Using a Blackberry handheld as a dialup modem

  1. Introduction
    Did you know that BlackBerry can now be used just like an external modem for a laptop computer, so that a laptop can have full Internet access? This is useful when you need to do certain things that a BlackBerry cannot yet do. Increasing numbers of success reports have caused me to post this message. (Note: Mark Rejhon has not himself yet successfully used a BlackBerry as a modem; I am aggregating information). Sometimes, it is still tricky to set up a BlackBerry as a modem for a laptop, but this feature is becoming more and more common in cellphones, and BlackBerry models are following suit.
  2. Supported BlackBerry Models
    Model 7100t, 7105t, 7290, 8290, 8700g
  3. Connect Your BlackBerry
    Make sure your BlackBerry is connected by USB cable, and your BlackBerry Handheld Manager is running (just launch BlackBerry Desktop to run it.) This is necessary for using the BlackBerry as an external modem. You cannot use BlackBerry as a modem unless you have BlackBerry Handheld Manager running in the background!
  4. Modem Driver Install
    If you installed a recent version of BlackBerry Desktop that came with a 7100t, 7290, 7250, or 7520, it should include modem drivers and already be automatically installed. In the event you need to manually install them, the modem drivers should be located in this directory:
    C:program filesCommon FilesResearch In MotionModem Drivers
    However, if you are having problems with these drivers, uninstall, delete all leftover RIM files, and then reinstall the latest version of BlackBerry Desktop.
  5. Verify The Modem Driver Is Functioning
    Go to Control Panel -> Phone & Modem Options. In the Modems tab, you should see a new Standard Modem on a new port (such as COM6 or COM11). Click Properties -> Diagnostics -> Query Modem. You should see the following:


AT+GMM – BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI1 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI2 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI3 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI4 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI5 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI6 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem
ATI7 – Research In Motion / BlackBerry IPmodem

Note: This may look different on Nextel 7520, or Sprint/Verizon/Bell Mobility 7250. This is normal. Just make sure there is a response at all, rather than no response.

    Click Properties -> Advanced and add only ONE of the following Extra initialization commands with the appropriate carrier-specific APN Setting:

    TMOBILE USA Users (Success!)

  2. Add A New Internet Connection
    Close the Phone and Modem Options and the Control Panel. Create a new connection with Start -> Connect To -> Show all connections -> Create a new connection.


1. Click Next

2. Select “Connect To The Internet” then Next

3. Select “Set up my connection manually” then Next

4. Select “Connect using a dial-up modem” then Next.

5. Check only the Standard Modem (if prompted).

6. Give the connection a name such as “BlackBerry Modem”, then Next.

7. On the next screen, pick one of the following phone numbers, depending on your carrier:
….If you use GSM/Cingular/AT&T/TMobile: Enter phone number *99#
….If you use iDEN/Nextel/Telus: Enter phone number S=2
….If you use CDMA/Verizon/Sprint/Bell Canada: Enter phone number #777

8. Click Next.

9. On the next screen, pick one of the following, depending on your carrier:

….If you use Cingular Blue, AT&T or Nextel:
………Username: (blank)
………Password: (blank)

….If you use Rogers Canada:
………Username: wapuser1
………Password: wap

….If you use Cingular Orange:
………Password: CINGULAR1

….If you use T-Mobile:
………Username: (Your existing Username)
………Password: (Your existing Password)

….If you use Verizon, replace 8005551212 with your phone number:
………Password: 8005551212

….If you use Sprint:
………Username: (Your existing Sprint PCS Username)
………Password: (Your existing Sprint PCS Password)

….If you use Bell Mobility, replace 8005551212 with your phone number:
………Password: (Your Bell Mobility Voicemail PIN)

10. Clear all checkboxes (“Use…when anyone…” and “Make this the default…”)

11. Click Finish


  1. Disable IP Header Compression
    Make sure TCP/IP Properties (Advanced) “Use IP Header Compression” checkbox is NOT checked. To verify this, do these steps:


1. Start Menu->Network Connections->”BlackBerry Modem”
2. Click Properties Button
3. Click Networking Tab
4. Select “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)”
5. Click Properties Button
6. Click Advanced… Button
7. Disable “Use IP header compression” checkbox
8. Click all OK buttons to close all dialogs

Also make sure you clear all these checkboxes, if you see any of these checked:
Turn off “Enable Hardware Flow Control”
Turn off “Enable Modem Error Control”
Turn off “Enable Modem Compression”

  1. BES Configuration
    Skip this step if you are not on BES. You only need to follow this step if your company gave the BlackBerry to you. If you are at a company and you are on a BES 4.0, your Administrator must enable the “BlackBerry IPModem” setting on the BES. This is a new setting in the Version 4.0 of BES.
  2. Surf On The Laptop!
    Connect to the Internet on the laptop by clicking the “BlackBerry Modem” icon via Start Menu->Network Connections. No username or password is needed.