HOWTO: BlackBerry As Modem For Laptop (Tethering)

  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. Credits
    Credit goes to (BBForums Usernames) Mark Rejhon, Scoobydoo, bfrye, bollar, VitaminB, jmounts, webtoker, dozment for their contributions. Thanks for user Wobly specifically for the Vista instructions.
  3. Supported BlackBerry Models
    Model 710X: Success (Rogers, T-Mobile)
    Model 7290: Success (Rogers, AT&T, Cingular, T-Mobile)
    Model 7250: Success (Verizon)
    Model 8100 Pearl: Success (T-Mobile, AT&T)
    Model 8300 Curve: Success (T-Mobile)
    Model 8320 Curve (via BlueTooth): Success (T-Mobile)
    Model 8310 Curve (via BlueTooth): Success (AT&T)
    Model 8800: Success (T-Mobile)
    Model 8700: Success (T-Mobile, Rogers, Cingular, Verizon)
    Model 7130e: Success (Verizon, Bell Mobility)
    Model 7510/7520/7230/7280/7730/7780/7100i: Use
    All Older Models: Use
    Other Models Than Listed Above: There is no modem built in. However, you can use third-party modem software called Shark Modem at
  4. Supported Carriers
    Carrier AT&T: Success!
    Carrier Rogers: Success!
    Carrier Vodafone: Success!
    Carrier T-Mobile: Success!
    Carrier SwissCom: Success!
    Carrier Verizon: Sometimes Successful
    Carrier Cingular: Sometimes Successful
    Carrier Nextel/Telus: May need to use</a>
    Carrier Sprint: May need to use
    Carrier Bell Mobility: 7130e Confirmed, Must use 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.
  5. 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! Note: For a Bluetooth modem connection on new Curve devices the BlackBerry Manager does not have to run in the background for the connection to work. You need to simply pair your laptop and the Curve.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
    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. Add only ONE of the following Extra initialization commands with the appropriate carrier-specific APN Setting:

    • For Vista users only: Under Control Panel>Phone and Modem>Properties on the General Tab, click “Change Settings”. After giving Administrator approval, click the Advanced tab. There, enter the appropriate APN settings for your carrier as noted below.

    TMOBILE USA Users (Success!)
    This is a newer string from TMO that works: +cgdcont=1,,””
    Another alternate string (required for BlackBerry 8100 Pearl & BlackBerry 8800): +cgdcont=1,”IP”,””

    Rogers Users (Success!)

    Cingular Blue/AT&T Users (Success!)

    Cingular Orange Users (Success!)

    at&t Users (Success!)

    UK Vodafone Users (Success!)

    SwissCom Users (Success!)

    Verizon Users (Success!) – Keep blank
    Nextel/Telus iDEN Users (untested) – Keep blank
    Sprint/Bell Mobility CDMA Users (untested) – Keep blank

  9. Add A New Internet Connection
    Close the Phone and Modem Options and the Control Panel.
    For XP: 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.

    For Vista: Create a new connection with Start -> Connect To ->

    1. Set up a connection or network

    2. Choose a connection option: Click on “Connect to the Internet (Set up a wireless, broadband, or dial-up connection to the Internet.”

    3. You are already connected to the Internet – Click on “Set up a new connection anyway”

    4. At “How do you want to connect?” Click on “Dial-up”

    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/SwissCom: 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 TMobile 10-digit phone number)
    ………Password: (Your existing Password)
    ………Note: In USA, you can leave both blank

    ….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)

    ….If you use Swisscom:
    …….The connection can be established anonymously, however some devices need data in those fields, if that’s the case, use:
    ………Username: gprs
    ………Password: gprs

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

    11. Click Finish


  10. Disable IP Header Compression (*Vista users, see the note below)
    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”

    • For Vista users only: Under the Network and Sharing Center, click “Manage Network Connections”. When the Network Connections screen is visible, you should have the Blackberry Modem connection you created. Right click the Blackberry Modem and select “Properties”. Under the Properties screen on the General tab, select the “Configure” button. Ensure that ALL check boxes are unchecked. Select “OK” to exit the screen. Under the Networking tab, select the properties for the Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPV4). On the Properties screen, select the “Advanced” button. Ensure that “Use IP Header Compression” is unchecked. Select OK to exit the screen.


  11. 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.
  12. 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.
    Insert non-formatted text here

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