Using BlackBerry Service In Vietnam

As an Indonesian in Vietnam, I often meet fellow Indonesians on holiday here, and one of the most frequent questions they have is: how do I use my Blackberry in Vietnam?

Well, there are basically 3 options, that would apply to most BlackBerry users:

  • International Roaming
Provided you have international roaming activated on your number, as far as I know the BlackBerry service will work. But be prepared for an enormous bill.
  • Use the service over WiFi
Free WiFi is pretty much available anywhere around HCMC (and I hear, in many other cities) – cafes, restaurants and hotels usually provide it free and most of the time, all you just need to ask for a password. The video below will show you how (video by Crackberry).
  • Use a local operator

There are now officially two local operators in Vietnam that run the BlackBerry service. Viettel has actually had the service for a few years, but only for BlackBerry Enterprise Server users, and they only launched Blackberry Internet Server available for prepaid cards in August 2011. Mobifone just launched their Blackberry services in December 2011. Now for most users, the BIS plan for prepaid cards would be the most reasonable choice.

How to activate BlackBerry Internet Service on Viettel

For full BIS service, just send BB MAIL TUAN (weekly charging, 30,000 VND/week) or BB MAIL THANG (monthly charging, 100,000 VND/month) to 1602. If you want to see what other service options they have, you can look at Viettel’s Blackberry page here, and going to the “Dich Vu” section. Unfortunately the site doesn’t have an English service, but you should be able to figure it out.

How to activate BlackBerry Internet Service on Mobifone

For full BIS service, send DK BAS (monthly charging, 99,000 VND/month) or DK BASP (monthly charging, 130,000 VND, comes with 300 MB bonus data) to 999. If you want to see what other service options they have, you can look here. Luckily they have an English section.

Personally I’ve only been using the Viettel service, and it should be cheaper as they have a weekly charging option, ideal for those who only stay for a few days but simply can’t resist getting their Crackberry fix. As a comparison, standard mobile internet packages are much cheaper compared to their BlackBerry counterparts – I used to use a standard phone with a mobile internet package that gave me 350 MB/month bonus for 50,000 VND; and if you can resist the urge to immediately share pictures to Twitter or Facebook, using the WiFi option is usually adequate.

About barijoe

Failed Musician, Reformed Gadget Freak and Eating Extraordinaire.

16 responses to “Using BlackBerry Service In Vietnam”

  1. chu says :

    Sad to hear you are leaving HCMC. Thanks to you, I learned about the Phu My Hung bus to Dong Khoi from your blog. Also the Lotte Mart bus, even though i failed to catch the bus on my first and only attempt.

    I am sure I will learn more about this city from your blog.

    Selamat Pulang.

  2. Adam says :

    Hello. This is so helpful, thank you! I have tried searching the internet and even calling Mobifone but couldn’t find answers or anyone that could speak english. Can you answer one more question about the rates? I just don’t understand what you mean by “monthly charging, 99,000 VND/week”. Is it 99,000VND per week or per month? Please email me back if you can to reply.

    Thank you.

    • barijoe says :

      Hi Adam. Sorry, slip of the thumb, it’s 99,000 VND/month!

      • Adam says :

        Amazing. Thank you. That is very cheap. I really am so grateful, its impressive how hard it is to find this information out. i checked out the link you provided that shows the different packages:

        Maybe you can help me with yet another question. That link shows a check mark next to Browser in both Basic and Basic plus. But then “data” is a separate category, like you mentioned, where Plus a give you a 300MB bonus. So, what exactly does the browser cover if you can’t use data? Does that just mean that the browser is active, but you still have to pay per use (per kb or so). Or is browsing the internet actually included for free, and only doing things like sending or downloading photos, or using GPS or other apps that require data would cost money?

        Just trying to figure out the cost effectiveness of getting data or not.


      • barijoe says :

        I’m not really sure but I think this is how it goes:
        – the Basic plan will charge you a standard rate per 0.5 VND/ 10 KB
        – the Plus plan will give you 300 MB of data before charging you per 0.5 VND/ 10 KB data.
        This applies to ALL data. browser, email, etc. As far as I can tell (and comparing with BB plans here in Indonesia).

        Do you really need to use Mobifone? because Viettel’s plan seems to be more straightforward.

  3. ze says :

    Ketika transaksi selalu ada sms ‘transaction error or confirm expired’
    Knp ya? Saya pake viettel
    Mhn bantuannya..terima kasih

  4. Sofi says :

    Just bought prepaid card for mobifone at 150000 vnd with 50000vnd value inside. And apparently u could no longer use the DK BAS anymore. To activate sms DK BBU for blackberry unlimited at 40000vnd per month. 🙂

  5. mandy says :

    hello, your writing is very helpful. i wanna ask, does the vietnam provider sell their simcards like in indonesian, you can buy it anywhere and use it at the same day? thank you

    • barijoe says :

      Hi Mandy, yes you can buy the SIM cards anywhere, but try a small shop instead of stores like Circle K. Just say “SIM Card” while pointing to your phone and they’ll understand. If you find one near your hotel, they may even be able to cut it to a micro sim (if you need one).

  6. ody says :

    dk ent sent to 999 for mobifone 30000dong/week

  7. rokotoy says :

    im using bb bold9900 .subscribed to dk bbu .got successfull but still cant use social media, bbm,bis -email…..

    • barijoe says :

      Hey sorry, I’m not sure what happened there but I think you either need to check your TCP/IP settings or contact the telco. I haven’t been in vietnam for a while so I’m not sure if they have made any changes to the system.

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