The morning started with a technical support call that lasted for a while but got several issues taken care of, including getting e-mail setup on the MDA, getting the MDA setup as a modem for the laptop (for when I am stranded in “hotspotless” places during my trip), and answering some of my questions regarding rates and services outside the U.S.
Setting up e-mail and the modem connection did require some work--especially when considering the modem connection.
The T-Mobile MDA has an application called Modem Link. In order to use the MDA as a modem for your laptop, you need to activate modem link on the MDA, which turns the MDA into a modem instead of a smartphone (until you deactivate modem link, which you should do after you are done, in order to be able to use ActiveSync again). That is not all however. You also need to do some involved setup on your laptop to create the modem connection. Luckily this setup is something you only do once and then you just use it when necessary.
It was reassuring to see my laptop connected to the Internet using the MDA as a modem. This is my backup plan for the next few days if/when better connections were not available during my trip. The MDA is able to connect to the EDGE network and the speed I was getting today was about 230kbps or so.
The lesson I learned later today however is that the MDA won’t serve as a modem if you don’t have the USB cable with you! After I reached to the MDA, activated the Modem Link utility, suddenly my excitement was “shattered” when I looked at the MDA and looked at my laptop only to realize that there is no way these devices are going to talk to each other! I forgot to bring the cable with me.
The international rates and services
I did learn a few things today about the rates and services outside the U.S. but still I need to do more research. There is a $15/MB charge for data usage, which would include e-mail, internet, etc. Phone usage will involve roaming charges which seem to vary from location to location and which are detailed at http://www.t-mobile.com/International/
Getting technical support in Europe seems to go through T-Mobile U.S. and not Europe. To reach technical support, I need to call 611 from the handheld, or +15059983793, or this same number from a landline (which would be an international call to the U.S.