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How to Set Up a Prepaid or Postpaid Blackberry Plan on your BB for LIME or Digicel

A friend just gave you a Blackberry and yes, you’re excited. After all, all your friends already have one and now that you do, you’re in the “IN” Crowd. No more “Here’s my Phone number”. Oh no, that won’t cut it again. “Here’s my PIN” is now the new way to signal to all dry and sundry that you’re part of the “IN” crowd. Jamaica as you know is, dear reader, is Blackberry country, despite the fact that the Americans are ditching Blackberrys and even Google Android smartphones in  droves for the Apple iPhone as per my analysis in Nielsen declares Apple iPhone 4S cut into Android Sales.

The Blackberry BB Messenger Service and Email and that famous PIN-based Social Network for the “IN” crowd, coupled with easily sourced replacement parts and its relative durability as opined in Android smartphones may be king in 2015AD, but RIM Blackberry quality shines makes the Blackberry a must-have Phone for many Jamaicans climbing the so-called Corporate Ladder. But how exactly does one set up a Blackberry Plan on your Blackberry Phone? This helpful guide will explain how to set one up, again on Digicel’s wildly popular Network.

How does BB Messenger and Email work on the Blackberry, exactly?

If you’re reading this, you should already know that the Blackberry is a product of Toronto- Canada based RIM (Research in Motion). The Blackberry BB Messenger and Email Services are powered by a Virtual Blackberry Server housed inside of Digicel’s MSC (Mobile Switching Center). The Main Blackberry Server in Jamaica, however, is housed at LIME’s MSC, from which Digicel rents access. RIM also has Blackberry Servers around the world, the main ones being in Canada and England. They help to relay BB Messenger and Email, the main reason why everyone want to have a Blackberry: A proprietary unified communications Platform that is Telecom Provider Neutral.

blackberry torch How to Set Up a Prepaid or Postpaid Blackberry Plan on your BB for LIME or Digicel

When you send a BB Message or Email, the data is encrypted by your Phone and sent via the Telecom Provider’s 2G 64KBps-capable GPRS (Global Packet Radio System) or 128kbps-capable EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) Networks to their Blackberry Virtual Server. It is then routed to the next Virtual Server hosted in the Telecom Provider Network and relayed to the Blackberry registered with the PIN (in the case of the BB Message) or the Email account (in the case of Email).

Good to note that just as a Telecom Provider uses the IMSI (International Subscriber Mobile Identification) number on the SIM Card to route call through a Network, with Phone numbers being a logical assignment for SIM cards, so too does RIM use its PIN number to route BB Messenger and Email through its vast Network of Servers.

So strong is the Data encryption that not even RIM can read the messages being sent through their Virtual Servers and Main Servers, making Blackberry’s a favourite with the “IN” Crowd.

Hint: Emails written on the BB are not copied to the Email Server unless you back then up. Be careful, as you may lose valuable emails sent from your BB.

What kinds of Blackberry’s Does Digicel Support?

Their product comes in many different version numbers. But the main types of Blackberry supported by Digicel and LIME’s Network are as follows:

  • Blackberry Pearl 8100, 8110, 8120
  • Blackberry Storm
  • Blackberry Javelin 9500, 8900
  • Blackberry Curve 8300, 9300, 9600
  • Blackberry Bold 9000, 9600, 9700, 9900
  • Blackberry Torch 9800

To determine your Blackberry’s capability, you can check the specs by visiting GSM Arena or just Google your Phone’s Brand and Model number e.g. Blackberry Pearl 8100. CNET provides excellent review videos on Blackberrys and a plethora of actual smartphones should you fall out of favour with your Blackberry, so if you’re in a buying mood, CNET’s is a great place to scope out some great reviews on the Blackberry of your choice!

Hint: Blackberrys can access the Internet without a Blackberry Data Plan. You can use Free Wi-Fi as is the practice in New Kingston as noted in Crouching LIME Huawei E586 Mi-Fi – Hidden Dekal Wireless Dragon

What are the Prepaid Blackberry Plans?

Currently, Digicel offers the following Prepaid Blackberry Plans:

Blackberry Plan Cost (JA$)
7-Day 499.00
14-Day 899.00
30-Day (Full) 1599.00
30-Day (Social) 999.00

The Cost above represents the amount of Credit you have to have on your Blackberry to activate the particular Blackberry Prepaid Plan.

You can find out this information by calling your always helpful Digicel Customer Care Representatives at 100 on your Prepaid Phone. Good to note that Digicel Customer Care Reps will NOT tell you about the 30-Day Blackberry Social Plan, as they are supposed to up-sell customers on the full 30-Day Blackberry Plans. The 30-Day Blackberry Social Plan is to allow you to access only the Social Networking Apps on your Blackberry inclusive of:

  • BB Messenger
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace

However, on the 30-Day Blackberry Social Plan you have to pay for website access separately using Credit on your Mobile Phone at a rate of JA$40.00 per megabyte or JA$0.40 per kilobyte for both upload and download. LIME has similar Prepaid Blackberry Plans with convenient payment options:

Prepaid Price for Plans (JA$) Blackberry Messenger Instant Messaging Social Media POP3 Email Web Browsing
Prepaid for BlackBerry (BIS) 495.00 per week or 1699.00 per month

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

BlackBerry Social 200.00 per week 700.00 per month

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

BlackBerry Chat 249.00 per week 999.00 per month

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

Their Postpaid Blackberry Plans are not too shabby either:

Prepaid Price for Plans per Month (JA$) Blackberry Messenger Instant Messaging Social Media POP3 Email Web Browsing
BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) 1499.00

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

BlackBerry Social 650.00

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

BlackBerry Chat 749.00

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

No

Good to note that the full Blackberry Prepaid Plans for either Network have the following benefits:

  • Mobile Internet using Blackberry’s rather low browser. You can upgrade this to an Opera Browser
  • BB Messenger
  • Push Email. Effectively this means that a copy of the Email sent to your Email account is sent to the Phone
  • Free Facebook website access
  • Visits to WAP sites billed at a rate of JA$40.00 per megabyte or JA$0.40 per kilobyte for both upload and download
  • Faster EDGE usage with Wi-Fi as an Internet Option to save Credit and browse the Internet using a Wi-Fi Hotspot

Hint: Makes sure when you’re not using your Blackberry to access the Internet that you close out all applications. Your Blackberry Apps use WAP and creepily enough continues to access the Internet when you’re asleep, using off your Credit in the process.

How to set up a Blackberry Data Plan

Once the Customer Care Agent establishes the fact that you have a Blackberry, they may usually tell you to call 100. Alternately, Digicel customers can call 136 and 878-2232 for direct help from their Specialized Blackberry Queue. Both of which are Toll Free Help lines for Blackberry Prepaid Users.

LIME actually does the full setup and maintenance of both Prepaid and Postpaid Blackberry accounts for the Customer via its Customer Care Agents at 100, again with convenience and simplicity in mind. But if you’re the DIY (Do It Yourself) kinda person, then the next few lines are for you!

However,make sure before you begin:

  • You are near to a Digicel or LIME Mobile Tower (mostly Ericsson Node B) and have five (5) bars of signal on your Phone
  • Be able to see a 2G EDGE or GPRS Indication on your Blackberry, i.e. a common “edge” on your Phone indicates that the Blackberry Service is not yet activated.

Once these conditions are set, then the USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) Codes to activate the Prepaid Blackberry Plan of your choice on your Digicel Mobile Phone are as follows:

  1. *136# – initialize the Blackberry plan on your Mobile Phone
  2. *136*10# – to select the 7-Day Blackberry Plan
  3. *136*20# – to select the 14-Day Blackberry Plan
  4. *136*30# – to select the 30-Day Blackberry Plan
  5. *136*40# – to select the 30-Day Blackberry Social Plan
  6. *136*1# – To accept. At this point Credit is taken from the customer’s Account
  7. *136*9# – To Decline from accepting the Blackberry Plan
  8. Do a Battery pull i.e. shut down the Blackberry and then pull out the Blackberry
  9. Restart the Blackberry. You can now enjoy your now enjoy the benefits of your Prepaid Blackberry Plan

At this point the “edge” on your Blackberry changes to capital “EDGE”, indicating that the service is activated. This however, applies mainly to Digicel users, as the Blackberry service mainly uses the 2G Data Services that are a part of the GSM layer to provide the Internet access needed to power the service.

LIME is a little more possessive of the service. For one, there are no activating USSD codes.

You merely top up with required amount and call LIME to activate. From that point on, the service is auto renewable. On the due date that your service is due for reactivation, you are prompted to top-up with the correct amount. If you do not top up in time with the required amount for your Prepaid or Postpaid Blackberry Plan, your account reflects a negative balance which they proceeds to use any credit added to it to make up the balance to re-activate the account. You have six (6) day within which to re-activate, after which the service is terminated.

Simple as pie!

If your Telecom Provider and Blackberry service provider is LIME and your Blackberry has 3G, you will see “bb” to indicate that you have the service activated. If for some reason you do not see either of these indications for the above conditions for your Blackberry, then the service is not activated. Please note that these are the USSD Codes and the order in which they should be used.

In real life application, the Ericsson Switch at Digicel’s MSC (Mobile Switching Center) will send you detailed text as to what to do next. Thus you should wait for confirmation text for the receipt of each USSD Code after entering them on your Blackberry.

Hint: Some Blackberry’s have trouble recognizing the USSD Codes and may dial them out as numbers e.g. Blackberry Storm. In such a case, use a non-Blackberry Phone to implement the USSD Codes above on your Blackberry SIM Card and then place the SIM Back into your Blackberry and restart

I like the Prepaid Blackberry Plan. Can I have some more?

Once you activate any Prepaid Blackberry Plan, on the date that the Plan expires, you can renew the Plan by using the following USSD Code:

  • *136*1*[plan Code]#

“[Plan Code]” in this case can be:

  • 10 – To select the 7-Day Blackberry Plan
  • 20 – To select the 14-Day Blackberry Plan
  • 30 – To select the 30-Day Blackberry Plan
  • 40 – To select the 30-Day Blackberry Social Plan

If for whatever reason you’ve decided to change the Blackberry plan on the day of renewal, then top up with the appropriate Credit amount for the New Prepaid Blackberry Plan that you want and enter the following Code:

  • *136*2*[old plan Code] # – to initialize the change process
  • *136*2*[old plan Code]*[new plan Code]#  – to change from the previous Blackberry Plan to the New Blackberry Plan. At this point Credit is take off the Blackberry account

Hint: Your provisioned Prepaid Blackberry service needs access to Wireless Internet to allow you to send email and utilize the BB Messenger. To wit, if you already have the Prepaid Blackberry service activated but you have no access to 2G GPRS or EDGE or 3G Internet on your phone do to distance from a nearby Cell Tower, you can switch to Wi-Fi and be able to access your Prepaid Blackberry Services.

I want more: Crackberry-itis

If you really like Blackberry that much [groan, eyes rolling] and your life cannot be complete without hearing the sound of chirping crickets every time an Email or BB Message come in on your Blackberry, you can then choose to go Postpaid and get the full 30-Day Plan activated based on payments taken from your Credit or Scotia VISA Debit Card.

Hint: Prepaid Blackberry Plan covers access to websites on your Blackberry Browser or installed Opera Browser. If you access WAP Sites or use any apps for the Blackberry App World, you’re charged at a rate of JA$40.00 per megabyte or JA$0.40 per kilobyte for both upload and download from the Credit on you’re Blackberry

That’s a wrap folks!

Thank you for calling Digicel and LIME Customer Care! Do have a pleasant day!

Here are the links:

GSM Arena

http://www.gsmarena.com

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 How to Set Up a Prepaid or Postpaid Blackberry Plan on your BB for LIME or Digicel
Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.
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One Response to "How to Set Up a Prepaid or Postpaid Blackberry Plan on your BB for LIME or Digicel"

  1. Here’s link to interview on CVM TV on Monday May 21st 2013. Discussion on Prepaid Electricity http://adf.ly/PKNFC #Excited #TrueJamaican.

    Peace

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