Yesterday morning, in the Mobility Blog group, I woke up to news that official OS 7.1 updates are now available for both the Blackberry 9900

Official OS For Blackberry 9900 Is Here Live

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OS 7.1

Yesterday morning, in the Mobility Blog group, I woke up to news that official OS 7.1 updates are now available for both the Blackberry 9900 and 9810.

I downloaded the update file for the 9900 right on my device itself in a matter of minutes on Etisalat’s 3G service. It is a 273MB file in size. Tonight, I finally carried out the update and I am currently testing things out.

RIM says that OS 7.1 brings the following to the table:

Mobile Hotspot: Turn your BlackBerry 7.1 OS device into a Wi-Fi® router anywhere, anytime! The new OS seamlessly provides Internet access for up to five Wi-Fi devices, including laptops and tablets.

Universal Search: For this new release, we wanted to focus on the intelligence of our system and our apps – in other words, we wanted to create an intuitive experience that does the thinking for you. For example, Universal Search now has a new auto-suggest feature that that intelligently filters Bing® search results to offer you a variety of relevant Web sites based on your search terms.

BlackBerry® Tag: Share contacts, media and files, and even invite friends to BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM) through a simple touch. BlackBerry Tag unlocks near field communication (NFC) capabilities for everyday use and makes sharing a lot faster and much more personal.

Wi-Fi® Calling (where available): With BlackBerry 7.1 OS, you’ll be able to make Wi-Fi calls using your carrier’s Wi-Fi calling service (aka UMA-lite or GAN-lite). Wi-Fi calling allows you to save your talk time minutes and make phone calls over any Wi-Fi network. Not all carriers offer such a service so check with your carrier for availability.

FM Radio: The BlackBerry 7.1 OS update will let BlackBerry® Curve™ 9360 and 9380 smartphone customers enjoy FM radio. The Curve models include a built-in FM radio so you can tune in to local FM radio stations. Simply plug in your headset to boost the reception (it acts as the antenna). Plus, no data usage or data plan required!

BlackBerry® Maps: When you launch the new BlackBerry Maps you’ll be able to discover special offers, coupons and discounts from nearby vendors – and, of course, you can act instantly by calling about the deal, finding the best route to get there, or grabbing the coupon code.

Surprise With Mobile Hotspot!

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I have about 5GB left on a bundle plan from Etisalat which I am using on the 9900, and I really do need to use it. Before now, that SIM was in a mifi device. Anyway, I fired up the Hotspot function and got it rolling. I notice that the interface is a bit different from what I saw earlier on the 9810. But that wasn’t all.

In a previous article, I reported from a test that I ran on the Blackberry 9810 that the running the Hotspot deactivated BIS on the device. Well, I have good news this time: the Hotspot on the 9900 runs simultaneously with the BIS service.

As I type this, I am active on BBM and other Blackberry services while the BB Mobile Hotspot is active sharing internet service with other connected devices. Of course, this is exciting news! Blackberry OS 7.1 users (at least on the 9900) can eat their cake and have it. Sort of.

Note though that the hotspot does not share from your Blackberry Internet Service. It shares from your airtime or an internet bundle, if available.

Yes; some readers will scream and pout about that. It is my opinion that this is a network-dependent thing. Etisalat has chosen not to let BB Complete users tether. That makes sense, considering that they offer unlimited browsing and downloads, or else the service would degrade.

Download OS 7.1 for 9900 and 9810: Official: OS For BlackBerry Bold 9900 & Torch 9810 Via T-Mobile USA


  1. Those are cool features. I’m not eager to upgrade my 9360 yet. None of those improvement fills my need. I have a mifi and a Nokia N8 that has wifi hotspot.

    One impressive thing I found out today was the ability to enjoy quality data service and longer battery life on the BB. I have a mifi device, connected it to the Blackberry 9360 and everything works fine, including my email, BBM, emails and apps. I turned the mobile data off and I could still use the BBM, email and the other apps.

    As soon as I removed the sim, but still on wifi, I could not use BBM and send emails. But Twitter and the other apps worked.

    The mifi now becomes one of my coolest toy. Btw, am I the only one enjoying Etisalat’s service in Lagos? I ready to be their mugun sef.

  2. BB is catching up on features fast.

    Mr. Mobility, is it possible to have active BIS plan and at the same time subscribe to another data bundle plan?

  3. Great news! Have to pass this info to my friend who owns a 9900 at the office.

    I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon looking for the official OS 7.1 update for the Curve 9360 without success. Will welcome any heads up from your team.

    I could not to subscribe to Glo’s N1,000 monthly plan despite several attempts. Wonder if this has to do with subscribing to BB Complete plan on my device. I really prefer opera mini to the default browser and browsing with opera mini is not covered by BIS.

  4. Brym
    You can get the OS from here:

    And Glo BIS does support opera mini. Try upgrading your opera mini to the latest. There was a version of opera with a bug affecting BIS usage. Maybe that’s the version you presently have.

  5. Mr. Mobility, is it possible to have active BIS plan and at the same time subscribe to another data bundle plan?

    Yes; it is. That’s the very setup that I have on my Etisalat SIM right now.

  6. @Harry: You can have a data bundle and a BIS plan running concurrently on a SIM, having tried it out on Airtel and Etisalat.

  7. Ajadi,

    Thanks for the link. I got another link for Bell Canada just after my post and downloaded it thereafter.

    I was awake till 2am this morning trying to install on my device but failed at every attempt. I must be missing a step or two.

  8. Brym,

    Make sure you delete “vendor.xml” file in C:program filescommon filesResearch In MotionAppLoader

    You can also post the error you’re getting.

  9. Ajadi,
    After installing, and deleting the vendor file, BDS does not inform me that there is an update availabe.
    When I try to use the application loader method, I can’t locate OS 7.1 to add. Have tried both methods of installation on my laptop running Vista and on netbook running XP.
    I even downloaded the update file again using the link you provided.

    Thanks for opera mini tip.

  10. Delete the vendor.xml files from TWO locAtions on your PC; C:/users/ (your login Acct on your pc) /appdata/roaming/research in moTion/ blackberry/loader xml

    And c:/programfiles (x86)/ common files/ reseArch in motion/ apploader

    And you are good to go

  11. I love the updates
    esp, Mobile Hotspot, Uni Search and BB Tag.

    I also love the way It peers with the Playbook.

  12. Brym,

    I’m happy you’ve finally been able to update to 7.1.
    Kindly share some of the improvements you’ve noticed, like battery life and fm radio.


  13. *fuming*
    Why on earth doesn’t the 9810 have all these goodies in the 9810 os 7.1 update? Quite annoying to say the least, so I downgraded back to OS 7.0.

    Will be a bit patient till the bb 9810 os 7.1 update head don correct. Until then mstchewww

  14. this link to download the os is a t mobile USA, can we load this in any mobile?
    or just t mobile USA customers can …

  15. Anybody know if wifi calling feature is supported by Bell Canada?
    Tried to call them today to ask but they did not seem to be even aware of that at all… Also, do you need to turn the mobile network off for that to start working or this is constantly on by default and will just work as soon as you say loose a cell coverage for instance?

  16. @Kayode: only the curve series mentioned in the article come with FM radio. The FM radio app available via Appworld makes use of your BIS unlike the radio found in the new curve series.

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