If I look at this masterpiece on how to use a BlackBerry as a modem, it is little wonder that Chris asks for a little BlackBerry 8800 help: something that should be terribly easy is made exceedingly difficult because

  • all carriers use different parameters
  • there are different "standards" as to whether require username/password or not
  • carriers all seem to need different APN (don't believe me? see this!)

To add insult to injury, users setting up a BlackBerry modem on Windows have to key in magic incantations such as

+cgdcont=1,"IP","web.vodafone.de"

in an Extra initialization commands field stuck on an advanced tab of phone and modem options somewhere in the Windows' control panel; go find it! ;-) The BlackBerry Desktop manager cannot set that up for us, because it doesn't know who our carrier is (although the software could query the user during installation). This means that I have to go hunting for the Access Point Name myself, by calling an often clueless support line. A funny quote:

If they don't know what you are talking about, ask to be escalated to Level 2 or ask them to transfer to another customer service representative that knows what the three-letter acronym APN stands for.

Too true. Carriers: you'd all make a lot more profit on minutes and volume if you'd make user's lives easier and standardize your stuff.

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BlackBerry, Security, and Mobile :: 03 May 2007 :: e-mail

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