa.

CellC is the only provider limited by the fact that you need to have a CellC number to register on cellc.co.za in order to send free SMS on the CellC network. MTN allows users with non-MTN numbers to register and send SMS from mtn.co.za. You do need a Vodacom number to register for free SMS from vodacom.co.za, but non-Vodacom subscribers can also send free Vodacom SMS from any valid email address.

In other words the Free SMS offering now looks like this:

SMS to MTNSMS to CellCSMS to Vodacom
Subscribers5 SMS/day5 SMS/day20 SMS/day
Non-subscribers5 SMS/day0 SMS/day3 email to SMS/day

Free082SMS.co.za has been built to accommodate as many web enabled devices as possible. So you should have access to free SMS from just about any web enabled mobile phone or PC. You can give feedback to the active Twitter account @Free082SMS or leave comments below