How Wi-Fi HotSpot On BlackBerry OS 7.1 Works

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I had been curious to see how Wi-Fi hotspot on BlackBerry OS 7.1 would work. Would it share a user’s BIS subscription or would it utilise a generic internet connection?

I finally got to find out today.

Using a BlackBerry Torch 9810 running OS 7.1, I went to the Wireless Options menu, where the “Mobile Hotspot” option is displayed. Ticking that option to activate the feature threw up a warning that additional charges might apply, and then a setup menu, with options to enter network APN settings.


At that point, I was pretty much sure of the result of my quest. I entered the network internet settings and the service got running. Blackberry Mobile hotspot supports connecting a maximum of five (5) devices. It is WPA2 secured, meaning you can encrypt your hotspot with an eight digit pass-phrase. There is also an auto-timer, allowing you to set a time after which the hotspot is disabled.


The hotspot feature also has the option to allow connected devices to exchange information between one another. Interesting, and a good feature too. Once connected, you are able to monitor activity on your wireless network.


So, how does the hotspot work? It uses a generic data plan. That means it either eats your airtime (if you are on pay-as-you-use data), or you subscribe for a data plan in addition to your running BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service).

Connecting to the BlackBerry mobile hotspot with a Nokia E7 was a breeze. Within a few moments, the device was connected and using internet services from Etisalat. Without an active bundle plan, the connection used some of the available airtime on the line.

That’s it folks, BlackBerry mobile hotspot, available on OS7.1 devices and above.


  1. So, how does the hotspot work? It uses a generic data plan. That means it either eats your airtime (if you are on pat-as-you-use data), or you subscribe for a data plan in addition to your running BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service).

    That’s rather unfortunate if I can’t tether the BB device to say a laptop and use same BIS subscription on my laptop without separate subscription. The BB device and the in limited data plan is not so attractive after all.

    Not until I have confirmation of a way to use the data subscription on another device by way of tethering, I won’t be needing a BB device.

  2. Yomi thanks for this review. Some people here have already started dreaming of how to subscribe for 3g data BIS plan for =N=1,400 from glo and tether same to their other devices. Guess the 3gig can only be consumed by the blackberry device only and no other. Probably there will be a work around that later in the future though.

  3. I still find it difficult to upgrade my BB 9360 to OS 7.1 the system keep on telling me is up to date. How do you upgrade Sir? Well not suprise at the additional data consumption, just like youtube video, anytime I try it my money is deducted untill I subscribe to additional data.

  4. This looks like one way …

    Getting a BB with hdmi/tv-out (if it exists) may be another way …

    Just connect to a laptop or any other big display and enjoy ..

    The content of the link is interesting, but it is not in any way addressing my needs for the lure of a BB device.

    I am contemplating picking a BB device not for the sake of the device but rather solely for the data bundle that goes with it and when tethering to other devices is not allowed, then the whole deal becomes unattractive to me. I very happy with my Android device presently and a BB as a device has absolutely nothing to offer to lure me from Android platform.

  5. wyyyyy ive been looking for a way to share my bis since lat year. i thought this was finally it but i was wrong.. its annoying that after paying 3k/15000 u cnt use d connection on any oda deice other than d fone.. rily messedup

  6. Mister_Mobility, a question.

    Can you use the Mobile Hotspot and normal BIS services AT THE SAME TIME?
    Like can one be actively chatting/pinging, while the data plan is being shared wirelessly?

    I ask this because last year, I frequently tethered my Glo bonus data on my Bold9700 to my laptop using Blackberry Desktop Manager, but Glo’s BIS never worked on the phone during such periods.

  7. spacyzuma,

    Can you use the Mobile Hotspot and normal BIS services AT THE SAME TIME?

    I don’t think so. Once the hotspot kicks in, the BIS service icon on the phone disappears.

  8. Meeennn, that is so cruel of RIM. Why make it impossible for people to multitask? It’s enough that one cannot tether the BIS plan. Now that one has Subscribed for extra data plan, while tethering such, why suspend my pinging activity ?

  9. i used my MTN sim in my blackberry 9360 (os 7.1) with no issues. the mobile hotspot worked fine. However when i inserted my etisalat sim, it wouldn’t work.

    The menu to enter APN settings doesn’t come up at all and i can’t seem to browse when connected to the fone. What could be the issue? and how can i reset the mobile hotspot settings?

  10. pharmtasy February 19, 2012 at 07:29

    Has anybody tried Airtel?

    Yes, my friend and I just tried it on Sunday. I think that’s the only network, presently that allows us to use our BIS plan with the hotspot.

  11. Hi Everyone, if you use the Blackberry Playbook with your BB phone it can connect to your phone via bluetooth and BB Bridge software (BB app store) and use your BIS without the need for an extra data package – it may not seem ideal these days what with iPad setc but for browsing and email it’s a very capable device and even has Flash in the browser – you can pick them up relatively cheap if you can find them! Hope this helps some folks at least.

  12. Yes I have done in Airtel prepaid plan. I charged for 102 rupees 3G plan and got 300 MB data for 0ne month time. It works fine. BIS plan is just for mobile browsing. Once you connect to Mobile hotspot, it start using the other plan. There are different plans for airtel. It is very helpful for my Tablet to get connected once outside. Speed is fairly good in airtel 3G.


  13. A BB9360 with a vodacom sim works easily for me when I switch on the wifi hotspot to use up spare data. However, when I insert a cell c sim, the wifi hotspot menu requests a username and password which are supposedly supplied by the network. Dialling 147 at cell c is only giving entry level pre recorded info of no use to me in getting the required username and password. Will log on to cell c and try to find out….unless someone out there knows the answer.

  14. Well its possible to tether a BB device running on OS7.1 to a computer using an app called tether (google it). It has two downloadable platforms, One for the system and the other for the BB device. Just install both then connect using either USB or blue-tooth technology. The joy here is that this uses the BB subscription.
    I’m currently posting this from my laptop tethered to my Bold 6, Glo subscription-3GB for 1K…

  15. Pleaae , i am using blackberry torch3, with MTN bb subscription inside. How can i connect the bb torch3 to a laptop to browse?

  16. Hello, MTN Nigeria doesn’t support sharing BIS data. I’d suggest you use Airtel for that.

  17. No sir. It currently only works with Airtel BIS subscription. You can still tether GLO BIS using Blackberry Desktop Manager

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