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Wireless Internet: BlackBerry Curve as Bluetooth Modem for OS-X Mac

Stay connected to the Internet wherever you go by using your BlackBerry Curve (8300) as a Bluetooth modem for your OS-X-powered Macintosh…

[ Apple MacBook ] This tutorial guides you through the process of connecting wirelessly to the Internet using your BlackBerry Curve (8300) as a Bluetooth modem for your Macintosh (running OS X) via native Bluetooth functionality. The benefits of such wireless connectivity are numerous, enabling greater productivity and maximized Internet access. The procedure is straightforward, and the tutorial assumes no prior knowledge of either Bluetooth or BlackBerry. Knowing your way around a Mac will help, but is not required. Note that using your BlackBerry as a wireless modem for your Mac (or any computer) is classified as tethering, and may or may not be covered by your wireless plan1. Having said that, the setup time for this tutorial should be well under thirty minutes, and requires2 the following items:

All set? Let’s get started…

Install the BlackBerry Modem Script

Unzip the BlackBerry_8300.zip file and save a copy of the extension-less modem-script to the “Modem Scripts” directory on your Mac: FinderHard DiskLibraryModem Scripts

Pair the BlackBerry Curve with your Mac

Okay, now to pair the BlackBerry and Mac via Bluetooth. Crack open your BlackBerry, go to “Manage Connections”, and enable Bluetooth via checkmark (the icon should then show a yellow minus icon). Then, go to “Bluetooth Options”, press the menu key, select “Options”, and ensure that the “Discoverable” option is set to “Yes”.

Now, open System Preferences on your Mac and open the “Bluetooth” configuration panel. Enable Bluetooth and make it “Discoverable” [ Screenshot ].

Next, within the System Preferences panel, select the “Devices” tab and click “Set Up New Device…” to begin the setup process [ Screenshot ].

The first step in the device setup process is a “Welcome” screen. Click continue. Next, in the “Select Device Type” screen, select “Any Device” from the list and click “Continue”. Next is the “Searching” screen, which eventually (it may take a few moments) should indicate your BlackBerry device as a mobile phone. After the device is found, select in the list and click “Continue”.

Next is the “Gathering Information” screen, which displays the progress of the information gathering process. Wait until the process is complete and then click “Continue”. The next screen displays the all-important passkey. [ Screenshot ]. At this time, your BlackBerry should display its “Enter Numeric Passkey” prompt. Enter the passkey in the field provided (Note: there is a limited amounted of time for this step — if necessary, click “Go back” on the Mac and try again).

Upon successful entry of the passkey, a “Pairing Complete” message appears briefly, and a confirmation prompt appears asking if you would like to “Accept connection request from mac?”. First, select “Don’t ask this again” and then click the “Yes” button.

Configure the Bluetooth Connection

[ Image: BlackBerry Curve and Mac PowerBook ]
BlackBerry Curve Wireless Modem for Mac
So far so good. We are almost finished! Now it is time to configure the Bluetooth connection. On your Mac, the “Devices” subpanel (System PreferencesBluetoothDevices tab) should display the BlackBerry 8300 on the Bluetooth device list [ Screenshot ]. Select the BlackBerry 8300 from the list and click on “Configure” to open the configuration dialogue (Note: the Device Configuration dialogue may have opened automatically after the device pairing process).

Next, in the “Select the services you want to use with your mobile phone” screen, select “Access the Internet with your phone’s data connection” and also select “Use a direct, higher speed connection to reach your Internet Service Provider (GPRS, 1xRTT)” [ Screenshot ]. Click “Continue”.

Then, in the Username/Password screen, leave the username and password fields blank, and enter *99***1# for the GPRS CID String. For the modem, click the dropdown menu and select the custom modem script, “BlackBerry 8300”. And finally, select “Show Modem status in the menu bar” and then click “Continue” [ Screenshot ].

Upon successful completion of the device configuration process, the “Congratulations” screen will display: “Accessing the Internet using a high speed wireless data service (e.g. GPRS) from your wireless operator.” — Excellent. Click “Quit” to seal the deal.

Connect to the Internet via BlackBerry

With everything properly connected and configured, we are ready now to connect to the Internet. Click on the small ‘Modem Status’ (telephone) icon in your menu bar and select “Open Internet Connect…” [ Screenshot ].

Within the Connections dialogue box, select the Bluetooth tab and populate the form fields with the following information:

  • Telephone: wap.voicestream.com (T-Mobile) or wap.cingular (Cingular/AT&T)
  • Username: guest (T-Mobile) or WAP@CINGULARGPRS.COM (Cingular/AT&T)
  • Password: guest (T-Mobile) or CINGULAR1 (Cingular/AT&T)
  • Screenshot ]

All set? Click “Connect”! If everything went according to plan, your Mac should be using your BlackBerry Curve as a Bluetooth modem and you should now see the “Connection Status” dialogue box, indicating connectivity [ Screenshot ].

Footnotes

  • 1 For Cingular/At&T subscribers: According to the customer service department, unless your plan specifically supports tethering, tethered connections will only work until the system catches on and blacklists your device (only as a tethered modem). Also, the representative assured me that pre-blacklist connections would not be billed.
  • 2 These are the devices used for the production of this tutorial. It may be possible to connect via alternate devices/software with similar features.
  • 3 Different carriers provide different data/internet access plans and thus have different connection credentials (e.g., username, password). While covering every different plan is waaay beyond the scope of this article, the tutorial does provide connection credentials for both Cingular/AT&T and T-Mobile.

Jeff Starr
About the Author Jeff Starr = Designer. Developer. Producer. Writer. Editor. Etc.
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281 responses
  1. When i find a more stable route i will re-announce.
    Well the Vodafone thing worked for about 12 hours.

  2. seems script does not work on 10.5.5

  3. Finally got bluetooth working with Tmobile blackberry curve 8320 and Macbook Pro 2.16 with Leopard OS 10.5.5. Blackberry has software OS 4.5.0.52. Mac did all the work. Went to bluetooth on mac. Deleted previous blackberry connections (which were old blackberry OS) Set up new connections. Recognized and connected with Blackberry. Also automatically registered as Guest and password Guest. Also used wap.voicestream as internet connections. I didn’t type a thing. Mac new it all. Must be latest Mac OS update (which was yesterday) and latest Blackberry OS (which I had to download from a UK site which I got from a post 20 or 30 back from this one). I tried everything posted. That random script never worked for me either. If anything, at least try to get the newer blackberry OS. It’s nice with a video camera option. I feel your frustrations. I was comment 142 on this post. We are now at 230.

  4. Have had my 8320 working for awhile with Leopard but everytime I restart the Mac, I LOSE the serial networking port in Network Preferences. This is extremely frustrating as I have to go to the Bluetooth menu, go to my Curve and re-add another serial (dial up networking) port and configure it again.

    Do any of you experience this and is there a work around?

  5. Hi Conrad. In reference to comment 231 can you say specifically from what website in the UK you downloaded the latest BB OS? Thanks, Mike

  6. Ari, I tried you method (No. 178 dated June 27, 2008) of connecting my Blackberry Curve to my Mac (using OS X 10.5.5) but I’m sitll not having any luck. It connects but then disconnects after about 5 seconds. Then, I get the same error message you initially received. My question is, what exactly do you put in for the Account Name. Do you put in the brackets, is there a space between the area code and each set of numbers? I use every setting that you suggested.

  7. BTW I’m using Verizon as my provider.

  8. Looking for 4.5 OS for an 8300 so i can get tethering to work!!!

  9. found os 4.5 for 8300… will post back with status after I update.

    meanwhile for brave souls… here is the site.

  10. Totally works now… these instructions with os 4.5 (with extra goodness of video camera and html email and improved browser) works like a champ! getting ~200k speeds too… once I reconfigured my plans (5 phones) I wound up actually saving money switching this on!

  11. steez machine November 4, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

    T-mobile USA has released the official 4.5 firmware for the blackberry curve. This updated has resolved the tethering issue! But a little disappointed about the slow connections. Anyone know how to improve speeds? So far have been connected via blackberry/imac os x for 15:00mins

  12. steez machine November 4, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

    But I do run into HTTP ERROR: $CODE$

    Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks

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