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  1. T3CK's Avatar
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       #1  
    Hi guys,

    Based on the compatibility thread, Pre 2 is fully compatible with Bell network.
    I took the time tonight to call Bell and find out if is possible to have my Palm Pre changed with a Palm Pre 2 unlocked device. Since the sales department was closed, I got transfered to Technical Support where I had the chance to speak with a supertech guy. It looks like he knew the Pre inside out, he gave me detailed instructions how you can easily switch your current Pre to a new unlocked device.

    Basically, the process is very simple: all you have to do is order the unlocked device from HP, then show yourself with the phone into any Bell store to perform the switch. The sales rep will take the new phone, verify the serial number for compatibility and provide you with a SIM card that will function on Bell network. All this is done right away, they have the SIM cards in store, you only have to pay a $35 programming fee. You can also buy online your SIM card, it costs only $5 with no contract. I wonder how the actual programming of the phone will be handled, I would rather have everything done into store and gladly pay the $35 fee to have the phone working right away.

    The tech guy also told me that Bell has an online tool where you can check your new phone 15digits IMEI ID, for compatibility with their network:
    Will my mobile phone or smartphone work on the Bell network?

    Usually, you can get the ID by typing *#06# or simply look on the back of your phone, under the battery. On Pre, you can find it on Device Info > More Info > Hardware > IMEI.

    From reading more information on compatibility site, it looks like Palm Pre 2 needs to be 3G/UMTS and 850 MHz and 1900 MHz compatible... and it is. So I guess I will apply for a $200 developer coupon and get the $445 deal from HP.

    Update: I activated successfully my HP unlocked Pre 2 on Bell network. In order to do this, you will need to have in hand your Pre 2 (obviously) and a Bell regular SIM card (not micro). Before I started the activation process, I completely turned off my old Pre, just in case.

    1. Go to the online activation site, login into your eCare account and click on the option Change my current phone.

    2. You will be asked first to enter your new phone serial number.
    Look on your Pre 2 box and type in the 15 IMEI digits (not the phone serial).

    3. Next, you will be asked to enter the SIM card serial number.
    Enter the 20 digits you see on your Bell SIM card.

    4. Next, you will asked to validate your current plan, or change for a different one.
    I kept my old plan, without playing with any option I saw available as marked free. Basically, you will see about 285 check boxes with various free and non-free options, as well other options to switch to various "better" plans. I did not touched any of them, I know from my own experience that one little change can cancel your current plan and you might wakeup with a large bill next month... not to mention that you cannot revert back to the good plan you previously had.

    5. Next, you will be asked to confirm if everything is OK and the order will be submitted for approval.
    It took about 5min, until I saw Bell displayed on my phone, instead of the SOS carrier. Once I saw the message, I pulled the battery and waited for the phone to come alive. Bell will also send you an email with the transaction record that includes a comparison between the old and new setup and the modified options, if any. In my case there were no changes.

    6. Once the phone is ready to be profile enabled, you will be asked to select the launch country, then a preferred language.
    I selected Canada as launch country and chose the English language. As a side note, you can only chose the launch country once and if you use a Bell SIM card, it must be Canada. Selecting US as launch country with a Bell SIM card will lock your phone.

    7. Next, you will be asked to create or enter an existing Palm profile.
    I entered my old Palm profile information and when I tried to register it, I was prompted with a no service message. It gave me also an option where I can enter the Network Settings. I used the following settings:
    Internet APN: pda.bell.ca
    Username: (unchanged, left it empty)
    Password: (unchanged, left it empty)
    MMSC: http://mms.bell.ca/mms/wapenc
    MMS Proxy: web.wireless.bell.ca:80
    Max Size: 610
    Once I entered the APN information and saved the settings, I had to wait about 1 minute until a 3G icon showed next to the signal bars. Then, I was able to save the Palm profile information. The usual update routine started.

    Some interesting/negative things I noticed, so far:
    - I could not use the current SDK or novacom drivers, it will not work on Pre 2. I needed to download the pre-release versions from the Palm developer site.
    - I can only see free apps available into App Catalog. Yet, Palm Profile installed Tweed as paid application.
    - All my Google contacts are messed. Tons of duplicates were added and each contact had added their name as nickname, creating clutter on the display list.
    Last edited by T3CK; 06/21/2011 at 02:12 PM.
    Floren Munteanu
    why queued - My blog
  2. #2  
    You probably won't get the coupon until middle January. They're still working through the requests from last month and they're going on break late next week until early January.

    Also, you'll need someone in the USA who can purchase your Pre2 for you and ship it to you, as the deal is US-only for some time (may go international, may not)
    Arthur Thornton

    Former webOS DevRel Engineer at Palm, HP, and LG
    Former webOS app developer (built Voice Memos, Sparrow, and several homebrew apps and patches)
    Former blogger for webOS Nation and webOS Roundup
  3. T3CK's Avatar
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       #3  
    Hi Arthur,

    Ya, I know the coupon is for States only. Even if I live in Montreal, I have an US address also.
    Thanks for the info, though. I saw that you got yours very quickly.
    Floren Munteanu
    why queued - My blog
  4. snd7's Avatar
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    #4  
    I'm posting this from my developed discounted Pre 2 on Fido. I had no problem setting up the unlocked device - you can check my thread where I outlined getting it set up.

    I chose not to stay with Bell since I wasn't on contract with them with my original Pre and had been a long time Fido customer before that.

    I expect you should have no problem if you get the device. Just keep in mind, you'll need a US shipping address as well as a US credit card payment method.

    Good luck!
  5. T3CK's Avatar
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       #5  
    I purchase on a regular basis products from States.
    Thanks for letting me know. I'm staying with Bell because I have a killer price on the plan.
    Floren Munteanu
    why queued - My blog
  6. #6  
    Good morning T3CK

    Glad to see that the Pre 2 is compatible with BELL network.

    If I want a Pre 2, do I have to be in the US???

    Thank's

    Alain
    ----------------------------------
    Alain (abellemare44)
    HP Pre3 2.2.4 (ATT 4G 16 Gigs) with BELL in Canada

    HP TouchPad 16 Gigs Wifi
    With UberKernel 3.0.4 1,8 Ghz
    Cyanogenmod 7 Alpha 3,5 Android 2.3.7


    PS: sorry for the bad english, it's not my native language
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by abellemare44 View Post
    Good morning T3CK

    Glad to see that the Pre 2 is compatible with BELL network.

    If I want a Pre 2, do I have to be in the US???

    Thank's

    Alain
    According to the HP ordering system... yes. You will need a US shipping and billing address for the credit card you use. But if you have any friends here, that shouldn't be a problem. Make sure they activate it for your properly to ensure US app catalog access before sending it to you.
    Clicking the Thanks button is a great way to say... well THANKS
    Phone Apps: Church Search, Tap for HELP
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  8. #8  
    I think the more important question for Bell customers is whether or not those killer (by Canadian standards) rebate plans we got to clearout the Pre will continue on the GSM network.
    I have heard that some have had success in switching to the iphone through ecare after purchasing a sim but I would be wary of actually attending a Bell store or having an actual Bell employee process this switch manually.
    As the discount shows up as a rebate against the normal plan fee on our monthly bills, it would be easy for Bell to simply remove them once the plan is not linked to the phone and network for which the rebate was given.
    Anyway, I'm not in a rush to update just yet. I'll wait it out and see how others do in making the switch and weigh my options when my Pre minus craps out. If I'm careful I should get by for another 8 to 12 months..
  9. T3CK's Avatar
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       #9  
    I was talking about the monthly plan you pay for the line and data, not the rebate you got on the phone or any other type of rebate applied to the phone bill. My plan will be the same price forever (as long I don't switch to another plan, obviously), it will not increase after a 3 years period of time.

    As I said before, as soon I get the developer coupon, I'm buying the phone and will go to a Bell store to do the switch. In my books, $285 ($449 + $36 tax - $200 coupon) for an unlocked Pre 2 is a great deal. There is no way I would get a similar deal with Bell, since I'm not eligible for a phone discount before Dec 2011.
    Floren Munteanu
    why queued - My blog
  10. #10  
    Sounds like you got a good deal that's perhaps been grandfathered.
    Many of us Bell Pre users got in on a recent deal where Bell knocked $15 a month off of the $50 plan which included 200 minutes, free evenings and weekends and 500gb per month. Later adopters, like me, got tethering included on that plan and are able to take advantage of your great thread on enabling mobilehotspot. Thanks!
    The thing is Bell would have every right to pull that $15 rebate were we to switch phones. I actually see in their latest Holiday Flyer that they are still offering this plan which is available ONLY with the Palm Pre.
    Last edited by crutzulee; 12/15/2010 at 02:37 PM.
  11. T3CK's Avatar
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       #11  
    I see, thanks for taking the time to explain it.
    Floren Munteanu
    why queued - My blog
  12. #12  
    They shouldn't be able to take away any price discount that you have on your account.
    It was a promotion for you to sign a 3 year contract and buy the Palm Pre. what would happen if you lost the Palm Pre? You would either have to buy it outright or lose your 15$ off a month plus still be stuck with a 3 year contract. I don't think anywhere in your contract it will say you must use the palm pre for 3 years and no other phone. It's no different then any other promotion, You could of actually went in got the discount and then hooked up a different phone that same day. as long as you sign a 3 year contract and buy the Palm Pre.

    now with switching from CDMA to GSM shouldn't change a thing either, You would just have to buy a SIM card and then hook it up instore for $15 bucks or do it online for free. I Honestly would just go instore and let them do it and get it done right the first time since webOS is kinda weird with hooking up on bell. nothing like PalmOS was.

    tc
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by crutzulee View Post
    Sounds like you got a good deal that's perhaps been grandfathered.
    Many of us Bell Pre users got in on a recent deal where Bell knocked $15 a month off of the $50 plan which included 200 minutes, free evenings and weekends and 500gb per month. Later adopters, like me, got tethering included on that plan and are able to take advantage of your great thread on enabling mobilehotspot. Thanks!
    The thing is Bell would have every right to pull that $15 rebate were we to switch phones. I actually see in their latest Holiday Flyer that they are still offering this plan which is available ONLY with the Palm Pre.
    RE: 500gb per month. Later adopters, like me, got tethering included on that plan and are able to take advantage of your great thread on enabling mobilehotspot.

    500gb per month That's incredible.
    When one of you receives your Pre 2 and has it up and running on Bell, please let us know how tethering with carrier blessings using MHS on Bell is working.

    There have been issues on other networks due to the move away from IP forwarding.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent AT&T’s positions, strategies or opinions.
  14. #14  
    @ Greg Mair, the rub is that under this deal, you didn't pay anything for the Pre. The rebate on the monthly bill was tied to usage of the CDMA Pre. As I said, I know that there is anecdotal evidence of people switching to iphone and some of our Pre bretheren have moved onto Franken Pre Plus models using ecare. My hesitation would be with anything involving speaking to a Bell employee.
    I won't go on a rant about my personel experience,but there are pages upon pages on other forums about people who have been screwed over when Bell makes changes to their account.
  15. T3CK's Avatar
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       #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by TopTongueBarry View Post
    500gb per month That's incredible.
    I'm pretty sure he meant 500MB.
    Bell data plans are 500MB, you can bump them to 1GB. We don't have an unlimited plan, doh. On the other hand, Bell does not have a proper data tracker, so you can download worth of 20GB and it will show virtually nothing on your bill consumption.

    I hope we will keep this fashion with the 3G network, because I tether a lot.

    @crutzulee: I had similar experiences, when I changed my Blackberry to a Palm Pre. Bell Store tried to change my plan and upsell me something else as a better "alternative". The secret is to call customer service 2-3 times and make sure you get the proper information. When they tried to force upgrading my old plan, I told them to call their customer service to find out how they can switch the phone without changing the plan, because it is possible. They faked a call and said "OK, we are changing your phone, then you can get the f&$k out of here." in a nicer way.
    Last edited by T3CK; 12/15/2010 at 04:32 PM.
    Floren Munteanu
    why queued - My blog
  16. #16  
    I wish I had spoken to you before. They totally screwed me over when I wanted the Palm Pre. I lost all my "seniority" on my corporate plan when the guy at their corporate store "setup" what I had agreed to over the phone with retentions.
    Every month's bill since has been an adventure and an exercise in the art of the ridiculous.
    Talking to a Bell rep can seriously make one question one's sanity - you just can't believe the idiotic things that are said.
    As I said earlier, a search on Howard Forums and elswhere reveals that I am not alone.
  17. T3CK's Avatar
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       #17  
    Honestly, I believe Bell customer service is great if you get the right rep (like I did with the tech guy giving precise information). He confirmed that I can switch my Pre to the new Pre 2 unlocked phone, without any plan changes, the same way another tech confirmed in 2009 that I can do it with my Blackberry. So I guess their policy did not changed.

    You have to understand that Bell stores are getting paid in commission and their goal is to sell you a new phone/plan, not to charge you a tiny $35 to replace your phone. You just have to be prepared with the right answers when you go to the store, that's all. One thing is sure, the guy who tried to upsell me did not liked me at all when I was giving him precise instructions what he needs to do in order to replace my Blackberry.

    The trick is to first call Bell and ask as much information possible related to their phone switch policy. Make sure you talk with the technical support guys over the phone, not the sales department. The sales guys will pull you all kind of stories because they are also forced to upsell constantly and they have quota to reach in order to keep their jobs.
    Last edited by T3CK; 12/15/2010 at 10:38 PM.
    Floren Munteanu
    why queued - My blog
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by GuyFromNam View Post
    I'm a bit puzzled by all this.
    We're talking about a GSM network, and a SIM phone, right?
    Why shouldn't you be able to use any SIM card phone on a GSM network?
    (umts frequencies blahblah applies of course)
    Isn't that the whole point to GSM technology?
    Bell new network is HSPA UMTS only, they do not have a GSM network. The first-gen Pre is a CDMA device on Bell's old network, hence no SIM card. To switch from CDMA to HSPA one needs a SIM card.
    Palm IIIc -> Sony CLIÉ T650C -> Sony TJ-37 -> Palm TX -> Palm Centro -> Palm Pre Bell -> Palm Pre Plus Bell/Verizon Hybrid -> HP Veer -> HP Pre 3 NA -> BlackBerry Classic -> BlackBerry Priv

    It's a Late Goodbye, such a Late Goodbye.

    Need OEM Palm Pre parts? See here
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by pastorrich1 View Post
    According to the HP ordering system... yes. You will need a US shipping and billing address for the credit card you use. But if you have any friends here, that shouldn't be a problem. Make sure they activate it for your properly to ensure US app catalog access before sending it to you.
    You can activate in Canada to get the Canadian catalog. We're an official launch country.
    Palm IIIc -> Sony CLIÉ T650C -> Sony TJ-37 -> Palm TX -> Palm Centro -> Palm Pre Bell -> Palm Pre Plus Bell/Verizon Hybrid -> HP Veer -> HP Pre 3 NA -> BlackBerry Classic -> BlackBerry Priv

    It's a Late Goodbye, such a Late Goodbye.

    Need OEM Palm Pre parts? See here
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Mair View Post
    They shouldn't be able to take away any price discount that you have on your account.
    It was a promotion for you to sign a 3 year contract and buy the Palm Pre. what would happen if you lost the Palm Pre? You would either have to buy it outright or lose your 15$ off a month plus still be stuck with a 3 year contract. I don't think anywhere in your contract it will say you must use the palm pre for 3 years and no other phone. It's no different then any other promotion, You could of actually went in got the discount and then hooked up a different phone that same day. as long as you sign a 3 year contract and buy the Palm Pre.

    now with switching from CDMA to GSM shouldn't change a thing either, You would just have to buy a SIM card and then hook it up instore for $15 bucks or do it online for free. I Honestly would just go instore and let them do it and get it done right the first time since webOS is kinda weird with hooking up on bell. nothing like PalmOS was.

    tc
    They don't explicitly say you can switch, because they don't want employees activating the plan on unlocked phones for friends.

    But if you're an actual user who bought the Pre, yes you can switch devices, I've rotated between 3 Pres already. I haven't personally tried a CDMA to HSPA switch, but I've heard reports it works and you get to keep the discount.
    Palm IIIc -> Sony CLIÉ T650C -> Sony TJ-37 -> Palm TX -> Palm Centro -> Palm Pre Bell -> Palm Pre Plus Bell/Verizon Hybrid -> HP Veer -> HP Pre 3 NA -> BlackBerry Classic -> BlackBerry Priv

    It's a Late Goodbye, such a Late Goodbye.

    Need OEM Palm Pre parts? See here
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