Blackberry without BIS

December 31st, 2008 By Scott Savage Categories: Hardware, Personal

Blackberry make good phones, regardless of whether you use them for email or not. Like everyone I am trying to cut costs at the moment, and one of those costs was my Blackberry plan. Optus charge a minimum of $24.95 extra a month for a Blackberry “bolt-on” ($29.95 without a 24 month contract), and on top of my existing cap contract this was getting expensive.

So I dropped the bolt-on. Everything seemed fine, with the only noticeable change being that the email icon disappears as expected. Then I try browsing the web. No dice. Google Maps doesn’t work, even the Optus Zoo home page doesn’t work. I call Optus and they advise me that I need the Blackberry plan (with BIS – Blackberry Internet Service) or a 3G phone in order to get internet. Surely not!

Anyway after a bit of googling I stumbled on a couple of good sites. The first is Ross Barkman’s GPRS settings listing page. This gives me the APN name that I plug into the Options -> Advanced Options -> TCP -> APN: field (although I left the username and password blank). The second and really great site by Anworm provides some Service Book configuration files and neat Java tool. The basic steps are remove the browser, modify your Service Book, and then reinstall the browser. Although he doesn’t say this on his website, other apps such as Google Maps Mobile also need to be removed and reinstalled in order to pick up the new non-BIS settings. Interestingly not all apps require this Service Book hack, some other apps such as Opera Mini will find their own non-BIS way or working even without the settings. Who knows why? At least everything seems to be working nicely over GPRS now, just watch your data usage. 🙂

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57 Responses to “Blackberry without BIS”

  1. Alex
    December 31st, 2008 at 13:19


    Found your blog just now while researching pretty much the issues you’ve talked about in your post.

    I’ve got a BB on 3 (but I bought it from Optus originally).

    I too, don’t want the extra $30/month add on for BIS, so I have a regular data plan which is costing me something like $8 extra a month. (3’s data plans start at $5/month).

    I’ve got my mail pretty much instant using the Gmail client, which checks every 20 minutes for mail.

    For GPS I’m using Google Maps – and it works quite nicely and shows how much data you are using while it operates.

    For Internet I’m using Opera Mini.

    All of the above work on a standard data plan, after setting the APN settings (you are also correct in that you don’t need a user/pass).

    When I’m at home/somewhere with WiFi – the inbuilt hotspot browser works nicely. As far as I can tell, some of my apps will work over WiFi, and the rest work fine without BIS on a standard data plan. Opera Mini is designed to work over a standard data plan if you don’t have BIS.

    However – having the actual browser would be nice. I’ve explored anworm’s solution but the problem is that you are replacing all your service books with his.

    I’m cautious in that I don’t want to lose my MMS/3 service books. I’d guess that 3 might resend them, but I don’t know which of my service books came from 3 and which were preloaded.

    It’s nice to find others in Australia who aren’t using BIS/BES and have got applications and services to work. All the help I’ve found is mostly tailored for North American services/carriers.

    Without BIS – the only limitations I’ve found are:

    – no push email (though 20 min updates is more than adequate)
    – no blackberry data browser (though wifi browser still works)
    – some apps refuse to work if they need a BIS service book (eg Google Talk – but its the only one I’ve found)

    Anyhow. Hope you get everything working that you want =)


    • Sebia/Europe
      April 12th, 2011 at 21:40

      Google Talk is hacked by some dude from China…

      This is link:

      This app work wery good… :)))

      • javed
        April 22nd, 2013 at 16:39

        awsum work dude.. thumbs up.. gr8 work. really happy with u.. 🙂

    • chisom
      February 10th, 2012 at 03:23

      “I’ve got my mail pretty much instant using the Gmail client, which checks every 20 minutes for mail.- no push email (though 20 min updates is more than adequate)”

      Hi Alex
      I use a BB curve 8520 and I just cancelled my BIS. How do can I get email updates ? I saw your post where you said you get yours every 20mins.

  2. Stephen Nguyen
    January 12th, 2009 at 23:10

    Hey, I bought the blackberry bold outright today (unlocked). I’m trying to get the internet to work on my 3 data plan. Anyways this will work?

    • January 13th, 2009 at 17:37

      Yes it will work if you follow the steps outlined above. Basically you need to fill in the APN listed at the link above, remove the browser, replace the Service Books, reinstall the browser and you should be good to go.

  3. Robert
    January 29th, 2009 at 19:44

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the link to the BIS service book hack. FWIW Opera is a good browser if the BB browser doesn’t work on a data plan. There are a several email clients for use on a data plan: LogicMail (Open Source), Tiggit Mail ($30, my fav), GMail (brilliant with IMAP if you like Gmail), Funambol (Open Source), and Consilent.

    At the end of the day Blackberries work better with BIS/BES and their native email client and browser. It integrates with other apps. Plus data through BIS is compressed saving time and battery life.

    Optus now have a month to month BIS email plan for $19.95 with 512MB of BB browser data and a hidden $9.95 Blackberry Lite plan for email only. Three and Vodafone have or had plans for $59/$69 including $300+ of calls. But why can’t we have the same generous plans iPhone users get???

    — Robert.

  4. Marcy
    February 3rd, 2009 at 13:18

    Hi All,

    I’m also using BB Bold with 3 at the moment and trying not to get BIS/BES with it. However, I want to use the Blackberry Messenger. Will it work with just the normal 3 X-Series Plan? Can anybody help me with that or do I have to get the BIS to use it?


  5. Robert
    February 17th, 2009 at 21:56


    At the moment Three have a $39 plan with the BB 8707g. Unlimited BB email and BB browser + $350 of calls + 3GB data.

    — Robert.

  6. Larry
    February 23rd, 2009 at 12:42

    Hi robert, I’ve just connected with that plan, and if I bought a bb bold outright with telstra branded, will I possibly use my three sim with that bold?

    How do I get the three service book?

  7. Alex
    March 4th, 2009 at 22:15

    Marcy you need the Blackberry APN to make Messenger work, so no it won’t work unless you have a BB tariff.

  8. Denny
    March 11th, 2009 at 22:02


    I just purchased a BB bold outright recently from Vodafone, I am thinking to get x-series data pack from 3. However, I am a bit cautious about changing the service book and the browser…

    and I have a couple of questions;

    1. Once the original Browser and service books are removed, Can u re-install them again in the future?

    2. Do I need different Browser i.e: Opera Mini and Different email apps for this workaround to work?

    Sorry for being a noob, I just don’t want to stuff up the software…

    Thanks again


    • March 11th, 2009 at 22:35

      1. Yes you can reinstall them, that’s why you back up the service books first.
      2. You need Opera Mini because it connects in a different way, yes. Email also you will need a different program as the native Blackberry app requires pushing from the Blackberry central servers.

  9. Denny
    March 11th, 2009 at 22:19

    one more thing,

    after I entered the APN details from Ross Barkman site, I turned on the Wifi and connected to my wireless at home I can use eBuddy, whereas before I couldn’t, does the eBuddy using 3 net access or is it connecting using my Wifi?

    Thanks Again


    • March 11th, 2009 at 22:34

      It’s using the wifi.

  10. Denny
    March 11th, 2009 at 22:51

    kk thx 😉

  11. madmorgan
    April 22nd, 2009 at 12:41

    yeah um i have a nextel 7100 with a boost sim most everything works dont have any service books. no option to undelete tried everything. tried the hack it did install 1 book email cmime nothing else any ideas?

  12. madmorgan
    April 22nd, 2009 at 12:43

    oh yeah i have opera installed trying to download stuff but it still wont let me it says i dont have service book to perform the download any help or ideas would be appreciated ive been searching and wiping and installing and suckin on gun barrels over here lol

  13. veroveronikas
    April 30th, 2009 at 23:16

    what can i do to use the wifi without any Bis or data plan? i’n from spain, with movistar and I have got a Blackberry 8320, but the wifi doesn’t work and movistar said to me that i have to take the BIS, but i don’t want to pay for this service. i only what to use my blackberry like a normal phone and use the wifi with my home router thank you so much. i’m desperate

  14. juan
    May 11th, 2009 at 05:51

    in the link for the list of apn doesn’t appear the apn of ecuador (network:porta) where i can find it? or can you tell me what is the apn of ecuador (network:porta)?

    thank you

  15. jlaing
    May 22nd, 2009 at 03:41

    I have a BB7130e on Cricket fully flashed. I keep getting a network connection error when I try to connect Opera Mini. Anybody that has Opera Mini working, can you post your service book for review. Thanks!

    • Brian Young
      April 17th, 2011 at 13:17

      Hello I have a BB 9530 storm fully flashed that I did from home and opera mini works absolutely fabolous if you need service books email me and ill send you them.

      • May 24th, 2011 at 12:26

        I need service books for centennial wireless. I’m new to the blackberry thing i’ve only had iphones Thanks

  16. Yadi
    June 1st, 2009 at 12:12

    It is great, i already use service book by anworn, really its working, thanks

  17. Safan
    June 3rd, 2009 at 00:12

    How do we remove and install the browser?

  18. Daniel
    June 16th, 2009 at 23:41

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the good work. I use BB 7100t. I’ve actually been running 3rd party applications with it – Opera Mini, Gmail, LogicMail, and EQO. However, I’ll love to activate the native browser for easier downloads without data plan. I’ve visited Anworms site but didnt really catch the steps. Which file(s) am I supposed to download to enable my BB Browser? I saw one .rar file of about 7MB in size but the link wasn’t download friendly. Is that what I need?

    Many thanks! Keep up the Good Works!!


  19. Ian
    June 30th, 2009 at 10:15

    I have added the APN and Opera Mini goes well on my 8310 (thanks Scott) but can I cannot send MMS … any ideas?

  20. Cherry
    July 14th, 2009 at 23:10

    Hi everyone, i live in Kuwait and my BB service provider is a telecom company called Zain, but for the summer im going to Spain for about a month and i need a temporary datap-plan for a month here in Spain. Vodafone only allow you to set a contract if ur staying more than 9 months, does anyone know where i can find a company with a suitable data plan here in Spain?

  21. Freddy
    July 18th, 2009 at 15:49

    Hey guys so I put in the APN and now have Opera Mini working. All I want besides that is Google Maps.
    The only way to install Google maps seems to be by downloading from the phone. When I try the link on Opera it redirects me to the blackberry browser which doesn’t work on just my data plan.

    Do I need to do the service book change steps or is there another way to get it installed on my bb 8310?? Also will it work with just the APN steps and not the service book change??


  22. kelvin
    October 17th, 2009 at 18:13

    Hello guys i understand the download Service Book from device : BDM -> Backup and Restore -> Advanced .. part. However, after this am i suppose to expect an *.IPD file being created and stored somewhere in my Winxp PC ?

    If someone can please point me out where to find this *.IPD file which contains my service book entry, then i could edit it and resend back to the device .

    Thanks !! 🙂

  23. Mushki
    January 12th, 2010 at 06:12

    Greetings from Kenya!!!
    This has been a break-through for me. I have searched long and hard to get my Bold working without BIS & BES and this is a solution that worked right away.
    Thanks to you and anworm!!!

    However the only thing that doesnt work is access to my carrier’s WAP and also the sending of MMS…..any other break-through for that?

    All in all…..thanks a million and God bless ya!!

  24. Cadaverous48
    January 21st, 2010 at 15:38

    Guys..wanted to ask, can you install facebook? I know that its not suppose to work without BIS…but what if you reinstall it with service book? is there a way to get past these problems?

  25. January 21st, 2010 at 15:41

    Yes if you do the service book trick Facebook will work.

  26. Mary
    January 25th, 2010 at 21:20

    Hi.. i’m confused.. I bought Onyx in Indonesia and used the BBM there with GPRS.. However I just came to Australia and bought the classic internet service $8.. I can browse but I cant use the BBM here.. It says that to use BBM I have to pay another $30 for BIS.. Is there a trick to turn on the BBM without paying $30?

  27. alex
    February 15th, 2010 at 19:37

    im using a unlocked ATT bold with tmobile using the 6.99 a month tzones plan.

    im using the newest OS

    i use gmail app, and opera mini and they work perfect using the apn

    i also had to upload the service books, my mms works, everything is nice and quick.

    if u need help with tmobile service books just do a google search on how to add tmobile servicebooks to blackberry or something like that.

    i can also stream radio using pandora if id like to, everything works.

  28. Ben Forrest
    March 2nd, 2010 at 10:31

    I’ve been investigating what seems to be a weird situation, but I wonder if its my understanding of whats going on under the hood, hoping someone can clarify (this may help others trying to figure out whats going on):

    Pearl 8210. OS 4.5.0. Ex optus phone, connected to telstra.
    Use WIFI and GPRS regularly.
    recently WIFI stopped working for gmail local access, and most recently downloaded another app which seems only to work over GPRS. Did find posts that gmail app versions corrupted connection capability, but proved that other apps have problems too.

    All permissions set to Allow just in case.

    WIFI works for (tested by turning off phone connection)
    a. built in browser
    b. standard blackberry email (several setup accounts)

    I assumed APN was only required for GPRS, not wifi (which routes via you’re own ISP nothing to do with APN / GRPS / phone network).

    so why would apps route differently – surely they “see an IP pipe”?

    appreciate any description / guidance to try and figure out why some things work others don’t.

    struggling to get wifi to work on various apps

    Thanks Ben

  29. Manuel
    May 18th, 2010 at 09:40

    Hello everyone,

    I own a BB 8350i nextel in a standard plan no BIS, already replaced my service books from anworm but my BB does not have APN setting in advanced settings so with no wifi no internet (broser or Opera mini). Any solutions? also i cant use google maps, facebook, live messenger.

    By the way Im in Peru.


  30. Kwok
    June 16th, 2010 at 18:51

    Hi guys

    I am not on a Blackberry plan but want to use the facebook app for blackberry.

    Is there any guide to show me how to edit service books for specific apps so that they work without BIS?

    Or will the instructions on anworm’s site to enable the BB browser also enables the facebook app to work?

    • b3ta
      November 17th, 2010 at 05:42

      I second that!

  31. TMan
    November 25th, 2010 at 16:15

    I have aBB8120 which i bought outright and currently connected to Optus plan with “BB POP3 email only package”

    Does this mean i will get charged for connecting and using to Blackberry Messenger ?

    if that the case, is there anyway around it so that i can still keep BB messenger and not paying another 20$ to upgrade to full bb package?

  32. Mfk
    March 22nd, 2011 at 17:40

    Hi Scott.
    My friend just bought a new BB and he aslo registered for 1 month data plan. after the end of 1st month he recieved message from the network provider that his BB services will be closed if he didnt pay for the next month. well, he didnt payed anything after 1st month and now everything on his BB is working on WI-FI Including BB messenger .. All the other messengers like Yahoo and Msn and Facebook also.
    my question is !!!
    can BB work on wifi after we might have canceled the BB data plan ?

  33. JR
    March 27th, 2011 at 13:36

    Hi, a friend gave me Blackberry Curve and inserted a Globe Roaming Simcard from the Philippines but I couldn’t use the BBM part of it. I tried adding some friends pin but nothing happens, they invited me too but didn’t work. I could use the wifi perfectly though. Please help me. They said that I could use the BBM through wifi. I just don’t know what else needs to be configured on my phone like service books, apn or whatsoever, please help me.

  34. Brian Young
    April 17th, 2011 at 13:21

    Hi everyone I have a flashed BB 9530 storm to cricket that I Did at home and I don’t have bis/bes and opera mini works absolutely wonderful if anyone needs help let me know.

  35. Bilal (Pakistan)
    April 18th, 2011 at 05:12

    Thanks alot Scott, and all other people with useful comments!
    My BB Storm is running internet now!

    Would like to add one thing, if you find that any step dint produce desired results, restart your device.

    Cheers 🙂

  36. William
    June 5th, 2011 at 12:11

    Hi Scott, i was able to go through with da service book thing successfully but how can i use my facebook app. it doesnt seem to still workout dataplan.

  37. Talbot
    June 19th, 2011 at 01:00

    hi guys…. am using a BB device with OS i hav installed gtalk for my device and hav trouble logging in stating no service book entry. my service provider is BSNL india…. need help… where can i get those service book entry…

  38. Xyz
    June 24th, 2011 at 14:32

    Can I use my BBmesenger in any way without the bis?

  39. Gnagna
    September 9th, 2011 at 01:40

    I have a blackberry storm from verizon. Im currently in Ghana and i dont have the browser on my BB.
    I downloaded the opera but cannot see the file after i transfered to the BB.
    Please HELP!!!

  40. peeyush
    September 13th, 2011 at 20:19

    i did all apps r still not working……only browser works….i hv bb curve 8520. and how can i set up my email

  41. Aghogho
    September 30th, 2011 at 02:53

    Good job y’all. Can’t say my BIS is costly but i love the good work! From out here in Nigeria, I’d say d posts are educative and all! Maybe I’d try this sometime when i feel the BIS cost is too much…lols!

  42. avinash
    November 10th, 2011 at 21:45

    hi all..i have BB Bold 9780 n im using 299BIS plan. how can i access other internet features without getting 599BIS plan. plz plz help.

  43. Ankit
    November 27th, 2011 at 03:54

    Hey Scott, Can you give that Java tool which you have mentioned please? Also help in uninstall and reinstall browser using Java tool.. I really need my BB browser working..thank you so much

  44. abdulla
    June 25th, 2012 at 07:55

    Guyz maybe I can help I live in qatar and I just activate BB service once then it lasts forever ….the way is send a message to you service provider BB on (this is the way how we activate BIS here) then immediately send BB off …keep repeating this for a while and after the last message you send with BB on immediately remove the battery and return it to its place (it doesn’t always work but if it didn’t work u will get BIS for a limited time only)

  45. Mharapatsetsetse
    September 10th, 2012 at 20:23

    how do i use BBM Messanger without BIS or BES

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