2012 06 14
Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia (just north of Tunis and Carthage)
Here is a strong recommendation about phone and data communications if you are travelling around the Mediterranean: go Blackberry.
The first Blackberry phone and indeed the only smartphone I have ever owned was purchased a month ago in Valencia, Spain. I got an unlimited data plan for €4.50 per week and used the phone to download weather, navtex and grib files all through Spain and the Balaearics. The phone provided rock solid email and BBM (blackberry messenger service) as well. And listen to Bob: if you haven't tried Blackberry Messenger Service you should. Nothing parallels this marvel and I know I am a decade behind the times on this one.
When we moved the boat to Tunisia it took me ten minutes – ten minutes – to arrange new phone and data service. I walked into a Tunisia Telecom store and bought a new sim with Blackberry data plan. The sim cost €2 (actually TD4.50, ie 4.5 Tunisian dinars) The data plan is unlimited and costs TD30 a month (€15).
The sign up only took ten minutes because the Tunisia Telecom agent had to type all my passport info into his computer and he spoke French not English. No make that I spoke English not French. His country after all. My bad.
Because everything runs through a Blackberry server and my Blackberry ID the change was seamless. All my email and BBM message history and all the applications I had bought from Blackberry remained intact after the new Tunisian sim was installed.
The transfer was seamless, instantaneous and inexpensive.
Blackberry is a great communications solution for multinational travellers.
Bob tested and approved. Blackberry have paid nothing for this recommendation. I think they may be too broke to pay promotional fees.