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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. Miss Irish Chick March 13, 2009 @ 8:50 am

    i have macbook 2008 model not 02
    my blackberry has an 02 simcard
    my mac is 0SX version 10.4.11
    ok i will try what u suggested and let u know

  2. Aaron Outhier March 24, 2009 @ 2:51 pm

    This is a response to Don about Post #37. Yes, it does appear to work.

    I have turned off the WiFi on my PowerBook, and turned off the Wireless Modem (cell tower connection) on my BlackBerry Curve 8320. I connected to my BB via Bluetooth, and it tested the connection. It works fine.

    I don’t believe that this would work with other carriers or non @Home phones, however, since the Mobile Phone would have to connect through the carrier’s infrastructure. This only happens with @Home connections.

    Hope this helps\,

    Aaron

  3. Jordan Clanagan March 30, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

    To whom it may concern:

    Thank you SO much for posting this tutorial! I have been trying for WEEKS on end to find a solution to my Bluetooth Tethering problem,and with the help of your tutorial, I was able to connect via Bluetooth in about ten minutes. Thanks again!

    Device: Sprint Blackberry Curve 8330
    Laptop Model: Macbook

  4. Blake Rosenvall April 1, 2009 @ 7:53 am

    Could you help me with a question. I’m using the MacBook Pro with system 10.5.6 and have a Blackberry 8300. I have followed your description above but have not been able to establish a connection with my Blackberry. There is a step that you mention that I am not asked about.

    Here is what you say: “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”

    I don’t get this screen, so I never enter the GPRS CID string. I can’t find a place to enter that.

    Can you help me with this? AT&T is my carrier. Even a tethered connection would be fine with me.

  5. Please disregard my previous email. I tweaked a few things and got it working. In fact I’m using the phone as a modem to send this note. I never did have to enter the CID string and it never asked for it. FYI

    Thanks for posting this solution. It makes me wonder why Blackberry or At&t didn’t figure this out.

  6. Miss Irish Chick April 1, 2009 @ 9:16 am

    can someone help me as i still haven’t got my blackberry set up to the net. i tried setting up my email on att.blackberry.com it says

    Device PIN: and Device IMEI: is incorrect

    but yet it has the same info on the phone strip and phone info what do i do? would it be because i have an american phone in ireland? let me know please xo

  7. onlinenow April 9, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

    THANKS for your post – – it worked

    I didn’t have the Custom Download BB scripts but I figured out that when I configured my BlackBerry – I selected GENERIC phone since BB or RIM was not on the list of brands, then the GPRS came up and I selected “1” on the pulldown – and BOOM there she is.

    Thanks so much, typing from a tethered happy laptop
    SWEET and free fast connection –whoo hoo
    VERIZON unlimited data plan

  8. Robin Roemisch April 12, 2009 @ 10:09 am

    Well I upgraded to a Curve from my Pearl. Both are running 4.5, and the Pearl will tether just fine while the Curve will not. It switches to “Disconnecting…” right after it says “Authenticating”, almost instantly. Triple checked the settings and they’re the same for tethering with my Pearl.

    *shrug*

    I guess I’ll keep trying, this is really frustrating.

  9. PLEASE MAKE A TUTORIAL FOR MAC OS X Version 10.5.7
    I have a Blackberry Curve 8310 if anybody knows how to do this please e-mail me.
    pranashmaharaj@webmail.co.za

  10. I really wish someone could help me make this work….I have tried over and over….I have the phone paired…..I have the tethering plan. US Cellular Blackberry 8330 and a macbook 10.5.7 I use missing sync to sync my computer….I can access internet with my wifes dell laptop via usb and a usb cable attached to my blackberry but I cannot get it to work with bluetooth on my mac….I use bluetooth for syncing to missing sync without any problems but cant make the modem work…..would sombody please help….

  11. I’m hoping someone can help me with this.

    I finally got tethering to work on my mac, (thanks for the great tutorial!) however when i was setting up i never had the “Use a direct, higher speed connection to reach your Internet Service Provider (GPRS, 1xRTT)” option. As such my connection is rather slow. Does anyone know why? I can provide a screenshot if need be.

    I’ve updated my OS on the Blackberry to the latest (v4.5.0.52) I’m using Mac OS 10.5.7, the Blackberry Curve 8320 and a macbook.
    Thanks!

  12. I got mine working as well with the GPRS thing……I am glad someone posted that……….Thanks….

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