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.
Credit goes to Scoobydoo, bfrye, bollar, VitaminB, jmounts, webtoker, dozment and countless others for their contributions.
- Supported BlackBerry Models
Model 710X: Success (Rogers, T-Mobile)
Model 7290: Success (Rogers, AT&T, Cingular, T-Mobile)
Model 7250: Success (Verizon)
Model 8100: Success (T-Mobile)
Model 8700: Success (Rogers, Cingular)
Model 7130e: Success (Verizon, Bell Mobility)
- Supported Carriers
Carrier AT&T: Success!
Carrier Rogers: Success!
Carrier Vodafone: Success!
Carrier T-Mobile: Success!
Carrier Verizon: Sometimes Successful
Carrier Cingular: Sometimes Successful
Carrier Nextel/Telus: May need to use www.mobishark.com
Carrier Sprint: May need to use www.mobishark.com
Carrier Bell Mobility: 7130e Confirmed, Must use www.mobishark.com otherwise
Currently, Rogers, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Vodafone UK are reported to work. Sometimes and Cingular works, but is much harder to setup. No confirmations for other carriers yet.
Important: If you are using a BES 4.0 server, your BES 4.0 server, you should not use the “Disable IPmodem” setting. BES hosting providers such as eOutlook/Mailstreet/BES4U/MyBlueberry must avoid setting the “Disable IPmodem” setting.
- 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!
- 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 files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Modem 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.
- Verify The Modem Driver Exists
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). If you do, jump to the next step.
However, if your modem is missing:
If this modem entry is missing and cannot be found using Plug n Play, you may have to manually add it. Verify you have “RIM Virtual Serial Port” drivers installed. Find out which COM ports the RIM Virtual Serial Ports are, go to Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> Ports (COM & LPT) … This will tell you which COM ports your BlackBerry Modem is on. Next, go to Control Panel -> Phone and Modem and Remove the modem. Re-add the modem by clicking on Add. You MUST select the “Standard 33600 bps Modem” (correct) INSTEAD OF “Standard 56000 bps Modem” (wrong). Click Next. You will be asked for the ports to add this modem to. Add this modem to all COM ports that the RIM Virtual Serial Port is on. You must choose the “Standard 33600 bps Modem” because of incompatible AT commands that result in an Error 628. Don’t worry, the speed won’t be slower.
- 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:Quote:
ATQ0V1E0 – OK
AT+GMM – BlackBerry IPmodem
AT+FCLASS=? – OK
AT#CLS=? – OK
AT+GCI? – OK
AT+GCI=? – OK
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.
- IMPORTANT SPECIAL CONFIGURATION STEP
Click Properties -> Advanced and add only ONE of the following Extra initialization commands with the appropriate carrier-specific APN Setting:
TMOBILE USA Users (Success!)
Rogers Users (Success!)
Cingular Blue/AT&T Users (Success!)
Cingular Orange Users (Success!)
UK Vodafone Users (Success!)
Verizon Users (Success!) – Keep blank
Nextel/Telus iDEN Users (untested) – Keep blank
Sprint/Bell Mobility CDMA Users (untested) – Keep blank
- 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.Quote:
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:
….If you use Rogers Canada:
….If you use Cingular Orange:
….If you use T-Mobile:
………Username: (Your existing TMobile.com Username)
………Password: (Your existing TMobile.com Password)
….If you use Verizon, replace 8005551212 with your phone number:
….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
- Disable IP Header Compression
Make sure TCP/IP Properties (Advanced) “Use IP Header Compression” checkbox is NOT checked. To verify this, do these steps:Quote:
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”
- 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.
- 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.