BlackBerry Prepaid from MTN Nigeria

Every GSM network in Nigeria today offers a BlackBerry prepaid service. Truth be told, opening up BlackBerry service to prepaid subscribers is the best thing that happened to BlackBerry service in the consumer arena.

To get BlackBerry service on the MTN network without going through the hassles of signing a contract, purchase your BlackBerry device (from MTN or any retailer – make sure its not locked down to another network), pop in your MTN SIM, and do the following:

  • load N5,000 and text “BIS” to 21600. This will give you one month’s subscription to the service and configure your device automatically.
  • load N1,300 and text “BBWEEK” to 21600. This will give you one month’s subscription to the service and configure your device automatically.

BlackBerry Prepaid from MTN Nigeria 1

Your one month subscription gives you unlimited access (you read that right, so we were told by our contact at MTN) to BlackBerry Internet Service. You can access up to 10 work and personal email accounts, plus an optional, new BlackBerry email address that comes with your BlackBerry smartphone. You can browse websites and use instant messaging on your BlackBerry smartphone.

Here at MobilityNigeria, our team members have used and/or reviewed devices on every smartphone platform (Symbian, Android, Windowsphone, iPhone) except for BlackBerry. We are looking to change that and hope to have a BlackBerry device in our hands later this month (Any retailer care to send us a review unit? how about MTN?).

We are eyeing the BlackBerry Tour 9630 or the Bold 9700 (Bold2). As usual, we shall be pushing the device to see how it measures up and bring you detailed reviews of how it performs.

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

47 thoughts on “BlackBerry Prepaid from MTN Nigeria

  • March 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I never received a response to the email i sent to your team about the loaner phones for review. Send me a reply at your earliest convenient time.Thanks

  • March 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Hello Quam,

    Would you believe if we said we hadn’t seen any mail till date? We just hunted through our mailbox after seeing your comment above and found it – dated February 11. Yomi is responding to it right away.

    Our apologies.

  • March 2, 2010 at 11:10 pm


    Are you saying that i can use blackberry email, my own 10 emails, browse the web as much as i like, download as i want, and use instant messages all for N10,000.00/month on MTN blackberry services? (And no megabyte ceiling)?

    If your answer is a definite YES, then i’ll take a loan and buy a blackberry by tomorrow.

  • March 2, 2010 at 11:18 pm


    Actually, that’s N5,000; not N10,000 monthly. We were told “unlimited” service. We are just as skeptical, but you never know. Please call MTN customer care or walk into a centre before taking that loan 🙂

  • March 2, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    it appears to MTN makes setting up to any of their services a breeze. So far I find them more convenient than Glo or Etisalat. Quality of service is another thing all together.

  • March 4, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    I think I mistakenly deleted the email but thanks for the response. Please send me a blank email so I can provide you with details but we are good to go.Thanks for the great information that you guys provide

  • March 5, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    If the cost of unlimited Internet service via Blackberry MTN is 5,000 Naira a month, I think that I may just have to pitch my tent with it. But one Question please. Could you tether the phone to a Computer?

  • March 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm


    We find it tempting too. We will put that question to MTN customer care and let you all know what they say.

  • March 6, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    @deoladoctor @alireta The BIS service from MTN is for “unlimited” phone browsing only!

    @Afewgoodmen You can tether, but you will be charged at the standard WAP/GPRS/3G/3.5G PAYG Data rate, outside/apart from the BIS bundle. Avoid this option. Tethering is not covered by the BIS bundle. Also, any apps on your Blackberry that use the WAP/WAP2/TCP connection options aren’t covered by your BIS bundle. Be very careful. MTN does not fully spell this out but they WON’T give you are refund.

    Lastly, when using the Blackberry’s web browswer with your BIS bundle set the Internet Browser or the Wi-Fi browser as your defaults. This will ensure you don’t browse with the WAP browser which will attract additional charges. Even when browsing with the Internet Browser be sure to avoid selecting bookmarks saved under the WAP bookmark folders. Doing this switches the browsing session to WAP and you will get slammed!

    I know, it sounds too complicated but that’s the nature of the world we live in!

  • March 7, 2010 at 8:38 am

    @divine logix

    Thanks for the info.

    Only wish we could tether it and still go with the bundle. Now i have to take quite a few things into consideration before taking that loan….

  • March 7, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    divine logix,

    Thanks for the detailed info! Well, unlimited still sounds good, if one can play within the rules. The restrictions make sense, really: allowing unlimited data via tethering would have been an invitation to further congestion and instability on the MTN network.

    I played with a BlackBerry Curve 8900 belonging to a friend this afternoon. I was particularly concerned with the web browser’s performance, so I threw my online banking account and a Cpanel account at it. Surprise – it handled both well. The last time I tried out Cpanel on a BlackBerry Bold 9000 last year, it failed outrightly. Looks like there have been silent improvements since the Bold (or could the error I got back then have been from the network instead?).

    If my sources are correct, RIM implemented WebKit in the BlackBerry web browser since the Storm. Can anyone confirm this? I ran a user agent test on the Curve that I had with me this afternoon and there was no indication of WebKit in the results displayed.

    Anyway, we are expecting a BlackBerry for review later this month, courtesy of Our readers are likely to have lots of reviews to feed on from henceforth, thanks to MyCricketPDA partnering with us.

  • March 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I use Sony Ericsson X1 ( a windows phone) with the capabilities of installing Blackberry Connect, i want to know how the BB connects works.

  • July 18, 2010 at 10:45 am

    you guys are doing a great work here.

    could you please tell me how to unlock my Blackberry bold2 (at&t).


    • July 18, 2010 at 9:44 pm


      I’m sorry but I don’t have any info on how to unlock your device. If you are here in Lagos, a quick trip to Computer Village is highly recommended.


  • August 2, 2010 at 4:25 am

    The safest thing if you do not want to get slammed by MTN is to make sure APN is disabled on your BB. That way, all apps that need internet access are forced to use the BIS.

  • August 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Hello Friend,
    Please, am using BB bold 2, and i need to activate the MTN bb service on it.

    Please, what i need is the short code to activate it.

    NOTE: I heard, MTN is offering weekly plans, so i preferred the short activation code of weekly plan on my MTN blackberry service.

    Every assistant in this regard would be highly appreciated.



  • August 10, 2010 at 6:47 am


    The shortcode you asked for is in the article above. Please text “BIS” to 21600 to activate BIS on your MTN line.

    NOTE: I heard, MTN is offering weekly plans, so i preferred the short activation code of weekly plan on my MTN blackberry service.

    As at the last time that I checked, MTN did not offer a weekly subscription. The only option available was monthly and that costs N5,000.

  • August 25, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Hi Cheche,

    Read somewhere that you should have up to N1300 airtime, then send ‘BBweek’ to 21600

    I tried it myself but haven’t gotten any confirmation of the sms receipt. Maybe network.

    You could try it though
    NOTE: I heard, MTN is offering weekly plans, so i preferred the short activation code of weekly plan on my MTN blackberry service.

  • September 4, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    pls i dont knw hw to get my blackberry 2 work i just subscibe to the mtn weekly plan of bb and have been informed of a successful subscription so what do i do to stop mtn from deductin my money for browsing wit my bb

  • September 5, 2010 at 4:31 am

    What’s the cost for MTN BIS weekly, what’s the key word to be sent and to what number?
    These websites have to do a better job of updating their websites with current info!

  • September 5, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    From MTN Customer care:

    Kindly text BB WEEK TO 21600.This service cost N1,300?
    You will receive sms notification of service activation within 24 hour and it will last on your line for a week .?
    Please wait for the sms notification to avoid being charged as pay as you use rate of 15 kobo per kilobyte.?

  • September 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    i have send BBWEEK to 21600, am a first time user …how soon am i going to have my PIN

  • September 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Which of the network BIS is very good-Preferable between Zain and MTN.

  • September 28, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Mtn haz been eating ma money sinc, iv subscribd 4 diz month, bt dey stil deduct ma money…
    Iv been callin dem, dey said somtin abt me browsin wit wap or sumtin…
    All I need, is d complete settingz, 4rm general settings, 2 browset setting, 2 tcp/ip, anytin internet, boxes 2 tick… Plz..

  • September 28, 2010 at 5:23 am

    ineh angel,

    Thanks for your question. Please note that our policy here requires submitting comments in proper English, not SMS shorthand or slang. Kindly help us make this site readable by adhering to this.

    About your dilema of still getting billed for browsing, follow this tip:

    1. Check your browser settings and set the Internet Browser or the Wi-Fi browser as your defaults. Setting the browser to WAP will attract additional charges.

    2. When browsing with the Internet Browser, please avoid selecting bookmarks saved under the WAP bookmark folders. Doing this switches the browsing session to WAP and you will get billed.

    Remember, stay away from anything labelled WAP. You don’t need to touch anything else besides this. Cheers.

  • September 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Please what I the right code for monthly subscription for mtn. Do I type BB to 216600. I’m a new user and someone told me type BBWEEK for the weekly subscription (which worked for me) but here I am seeing BISWEEK. Do I use BB or BIS

  • September 28, 2010 at 8:53 pm


    That was a typo. “BBWEEK” is correct. Thanks.

  • October 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Hi guys, I have not being able to tether MTN for desktop browsing. Which I do easily with ZAIN, it is like the MTN has block some stuff that can allow it. I subscribed to MTN daily 150MB bundle on the Blackberry Bold Phone, but I could not use it with my laptop, I have to look for Nokia Phone to be able to use the Internet Credit.

    I have also found out that Glo weekly BB is not unlimited as claimed even on phone. Glo sent me a warning that I have spent 80% volume and finally that I have exhausted available bundle for the weekly subscription. And that I should make more money available.

    A times subscribing for the weekly stuff may not work by sending bbweek to 21600. You may need to resend Host Routing Table to get a service book and you may have to do security wipe to get the setting working.

    Do ZAIN has weekly subscription for blacberry

  • October 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    You are not alone in this. I have MTN funlink bundle with 56mb yet unused and cannot tether my BB Tour with laptop to use the data volume. Tried connecting using Desktop Manager 6 but it didn’t work out.

    You also said:
    “A times subscribing for the weekly stuff may not work by sending bbweek to 21600. You may need to resend Host Routing Table to get a service book and you may have to do security wipe to get the setting working.”
    This could be due to your interchanging between networks.

    How I wish Yomi were back from his well deserved second honeymoon to help us on this.

  • October 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    can somebody help me on this please, i tried to activate my bb on an mtn line, i was asked to wait for 24 hours and it has already pass 24 hours. i don’t know what to do, have been charged already.

  • October 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm


    All you need do is wait for it. Two of my friends also have problem renewing their BIS on MTN.

    MTN is currently experiencing some challenges in this regard and in few other areas which are expected to be resolved soon.

  • October 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Hello Vincent and Deola`s friends,

    I think you should re-start or take out your bb batery or turn off the network for a while and turn it on again.

    If the problem pesist, then, call the MTN BB service customer service.

    Best Wishes


  • October 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    @Vincent you need not wait long. Follow these steps go to Option>Advance Option> Host Routing Table> menu > Register Now. You will receive a text message that your BB has being register check your Service Book it would have being populated

  • October 25, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks guys. The advice I gave @vincent was based on happenings in MTN in the last 2 to 3 days. One of my friend’s money was not even deducted and no sms obtained. But a call to MTN, he was told to have patience cos of the little challenge they face which would soon be resolved.

  • November 11, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Please how do I upgrade the version of my OS to a newer version. I have been told that I can get it from my net work providers I’am an MTN subscriber. I use a blackberry curve 8520 with OS v4.6.1.314 and I want to upgrade to the OS v5.0. Please where and how can I get this upgrade. Please help.

  • November 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    @Hassante Upgrading a BB is not that difficult. Get the current Desktop manager that match the new upgrade and download the new upgrade also. You can visit for detailed process. Upgrading with your GSM provider will take time because the upgrade is araound 120MB. I have upgrade my phone twice and it is better. You will have a nice and user friendly interface like Iphone with the right upgrade

  • November 23, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Don’t waste your time going to crackberry, I have curve 8520 and i just updated it OS 5.0 last week. Download the desktop manager and connect your bb. It tells you to update. I suggest you have a fast connection. Because the update is large and DONT trip over the cable while updating or else you brick ya fone. After the update you have threaded sms and much more. I wish you the best.

  • December 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I have a BB Tour and i have tried all my best to make it browse but i can not do it. i want help and what am i going to do so that my phone can browse.


  • December 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    @Thompson sheun

    I suspect you are not subscribed to your network’s BIS. If this is the case, subscribe and all the features including the Browser will be available for you.

  • December 22, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I just activated BIS mtn for one month on my blackberry curve. So i changed to Blackberry bold2. Am trying to browse but it’s not connecting. I don’t want it to browse thru wifi.

  • January 5, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    My Blackberry Curve 8900 fell down and the screen went blount. How can i fix it or where in lagos.Thanks for your help

  • January 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Pls anybody know d data size allocation for prepaid mtn bis? Plus I watched a youtube video stream on my bb (I’m subscribed to mtn bis) & I discovered my credit dropped! Isn’t d bis subscrition surposed to cover for video streaming as well?

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