Mobile month in Ukraine

I am off to Ukraine for a month from Aug 12 to Sep 6th. I plan to get local GSM mobile number with the 1Gb data plan from LIFE and to keep blogging from my Nokia 6120 Classic to this blog (on the topic of issues facing a mobile blogger in Ukraine) and to my personal blog, letting my relatives see new pictures of relatives and nostalgic towns and villages as I travel.

During one month I will visit Kiev, Kherson, Zalizny Port (Metal Port?), Crimea (Simferopol, Evpatorija, Kazantip dance festival) and Odeassa region. Most of the time will be spent by the Black Sea. I really hope to come back as black as possible.

On the mobile side, I count that I will be regularly checking my 5 mailboxes, and keep working from far away on the development on of my web store (will use Quickoffice and OfficeSuite to open any attachment that come my way).

For browsing I will have Opera Mobile, Opera Mini 2 Russian mod, Opera 4 beta and Nokia S60 built in browser.

For IM and VOIP I will use IM+ (solnyshok (a) gmail.com, solnyshok (a) hotmail.com ) and IM+ for Skype. I do hope that during this month Fring will issue a version supporting Nokia 6120 Classic as they promised in their support forums. That would instantly enable my phone for Skype and Gtalk voice communications. I know that it would work reasonably well even over EDGE network that is currently the best you can get in Ukraine.

For Navigation I have Nokia Maps, Google Maps, MGMaps, TomTom6 and SmartComGPS. The problem is that none of the above have any good maps of Odessa, Kherson and Simferopol. For those, I just use maps from OzyExplorer converted for SmartComGPS. Those do not have street names though. For Kiev, I have quite good TomTom map (EasterEurope v608 beta). NokiaMaps and GMaps are pretty useless in Ukraine. Mgmaps (using MSN Roadmaps) are a bit better, but require constant data connection and do not have street names in the abovementioned southern Ukrainian cities.

I have studied mobile offers from UMS, Kyievstar, Beeline, and Life and came to conclusion that Life will suit me better, because I need not a prepaid, but a contract, and unlike others, Life allows me to use all of signup fee towards communications and data plan. Others just make signup fee (about 200 hrivnas) an entrance ticket. And the cost of data plan wih Life is 60 vs. 200+ with other operators. Of course, all of this is only my understanding, after studying operator websites, I will see if I am right in couple of days.

I am in Kiev Aug12-15, in Kherson Aug 16-18, Kazantip Aug 19-25, Odessa Auf 26-Sep6.

So, I am done with the last post on the proper keyboard for the next 4 weeks. Wish me luck, good weather, and stable network out there in Ukrainian prairies.