Tip: Use BIS along with an Internet Bundle Plan

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Dayo first set me on to this. He had gotten a Blackberry and ran an experiment subscribing to both BIS and an MTN bundle plan. The idea is that with the bundle plan, he could tether and browse on his laptop. We both knew that the networks didn’t allow subscribers to tether via BIS.

Initially, I thought he was crazy, but it made sense. Whether it made sense or not anyway, it worked. He has both BIS and a mobile internet bundle plan running on his line – the best of both worlds.

I currently have a N5,000 Always Min internet bundle active on my line, and I may be reviewing Blackberry OS version 6.0 and so will need a BIS subscription. Afraid that activating BIS would make me lose my precious N5,000 investment, I decided to ask.

Here is an excerpt from Glo’s response:

These services are actually different and will not affect each other in any way. You can as well activate the BIS on that same sim.

Well, that is comforting.

I did try it out later and it works just like Glo customer care said it should.

Glo BB bundle

So, now you know (or you had known before now and I was the one living in ignorance and the joke is on me!), you can use your BB and still enjoy tethering at a modest cost by subscribing for a bundle plan. At least on MTN and Glo. Anyone have any info on Airtel and Etisalat? Of course, I am expecting that it will pretty much be the same on those operators as well, but you never can tell.


  1. My experience on this with MTN BIS and Funlink Bundle is quite the opposite. I thought i mentioned this in a post sometime ago.

    I had a funlink bundle plan before subscribing to MTN BIS. First thing I did was to tether going via Blackberry Desktop manager. It didn’t work out. I then removed my sim from the blackberry, popped it into another phone and used the phone as a modem. No problem here except that my credit on the sim was used up while my funlink bundle (which I was using before getting on the BIS) remained untouched. I could no longer use the funlink bundle till it expired.

    Things may be different with Glo but this was my experience with MTN and I mentioned it over 2 months ago on this site in one of the posts.

  2. In that case is it possible for me to subscribe to a mobile plan (I use mtn) to bypass using bis service for mobile browsing?

  3. @Stanley

    Why would you want to bypass BIS when browsing on your mobile. I feel BIS suffices for all your mobile needs on your blackberry. Or you want to go with other data plan and abandon BIS altogether on your blackberry. If that’s what you want, once your BIS expires, simply subscribe to a data plan and you are good to go except that you will lose all the BIS related services including your BBM, email, and possibly your browser.

  4. Stanley, if you are not on BIS, you cannot use the builtin apps that use internet eg browser, email. If you download Opera mini you should be able to use a bundle plan only on your BB.

  5. @deoladoctor, @timpa:
    I knw abt d apps, & other BB features not functioning w/out BIS. I was just asking cos I attempted 2 use d MTN wap browser (d icon appears on your menu if u are an MTN subscriber) & I could open web pages eventhough my BIS subscription had expired, it was slow though. I also use operamini 5 for BB, so I was just wondering if there was a special tweak 2 enable me use my operamini as well esp wn I’m not ready to renew my BIS subscription

  6. The usual saying: “MTN and Opera Mini don’t mix” doesn’t seem to apply to Blackberry on BIS. I use operamini without problem on my BB with BIS. I’ve not tried it without BIS, but maybe it just might work. All you need do is allow your BIS to expire and try out the operamini. It just might work.

  7. Well that is good, but does anyone know the data limit for MTN BIS, i know Glo BIS data limit is 1.5gb @2800. Also what is the data limit and price for Glo Always Mini.

  8. Bosun, Glo Always Min is 1.5Gb at 5k.

    I need to get something straight. Does the BIS subscription work for third party apps that require internet access or just the bb’s default apps?
    If i get billed for using the internet browser outside BIS, would a data bundle subscription apply?

    This bb thing na waa o!

  9. Well 4 airtel, u dont need all that wahala. The 1st thing is to configure your Tcp/ip on your blackberry phone in options, with the necessary APN settings {u dnt nd to activate internet bundles for this as long as u have ur BIS activated. Then u tether ur bb n pc, either wth d bb desktop manager 5.0 and above or the BBDM wth Vzaccess. Configure the APN there and thats it. I tried mine this with bb OS 4.5 on a bb pearl and i updated my antivirus. 🙂

  10. Now it still looks like these mobile networks are still ripping us off, why should Glo give BIS 1.5gb for 2800 on BB and 1.5gb for 5k on data bundle.

    Is it that they want to lure us to BB or they have just made the data bundle more expensive because they know it is more likely for people to finish the data bundle than use all the data available under the BIS.

    What ever the case might be, if I eventually get a BB I will certainly be using it along a data bundle because I can not resist sharing my 3G Internet to my PC.

  11. @deoladoctor, I don’t know why it didn’t work for you on MTN, but I am having a blast here.

    I was afraid to go the Blackberry route for a long time because I didn’t want anything to tamper with my ability to tether and browse on my laptop when I’m at home. I do not own a USB modem, so I use my phone as my modem and any phone that won’t let me browse on my laptop won’t be given a ghost of a chance. Hence my hesitation to get a Blackberry device.

    Now that my little experiment has allayed my fears, I am doing Blackberry all the way.

  12. @stanley, you can use a data bundle on your BB without BIS, though you won’t be able to use the built-in browser. The walk around would be to install Bolt for browsing and Nimbuzz for both IM and social networking.

    Hope this info helps.

  13. @Dayo,

    I’ve been thinking since this article came out. Could my problem be because i had the funlink bundle active on my sim before I got the BIS? What data plan do you have along with your BIS and which one comes first?

    Second thing is how do you tether? Did you do it via Blackberry Desktop or you configured your PC manually? Your answers to all these questions will help guide my next experiments.

  14. To use data bundles on BB go to OPTIONS on your BB, under options, press
    Advance options, then scroll
    down to TCP/IP then check the
    box to enable APN setting.
    Input this as ur apn address.
    web.gprs.mtnnigeria.net for MTN or the right APN for other networks.
    Also, check the box for apn
    authentication and put both
    username and password to be
    now, you can now try
    connecting via wap or BB web browser to download
    any application you want for you
    blackberry. All BB apps downloaded through BB web browser will work with ur data bundles.
    For more info you can check this blogsite http://www.afelouz.blogspot.com.

  15. @deoladoctor, my bundle plan is the 3GB monthly nite plan, and I subscribed to it before subscribing to BIS. I tether via the desktop manager. Didn’t have to configure my system manually.

  16. hi Yomi,
    This is actually what i was looking for,
    Pls give me the current Airtel profile settings as you showed for glo in the screen shot, and also the corresponding setting for the BB TCP/IP.
    I was connecting last year with Zain, now with Airtel, i can’t connect any more.

  17. Cece,

    The current Airtel settings:

    APN: internet.ng.airtel.com
    username: internet
    password: internet

    I tried out the above using my wife’s Blackberry service from Airtel but was unable to get a connection.

    You can also try out the following WAP configuration –
    APN: wap.ng.airtel.com
    username: wap
    password: wap

    I didn’t have the time to try it out but will give it a shot tonight.

  18. A good and a bad report of my experimentation. I bought myself a 10mb/N100 per day bundle (just to experiment with) and tried out the usage alongside my BIS.

    Good report, I was able to use the data plan for wap browsing on my BB and was able to tether using the data plan when I removed the sim and inserted it in another phone (this was impossible at my first trial back in october 2010).

    To tether using my blackberry and desktop manager was a failure. I use desktop manager version, and i put in the MTN API, username and password. My TCP/IP on phone was also equally configured. This blackberry tethering thing is a disaster. Just doesn’t work for me. Anyone knows why?

  19. deoladoctor,

    Odd, but I couldn’t get my wife’s BB on Airtel to connect via tethering. Connection failed everytime. It worked with Glo BIS though.

    I’ll play around some more and get back to you.

  20. Now it still looks like these mobile networks are still ripping us off, why should Glo give BIS 1.5gb for 2800 on BB and 1.5gb for 5k on data bundle.

    Bosun99uk, the 1.5GB on BIS is heavilly compressed data and not raw data like on the generic bundle plans.

  21. Plz house how do I get blackberry desktop manager for my hpcompaq window7 nd wc version. Thanks very much.

  22. please, kindly advise if i can use MTN data bundle on blackberry without subscribing for blackberry package( bis or bes) as i can see ppple caliing it. i realy dont know.
    thanks for ur anticipated rapid response

  23. hello Yomi,
    Any progress on this? am still waiting for your research results on tethering Airtel

  24. Hello house,
    My bis subscription does not allow for video streaming. To confirm already existing facts, rather that give an error message, it uses up my available call credit to buffer and play the video. This means to have a maximum browsing experience both bis and bundles are required. If anyone have succeeded in using bis subscription to browse with laptop using fone as modem, he should let us know.

  25. I use MTN BIS.I’ve been able to browse using opera mini 4 and snaptu app on my blackberry 8520? but suddenly, I couldn’t connect again. I kept on getting the message “unable to connect to the internet, please check ur network settings”. I downloaded opera mini 6 thinking the problem would be solved but the problem persists. Anyone with a solution should please help out.

  26. I figured it out.
    Go to options>advanced options>tcp/ip settings
    Allow apn settings
    Type: web.gprs.mtnnigeria.net
    Enable authentication
    Username: web
    Password: web

  27. Not a lasting solution. The same issue occured when my credit finished though I had active BIS

  28. Well,before I subscribed for the monthly BIS, I used the MTN bundles (100mb) for applications like snaptu and 2go. But after subscribtion,I couldn’t use them any more. If there is a way I can run my BIS and still use this applications it would be a relief for me

  29. Pls help me out, I have been trying to connect my laptop through my BIS with the right settings which all seemed to be working but I keep getting error 777 “PPP link control terminated” and this usually happens whenever is registering my computer on the network. Pls what do I need to do?
    Much thanks

  30. Pls help me out, I have been trying to connect my laptop through my glo BIS on torch 9800 with the right settings which all seemed to be working but I keep getting error 777 “PPP link control terminated” and this usually happens whenever is registering my computer on the network. Pls what do I need to do?
    Much thanks

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