Changing the service provider or network

Article ID: KB03889

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 08-17-2012


Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry 7 OS and earlier
  • BlackBerry Internet Service
  • BlackBerry® Internet Service
  • BlackBerry® smartphones

If a decision is made to change service providers or networks, keep the following information in mind.

Preserve Data

Back up all data before changing service providers, networks, or BlackBerry® smartphones.

Change Service Providers

If a change in the service provider is made, contact the current provider and inquire whether the BlackBerry smartphone is SIM locked. If the BlackBerry smartphone is SIM locked, an unlock code is needed. Some carriers charge a fee for this. Once the BlackBerry smartphone is unlocked, it will accept a new SIM card and a new service provider.

Change Networks

If a change in networks is made, a new BlackBerry smartphone may be needed. Data from a previous BlackBerry smartphone can be retained and loaded onto a new BlackBerry smartphone with the Backup and Restore tool in the BlackBerry Desktop Manager.

For further information on the BlackBerry Desktop Manager please follow this link: BlackBerry Desktop Software

Switch between CDMA Networks

As long as the destination service provider supports it, a CDMA BlackBerry smartphone can be used on another CDMA network. The service provider configures the BlackBerry smartphone to use their network.

Switch between GSM or GPRS Networks

GSM and GPRS networks use SIM cards to store data on the BlackBerry device. To switch networks, your carrier unlocks the BlackBerry device. Once this is done, the BlackBerry device accepts a new SIM card and functions on a new network.

Switch to an iDEN Network

An iDEN BlackBerry smartphone cannot be used on another iDEN network. The BlackBerry smartphone Software is specific to one iDEN network.

Note: BlackBerry smartphones that work on CDMA networks do not work on GPRS or iDEN™ networks.

BlackBerry Internet Service Accounts

When the current service provider terminates BlackBerry services for the BlackBerry Smartphone, this will automatically suspend the associated BlackBerry Internet Service account.  All email addresses associated with this account will cease to send or receive emails.

Once the BlackBerry Smartphone has successfully registered with the new carrier network and the new carrier has confirmed BlackBerry services are enabled the subscriber will need to create a new BlackBerry Internet Service account with the new service provider and reintegrate the email accounts.

Please note that a Hosted email account previously used on the former carrier partner's network will not be transferable.

For instructions on how to create a BlackBerry Internet Service account please see KB16370.

Note: Research In Motion does not have the Carrier Unlock Code to unlock BlackBerry smartphones or the 4G/4G LTE™ BlackBerry® PlayBook™ for use with other wireless service providers. To obtain the Carrier Unlock Code, contact the wireless service provider from which the BlackBerry smartphone was originally purchased.

CollapseAdditional Information
This article contains information previously documented in KB10822.


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