Macbook Pro OSX 10.5.x Sprint Blackberry 8830 Data Tethering

I thought because Sprint did not provide software to tether my blackberry to my mac, I would not be able to use it as a modem. Well, it's not exactly real easy like most things on the mac, but not terribly difficult either. What follows is instructions on how to make this happen w/ a Sprint Blackberry 8830.

[Update: These steps work for Leopard and Snow Leopard]

[Before you begin, make sure you're Sprint account is enabled for data tethering, there is usually an extra charge for this service]

What follows are some instructions to get this to work in Leopard (OSX 10.5.x):
  1. Click the Apple icon and select preferences.
  2. Next, click the bluetooth icon.
  3. Now click the plus (+) button.
  4. A setup wizard should start. Follow the wizard's instructions to pair your phone. Make sure your blackberry is in discovery mode so the mac can see it when it searches for it
  5. Once you've paired your blackberry, you should see it in your bluetooth preferences like picture below. Highlight your blackberry then click the gear button icon and select "Edit Serial Ports..."
  6. You should now see a window like pictured below. Check the boxes that say: "Require pairing for security" and "Show in Network Preferences" then click "Apply"
  7. Finally, to connect with your sprint blackberry 8830 you need to finish up with the following. Go back into System Preferences and select "Network" this time. When you select network you should see the below screen. On the left pane, you should see your blackberry listed as a modem. Select it so that it is highlighted, enter "#777" in the telephone number field, then click connect. Username and Password can be left blank.
  8. Next click the "Advanced" button. You should be presented w/ the below screen. Select your modem vendor as "Sprint" and the model as "PCS Vision". Click OK.
  9. Once you've completed these steps, you should be able to successfully utilize your blackberry's data service to surf the net on your mac.

  10. This write up was inspired by this forum entry:
    [UPDATE: You can use this trick w/ any macbook. Also settings for different providers can be found on the above link. (T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon)]
    Added 1 step detailing modem vendor selection and PreReq's at top.]


Anonymous said…
I've tried this with a number of different settings, but I still get an error. "A modem error occurred. Please verify your settings and try again."

Anyone know any way to figure out which settings are preventing connection?

Thanks much

I forgot to add a step, that I didn't go through before. After step "7" click Advanced, you should then be presented w/ a screen to select your modem vendor. You need to select Sprint for the vendor and PCS Vision for the model. I'll be posting an update shortly. Last, but not least, Sprint must have enabled your phone for "data tethering" for this to work. There is a usually an extra cost associated with this feature.
Anonymous said…
Worked nicely with bb 8130, macbook pro and sprint vision. Everything else that I had tried seemed targeted to verizon, and the #777 trick (outlined elsewhere on the web) didn't work for me. Thanks!

Rod said…
Much appreciated, I was looking for the post on tethering at crackberry after I formated my macbook. Although, your tutorial is quite detailed and informative.
Brent Pietrzak said…
This is a great post and your instructions worked like a charm. I had seen a number of suggestions for connecting with Sprint and all were incorrect except yours. Thank you very much.
Michael Potter said…
Thanks for the write up. This works as advertised, and I am in fact posting this comment while tethered!
Anonymous said…
Fantastic guide...worked instantly. Thanks!
Anonymous said…
Nice! This was such a lifesaver. Thought that I was doomed to never use my bb for tethering again after switching to mac. Thanks!
Anonymous said…
oh ps I used a 8330 curve with sprint.
Anonymous said…
Worked for me as posted -- Using Macbook pro and bb8830 WE --- Thanks
lalman said…
Quick question regarding USB tethering rather than Bluetooth -- assuming it works the same but that I can skip the first steps regarding Bluetooth pairing. is that right? Thanks...Lee
Umm, it might work. Truthfully I haven't tried. I'm not even sure the Mac will recognize the blackberry when connected via USB.
Anonymous said…
Thank you so much for your work on this. It was easy to set up (after pairing) and it works great. I have a new Blackberry 8330 and an old mbp with Leopard and I had no luck with the other methods I tried. This really worked. Thrilled! RPK
egilchri said…
So I'm getting a new Blackberry Curve (8330) with Sprint. Shortly after that, I'm going to get a white MacBook (not Pro)

I was thinking I could bring my 8330 right to the Mac store and try these instructions.

But just to confirm: We expect this to work?

As long as your Blackberry is enabled for tethering, it should work. You can check w/ Sprint to confirm that you pay for the service and that it is enabled.
Anonymous said…
Awesome, thank you. I am posting this on a tethered blackberry right now. Iphone/Att better work this out soon as that's bulls$%t that it doesn't work now.
Stephen Lowe said…
you rule, found 20 different post that didnt work, your's did and flawlessly I might add, Bravo and BooYah! to the the companies charging $60 for tethering software.
ybfjax said…
I will have to comment further. I tried your method and it has been the most straight-foward method to date. Like one of your previous users, I read several blogs and had no It didn't work at first. I tweaked it as follows:

SYSTEM PREFERENCES> Bluetooth > "highlight" Blackberry 8830 > "click *" preferences drop down button (next to minus '-' button) >
Protocol = modem; service = dialup networking; Require pairing for security CHECKED; Show in Network Preferences CHECKED. (but i see as I'm looking at it already connected, pairing for security is experiment with this setting)

SYSTEM PREFERENCES > Network > "highlight Blackberry......[bluetooth device]" Make sure phone number says #777. leave acct name and password blank. > Advanced.... > Vendor = Sprint; Model = PCS Vision; Enable error correction CHECKED; Dial Mode = IGNORE dial tone when dialing; Dial Mode = Tone; Sound = On

If done correctly, it will say status: Connected!!!. You'll see a sent/received bar. It will show total time connected and an IP address. Not sure if this is static or dynamic, but who cares. Also, your blackberry will say Modem Mode Enabled towards the top of the screen below the battery meter (8830)

macbook running 10.5.0. And YES, I have the sprint simply everything plan. bb 8830. It is slow as hell, though. I'm wondering what kinds of speeds are you all getting?

I posted this message on that connection. I wasn't in the fastest area, but it works. Will continue to test it in a few different areas and report the speeds. Connected for over 40 minutes solid now.

Now if only we can tether with the USB. That will be the day. I'll still keep the tetherberry. As I think once their mac software comes along, it will be worth it. Their windows version works great.

Don't hesitate to change settings one-by-one and see if you can still get a connection or even a faster connection.
sjhughes said…
Works great with my unibody Macbook Pro and Spring BB 8830. Have found other tutorials on the web, but this one works!

Many thanks!
Anonymous said…
Thank you thank you thank you! i've been looking for ages for info on how to make this work...and you did it!
Kyle said…
Worked perfectly. Thank you very much for making this post.
Anonymous said…
Thank you very much. I have been searching for a way to successfully tether my blackberry to my mac for the past six months to no avail. You saved me from having purchase an aircard and it's associated monthly service fees.
Anonymous said…
Thanks! Works great with my 8330 and Macbook Pro. A couple of notes... For the final step (under Network when setting up the Blackberry Dialup) when I was manipulating the advanced settings, I had to change it to "Ignore dial tone when dialing" for dial mode instead of "wait for dial tone...". Otherwise I would get "A modem error occurred." Also, when pairing under Sprint/ Vision your user and password may be left blank. Thanks again.
Anonymous said…
Incredible! Something i have never been able to achieve with a PC. This took 5 minutes!!
Anonymous said…
ZSoldier, you rock!! I've been trying to do this for 2 months and just found your post today! THANK YOU!!!!!!
Julie said…
It seems that for the non unibody Macbook (mine is black) you don't have to uncheck "ignore dial tone when dialing" because I set up as per your posted instructions before reading all of the comments and it worked just fine. The process actually took off after I read your comment that the Mac might not recognize the device if it was connected by USB. After I disconnected it, it worked instantly.

Thank you so much for posting this!!!!! I can't believe that the Sprint FAQ says you need an Apple Modem Script to access the internet via the Curve 8330. By the way, I've read that there's no extra charge to use BlackBerries as modems all over the internet and couldn't find an option to add some kind of modem service to my plan (a normal one + the mandatory $30 BlackBerry Personal Pack not the Simply Everything Plan). I guess I'll see if this results in any new charges on my next bill.
Anonymous said…
Thank you sooooooo much. I have been working on this for 3 days. Followed your instructions on my sprint 8330 and it worked immediately!
Anonymous said…
if you get the "a modem error occurred" message try power cycling the blackberry by taking the battery out then replacing it. This should work
egilchri said…
So, this has been working for me for months, and suddenly it doesn't.

I've tried the battery pull, to no avail.

When I try to connect, I see a message on the Blackberry "modem mode enabled", but then that message goes away in a second or 2.

Any thoughts?
I've noticed this issue too, not sure what causes it. It doesn't seem to be related to the blackberry, but with the settings on the Mac not sticking with something. Have you tried going through the setup steps again?
Anonymous said…
Hi guys;

Like the last few post I have not been able to connect recently after the device has worked fine for 10 months. The message "modem enabled" pops up for a second or two than is goes away. Any ideas? It's too weird that a few of us are having identical issues
egilchri said…
Yeah. They probably turned off your tethering. If so, there's no way around it.
So like egilchri says, your tethering service may have been turned off. Call your service provider. Or I would suggest going through the setup steps again, I've noticed that the mac sometimes drops the serial port for the blackberry and causes this issue. Going through setup a second time usually resolve this.
Joshua said…
I can confirm also that it worked several times for a few months in the past. But over the last 3 weeks, it did not work. So for now, tetherberry is the way to go. Tetherberry has come a long way and gets the job done.
michael said…
First of all, thanks for posting these directions. They have, by far, been the best directions for tethering blackberries to mac os x with snow leopard. However, I am still encountering the "modem connection error" problem, even when trying out some of the different option people have suggested. I just recently got a blackberry for christmas and am wondering if there are any recent changes that are keeping me from tethering to my macbook pro. I am under the "everything data share plan" so it should work, right? Thanks in advance for any help!
@Michael - I just looked up the everything data share plan from Sprint and it doesn't seem to include using your phone as a modem. Tethering may be a seperate charge that you'll need contact them about.
kwcoffman said…
Thanks for the instructions! However, I couldn't get this to work either.

I just chatted online with a Sprint representative. They told me that my "Casual EVDO" included in the Everything Data plan does not include tethering. And as of 2/24/2010, "Phone as Modem" is no longer being offered to anyone that doesn't already have it. (I should have saved the transcript. They claimed it was a quality issue.)

They did offer a "free" data card -- with a $59.99/month, 2-year service agreement.
L said…
This was the most straight forward post on the subject. I tried for several hours to figure this out. Thank you so much for taking the time.
Anonymous said…
I've tried a couple times to set this up but when I go to connect it says "connection failed cause the communication device is unavailable"...can you help me?
It's difficult to say what the issue might be. You may need to re-pair your blackberry to your Macbook using the bluetooth wizard.