Advertisement SMS from Airtel Nigeria: Dear Customer, effective 3rd Dec 2013 AIRTEL BB Plans will cease to function on non-BB devices or used as a modem. Thank…

Airtel Kicks Non-BlackBerry Internet Users Off BlackBerry Plans

Airtel BlackBerry unlimited


SMS from Airtel Nigeria:

Dear Customer, effective 3rd Dec 2013 AIRTEL BB Plans will cease to function on non-BB devices or used as a modem. Thank you.

I wondered when this was going to happen. I wondered for how long BlackBerry was going to close their eyes to their servers being taken advantage of by non-BlackBerry users. BlackBerry data plans and the attached lower tariffs are possible because of the compression that takes place on BlackBerry servers. Or so I suppose. At any rate, the use of BlackBerry Internet Service plans on non-BlackBerry devices was never official. If BlackBerry is behind this clampdown, then we can expect that other networks that have allowed non-BlackBerry use of their BIS plans will also implement this.


PS: I am told by a colleague that traffic from non-BlackBerry devices using Airtel’s BIS code isn’t routed through BlackBerry’s servers and that Airtel somehow allowed this arrangement to work for regular data. I am not a network engineer, but it is a possibility. We might as well discuss that too.

The message is clear though: if you want to enjoy the lower tariffs that come with BlackBerry Internet Service, go get a BlackBerry smartphone. If you don’t want a BlackBerry smartphone, subscribe to a regular internet plan. What’s fair is fair.


Let there be wailing! Let there be gnashing of teeth!! Let curses and swear words ring out. Here is an example of the outrage across the land:

* Mo jumps on red horse and rides out of town…*

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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi's journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. What’s BS there? What’s fair is fair. You want a BlackBerry tariff, get a BlackBerry device. It’s enough that BBM was released for every tom dick n harry with an android device.

  2. You’all forgot that android is not just an ecosystem of possibilities, it’s a world of geeks and techie. Time for them to get busy with rooting and (setdns) apps. I believe droid fans would have their way back in.

  3. Let there be wailing! Let there be gnashing of teeth!!

    Wailing, yes.


    Gnashing of teeth? Naaaa, not for me. I lost all my teeth in a rambunctious outing downtown, decades ago.

    He who has teeth, let him gnash. Am exempted!

  4. Hehehehehe!!!!!!! Very very good. To your tent o Israel!

    While the BB folks, like AdNikky, are
    congratulating themselves and snickering, they should know that this move would make data_misers Uninstalling the BBM pp sharp sharp. Done that already.

    Ici, are some practical suggestion to the people gnashing their teeth (Android / iOS and spewing out vituperative expletives ) . .

    You now have to monitor data usage more stringently and control apps’ access to the Internet more rigorously .

    Lots of users would now need to make do with drastically reduced data allowance, unless they want to spend more money on data.

    Some apps would help.

    For Android :

    My Data Manager :

    for comprehensive data monitor.

    Permission Manager./Permission Remover / Advanced Permission Manager : to remove ‘Internet’ Permission from apps that have no business going online

    Mobiwol : a non root firewall app to selectively control what apps can/cannot access data (Internet )

    If you are a ROOT user, use those ROOT_only firewall apps


    The other standard methods of disabling unnecessary push notifications.. removing non essential apps that access background data (Facebook, Twitter, email clients).. would help conserve data on iOS as well

    Make use of proxy server based browser ONLY (like Opera mini / UC Web)

    Make use of an automation app (like Tasker, Automagic, AutomateIt) to turn data off whenever the screen times_out


    Manage 260MB for a month of data access?

    Yes, we can!

    We have done it before.

    We shall do it again.

  5. I no longer a ‘bb folk’, I now pay heavily for my data use on an android device as it should be.
    Still doesn’t stop me from snickering cos the wailing from non – bb users is extremely hilarious anyway you look at it……….

  6. :'( …. thankfully I had already started weaning myself off, past month or so I haven’t used airtel bis

  7. Those non-BlackBerry owners wailing over the loss of access to the Airtel plan, oh dear.

    Are they the ones who think that Airtel should be grateful for their patronage? The gates is closed, please use an alternative route (until that gets closed too)

  8. the point should be we all need enough data, the fact we have been using it shows we can use 1GB for 1200naira. All this i dont use it,go and by a BB to me is totally rubbish. what do you call 260mb for 1000naira. RIDICULOUS!!!
    Data allowance needs to be reviewed period, not all these saintly attitude. lets challenge jooooo.

  9. Airtel never announce announce that the BB plan was for other smartphones but they let non-BB users use it anyway. Announcing that it will cease to work on non-BB smartphones is a way of acknowledging that it was official even without announcement. There certainly will be a way, only time will tell.

    By the way, it appears Mr. Mo was in celebration mood for what? I just don’t get it, what is fair is fair and that’s that 1GB is 1GB both on BlackBerry and other smartphones. And why single Android out? Do I smell Symbian revenge connection here or just the revenge of the trodden platforms fans? Hahahaha.

  10. I see you guys congratulating airtel for excluding other platforms from using blackberry plans. However, judging from ncc statistics on data usage. If i may recall, airtel was the highest in terms of data usage. Do you know why….. I’ll that maths for you to solve.
    And now that other platforms have been excluded from the plan, it will drop in data usage and other network will take advantage of this short coming.

  11. Hey Harry,
    You’ve said it all. Mr mo isn’t just a die hard berry fan boy, I noticed He’s anti-droid too.
    Why would he jump on his Red horse and ride off the town in celebration of the news?
    As you said.. there’s gonna be a way. With setdns app on rooted devices… there’ll definitely gonna be a way back in.
    In the outside world, it’s been between iOs and android. Dunno why berry boys are taking it personal with android in this country. Abeg oh.

  12. For several years, airtel allowed BB users to tether computers to the phone and calculated the data as part of our BIS usage instead of requiring an additional plan like the other networks. Now that’s gone (sob!)…

    Na all of us this matter touch o; which way to go now? Back to N8,000 modem subscription for mobile computer access??

    Just one desperate operator increasing data allocation will change the game back jor!

  13. Airtel have been doing like “mumu” for those using the sim on non-bb. Now, they have decided to stop it. Kudos to them naw. We all know that they have lost much because of this.

  14. I make use of a BB phone, but I am still wailing along with Non-BB users. This change is really going to change the overhead costs of Internet Marketing in Nigeria. I was comfortable with paying N3,000 for two Airtel BB plans on two different sims (BB and Modem). Now I would have to Pay as much as N9,500. J????u?????s?????t???? as it is going to affect my business, I think Airtel will be affected on a larger scale. We go move go the next available and cheapest data network. My only problem now be say, which network be dat one?

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