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Monday, November 19, 2007

Working! Blackberry 8800 GPS Internationally in India

Great news to report on my recent trip to India in terms of the GPS working internationally on my Blackberry 8800 (Other models include the 8820, & 8830). If you recall from my trip back in July, I tried several times -- but could never get an accurate GPS signal in either Germany or India. After the success I had in Cancun, Mexico -- I decided it was worth another try in India to get some sort of GPS signal reception.

This time, after some fiddling with -- I was able to get the GPS to work. However, it was not easy...the good news is that once I finally located the GPS signal, it worked consistently.

When I walked off the plane, I immediately had phone service in Germany (Vodafone) and India (Air-Tel) along with data service. But GPS did not work immediately in either location.

How did I get it to work?

Well, the famous Blackberry 3-finger salute. A reset of the entire device by simultaneously holding down ALT+CAP+DEL seemed to resolve the issue. After approximately one minute for the device to reset, it started to pick up the necessary GPS signals from the satellite and I was live in India!

I ended up using the GPS device with Google Maps for the majority of the trip in Bangalore. While I was not driving, it gave me a much better perspective of where I was in the city of Bangalore. For how chaotic the city was -- the Google maps were very detailed, even down to many of the side or unlabled roads. This makes it easy to understand where you are in the city. An added benefit of the mapping in Bangalore, India is that it includes a number of notable sites as icons on the maps such as temples, parks and other places of note. Great, especially if you are out sight-seeing.

In some of the more remote areas of the country such as Coimbatore, the maps are no where near as developed. Some of the main routes into and out of the cities are included, but not a lot of the streets around town.

Still, it was a great relief to get ths Blackberry 8800's GPS working in India. It only took me two trips. If you are running into any problems with your GPS internationally, I would recommend the ALT+CAP+DEL 3-finger salute a try before you get too frustrated!