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


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.

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