I was confused. I was really confused. About BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) and BB10 (BlackBerry 10). Even Crackberry is confused. But I figured it out.
In order to understand the issue, you need to separate technology from contract:
- BlackBerry 10 works without the BlackBerry infrastructure. You can get your mail directly from the server, you can access the internet directly through your carrier's gateway, you can do everything via WiFi if you want. But there is one component that needs the infrastructure: everything that depends on the device PIN. BBM is PIN2PIN messaging. It needs the relay to route messages from PIN to PIN. The same goes for EMM (Enterprise Mobile Management), read BlackBerry Enterprise Service. It needs the relay between SRP and PIN.
- Access to the BlackBerry infrastructure is governed by a contract between the carrier and BlackBerry, the company. Your carrier SIM was provisioned for BlackBerry service. And this isn't an on/off switch. You were provisioned for BlackBerry Messaging, for BlackBerry Internet Service, for BlackBerry Enterprise Service, etc. The carrier would register your device with BlackBerry, the company. And pay for it. In turn you had to pay for the service. This generates a substantial revenue stream for BlackBerry.
So, do you need BlackBerry service for BBM? Technically, yes. Your device needs to be registered on the relay. BlackBerry, the company, does not tell me how this is going to work. The simple reason is that the contracts between the company and the carriers are not in place. Without the contract, provisioning isn't (supposed to be) working yet.
Here is my take: BlackBerry isn't interested in generating revenue from BBM. Customers don't want to be bothered with special contracts. Any SIM should work. They are interested in growing the community since that sells devices. However they are interested in generating revenue from EMM. This makes life complicated for BlackBerry, but not for you.
BlackBerry tried to gloss over this issue by manually registering all evaluation devices on the relay. This is why I get the berry logo with a prepaid MEDIONmobile SIM without BB service. They need a little more time to make it work for you.
I have tested a new Z10, bought from Phones4u in the UK, with an O2 Germany SIM card that isn't provisioned for BlackBerry service. That device was also able to instantly connect to the BlackBerry infrastructure and BBM could be used. Looks like all BB10 devices are automatically allowed to connect to the BlackBerry infrastructure.
That's just another data point.
My understanding is that BlackBerry, the company, wants carriers to automate the process. Since they have not launched in Germany, they do not answer questions on how this is going to work.
Let's wait for the official launch in Germany. It will be interesting to see how the will handle this and how they will finally deal with the firmware updates.
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