Advertisement A used BlackBerry Bold 9650 came into my possession last week, passed on to me by someone who had used it for a while


Not Supported: BlackBerry Bold 9650

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BlackBerry Bold 9650


A used BlackBerry Bold 9650 came into my possession last week, passed on to me by someone who had used it for a while on the Airtel network. I thought it would be a good idea to deploy it for one of my projects. Of course, Etisalat is my GSM network of choice for BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). Well, maybe “was”, because as at the time I got off BIS last year, their service had become a bit unreliable, pretty much like every other GSM network was.

Anyway, last Friday, I popped my Etisalat SIM into this beaten 9650, loaded the appropriate airtime and used the code for activating the service. Till today, I have not been able to get BIS activated. The support guys at Etisalat have been on it. Responsive support, but sadly still no results.


At first, I was told that there was a problem with my line and that they were working on it. Well, today, I called customer support and after a number of checks, the lady that attended to me eventually said to me that my device – the BlackBerry Bold 9650 – is not supported by their network and so will not work. According to her, that is why I have been unable to get BIS activated till now.

I don’t know which to believe: my line has a fault or my phone isn’t supported. Now, I know that some of you will throw jabs at me and tell me to throw away the two-year old relic that the Bold 9650 is. Well, the baboon may not be exactly handsome, but its mother loves it. Leave me and my Bold 9650 alone!


Meanwhile, I shall probably give another network a try if this Etisalat adventure fails.

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  2. Etisalat and GLO sure need to elevate their game as regards data services,

    What do they mean this device its not supported?

    but then strange things happen.i once tried to activate a Nokia N70 for internet. despite trying my level best, I failed. the SIM connected on other devices, but refused to, on this Nokia N70!


    as at the last few times I tried, activating an internet bundle on Etisalat, successfully, was truly fickle ~ a hit or miss affair!

    activating a GLO SIM for data access, for the first time, is sometimes a tug of war, and can be futile in some cases.

    Airtel DATA services may SOMETIMES be lethargic, but they have been least problematic for me regarding data services. The 1gigabytes for N1k/month BIS bundle, available for non blackberry use, is just an icing on the cake.

  3. @Eyebeekay
    I tried activating the 1GB for N1,400 BIS on Airtel last week and it failed. the BIS was activated but the 1GB wasn’t added. I went to Airtel office and the lady at the desk said nothing like that existed. that if I enjoyed it in the past, then it must have been a network error. please confirm if it still active and send me the activation code… probably I did something wrong

  4. @fortespy:

    Are you sure that you are using the right combination of configuration settings?

  5. @fortespy

    Send ‘status’ to ‘440’ to confirm that you have been subscribed to blackberry plan.
    Dial ‘*123*10# to check your data allowance
    Then check to see if your apn is set to ‘’ as ‘ didnt work for me.

  6. Etisalat is new generation network, does not support old phones. lol

    I think you should try MTN or Glo.

  7. Etisalat Nigeria doesnt not support BlackBerry devices from CDMA networks like sprint and Verizon wireless.

  8. I think @Nelsonisibor has said it all. Sir, you’re not the only one having the challenge. Former CDMA BBs usually have tough time connecting to BIS on GSM networks in Nigeria

  9. Former CDMA BBs usually have tough time connecting to BIS on GSM networks in Nigeria

    Wrong. My sis uses this device and has never had a problem activating Glo (previously) or MTN (currently)BIS on it. I believe @Nelson is right

  10. I once had a Verizon branded 9650 active for years on Celtel/Zain/Airtel networks it worked flawlessly until it was retired. Recently a family member’s efforts to revive the phone on Etisalat network were futile. It took a call to the customer care to confirm no Verizon or Sprint branded BlackBerry is Etisalat compatible. Shame. Back to trusty and reliable Airtel.

  11. i also had the same issue, but etisalat returned my money. glo has not been the best either. mtn tried convincing me. i’m yet to try airtel, but i learnt they’re good.

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