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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 three 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 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.

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281 responses to “Wireless Internet: BlackBerry Curve as Bluetooth Modem for OS-X Mac”

  1. That’s the problem Nick. It doesn’t work with OS 10.5 and the Curve. RIM has confirmed this.

  2. I have a MB duo running 10.4.8 and it doesnt work for me on TMO. I believe this is because of the new OS on the curve, I had a 8700g running 4.2 and it worked perfectly. I now have to re-insert the battery which is a complete waste of time.

    If the 8300 script is the same as the 8100 besides the one line change I believe its an OS problem, there is no way my 8700g should work better than the curve.

    If someone resolves this post it EVERYWHERE!

  3. Thanks Craig,

    I thought I was getting close because I figured out where to set the phone number *99***1# and the account: WAP@CINGULARGPRS.COM and the password CINGULAR1. When I try to connect it gets hung at authenticating the user. Hopefully someone will figure to out at some point.

    Thanks a bunch.

  4. This worked like charm. I actually have sprint as my carrier. I just used wap.sprint.com as the telephone number and left the username and password blank. Worked like a charm! Thanks!

  5. Bob Jackson 2007/11/21 10:38 am

    Scott. Are you using a Curve? If so, what software version? What OS is your Mac?

    Thanks

  6. Scott,

    Please let us know your Mac OS version and confirm if you have a Curve. Thanks!

  7. Squished Squirrel 2007/11/27 7:17 am

    Alas, all will return with head bowed after they realize it works for a few minutes… maybe a half an hour if Mars is in retrograde, but then they come back.

    “WTF… I have to pull the battery to make it work again…”

  8. Well, I just checked, and alas, I am on the 8830. But I am using the 8300 Modem Script and it’s working like a charm. I drove from Jacksonville to Orlando, and it stayed connected just fine (there was traffic, so it was a 2+ hour drive).

    Also, i am using OSX 10.4.10

  9. Scott,

    Thanks for letting us know. I don’t think that it really helps though because the problem has never been with OS 10.4.X. The problem is with OS 10.5.X. As far as I can tell, nobody has had any serious issues with 10.4.

    Oh well, the wait continues….

  10. Bob Jackson 2007/11/27 9:07 am

    Scott is using a 8830, which is CDMA and GSM. He uses Sprint, so he is not using GSM at the moment. I wonder if his success would continue if he was forced to use GSM.

    Scott

    Could you tell us what version of BB OS you are using?

    Craig

    The failure with Curve is in OS 10.4.x, or 10.5. I have tried both.

  11. David Sanders 2007/11/27 9:25 am

    I have not upgraded to Leopard and can confirm that for T-Mobile things do not work with 10.4.10 or 10.4.11 with the latest Blackberry software.

  12. Right ON !!! less then 5 minutes got it working with my curve 8320 and a Macbook !!!
    Congrats and Thank you so much !!!

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