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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 = Web Developer. Security Specialist. WordPress Buff.
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281 responses
  1. sending this comment from iMobimac 10 day trial. It cost’s $60 to buy, seems to work nicely, however the reset trick from an earlier post is still needed after about 15 minutes or 3 to 5 webpages. running osx 10.4.11 with Tmobile BB curve 8320. tried almost every script, still at it, also using Opera browser.
    The scripts described aboved are faster but drop connection fast, iMobimac is slower but lasts longer. It does work so I think with some patience and all the help of so many posters we may beat this thing, at least get it to work well enough for when a real connection isn’t available. i tried all the passwords listed above (guest, GPRS, etc.) and they seem to have no effect. A note that iMobimac uses USB cable, not bluetooth, might explain the slower loading speeds, but the software does work a little better without dropping the connection as fast. Thanks for this blogsite, I for one am hopefull…

  2. I’ve used both Palms and BB’s as tethered and BT with both Mac’s and Windows and found the problems with the connection timeouts are most often localized to the device itself (Treo or Pearl,Curve,etc).

    The rub focuses on the communications continuity configurations in the device with automated disconnects imbedded.

    Basically if you don’t have constant transmission with acks and ackback’s it will asuume you left the phone off the hook and hang up. This is and was the problme back in the day before NIC’s and broadband internet access.

    I know my connection with AT&T was worked out by changing the device configuration to NEVER hang up unless I disconnected at the device menu. I don’t have this problem with my STORM and didn’t have it with my Treo700p on a MAC using Verizon though.

    Food for thought…

  3. WOW! Iv’e been online via iMobimac for about 2 hours, using firefox, checking my email, browsing the web, downloaded a widgit to desktop, all running a pretty good speed. speed is now certainly functional, like a regular connection!
    The only difference is my location? I don’t know why but it’s working and I think the imobimac is worth the $59. This is a godsend for me since I work in different cities every day and am not home enough to use a wired connection via cable or dsl that much. The only drawback is iMobimac has a built in conflict with Pocketmac, I had to remove Pocketmac for it to work, and so will have to reinstall and remove pocketmac every time I want to sync or push anything to my Blackberry Curve (8320), for the freedom mobile internet gives I feel it’s worth the tradeoff.

    Thanks so much for this blog!

    kind regards to all, and happy new years!

  4. Good tutorial…

    My ISP is VERIZON, does this make a difference?

    I also have a curve 8330…does anyone have the modem script for this?
    I keep trying to log on and it keeps disconnection me…i know 8300 is the wrong script but thought i’d try it anyway to no avail…

    also do you know what the user name and password means when trying to load it? Also it says “account name” and “password in the bluetooth window. Is the account name the same as the user name?

    Also it says “contacting PPP server and errors out and won’t connect.

    All i want to do is connect via bluetooth so I can get some kind of net connection using my verizon account.

    what info am i missing?

    Any help would be great!

  5. Scott Sterner January 12, 2009 @ 9:54 pm

    FYI: I have Verizon and just downloaded the VZacess software for the Motorola Q and it worked great for my blackberry 8330. I can now tether and get the broadband internet capability on my Macbook pro.

  6. Blackberry Curve 8310 4.2 and 8900 4.6
    Mac OSX 10.4.1
    Provider: T-Mobile UK

    I used the tips from Perishablepress.

    Result: Worked first time. but connection kept dropping every 20 or so minutes.

    Possible fix: MAKESURE you apply and LOCK the settings in network pref.
    At first I was just applying the settings and dialing, like I said it would work momentarially until I locked the settings. Now I find it stays connected. :-)

    Hope that helps.

  7. aftermarket review February 6, 2009 @ 10:13 pm

    OMG!! Not only did you help me with tethering my bb to my mac, you also helped me find one of the most useful page ever!!! I love web design and SEO/SEM, but I’m fairly new at this. Still learning and trying out new stuff. While browsing your page, I learned a bit of new tactics to apply on my own page — too bad its not as great as yours! If you like, feel free to check it out and give me some pointers! lol

  8. Haroon Mushtaq March 9, 2009 @ 8:57 pm

    i dont seem to get my blackberry connected to the mac it gives me either a PPP error or it just tells me to change the settings. so can you please help a little

  9. Miss Irish Chick March 12, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

    Hi There
    I was wondering how do you set up your Blackberry curve to have wireless internet it is an at&t mobile i have a mac book pro laptop and i want to set up my internet on it can someone please help me as i really want it to work.

    Many Thanx
    Miss Irish Chick

  10. for some reason if you download the VZaccess manager for The bb Curve under the PDA section and use the “T-Moble” download it works on a MAC. at least it worked for me so ishould work for the mac book rpo…no promises, but try it.

  11. Miss Irish Chick March 12, 2009 @ 3:20 pm

    hi mike
    it is 02 i have would it still work?
    also cool name i like it hehe :)
    well please let me know if it works for
    PDA i am so new using this black berry
    its so hard to know what to do
    write back thanx xo

  12. you talking about your mac book is 02? what do you mean? is it you BB that is 02? I don’t understand the question…you might have problems with older generation phones and/or mac books… you need to be at least on OSX version 10.4…but you can still try it. google in VZ access manager and got to vzam.net….

    selcet download and choose “Mac 10.4” then choose PDA/ ADVANced devise.

    then choose “Motorla Q” it will download and just follow the self explanatory steps to install the VZAM interface…should be easy from there…if you have problems you might want to update your MAC book.

    I have an iMac and a verizom BB, it worked for me I unplugged my ethernet cable and sure nuff…GOLD! it is pretty slow tho…

    Hope this helps and good luck!

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