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. 🙂