Error Code: 403 "Access should be available soon" when trying to add an Active Sync account to the BlackBerry PlayBook

Article ID: KB31297

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 04-18-2012


Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry PlayBook tablets
  • BlackBerry Device Service
  • IBM® Lotus Notes® Traveler 8.5
  • BlackBerry® PlayBook™
  • BlackBerry® Device Service 6.0
  • PR 138605

When attempting to setup an Active Sync account via an IBM Lotus Notes Traveler server the following error may appear on their BlackBerry PlayBook:

Service for this account (user@smtpaddress ) is not available.  Contact your system administrator to regain access.  [Error Code: 403]

Another variation of this message is:

[Error Code: 403] Access should be available soon


Cause 1:

The IBM Lotus Notes Traveler administrator has restricted what devices are allowed to access the IBM Lotus Notes Traveler server. Review the NTSConfig.xml file on the IBM Lotus Notes Traveler server.

Look for the following value: <PROPERTY NAME="ALLOWED_USER_AGENT_REGEX" VALUE=".*"/>

The default value is ".*"; a wild card to allow all devices. When the PlayBook connects to the IBM Lotus Notes Traveler server it sends one of the following two stings:

Version "RIM-Playbook/2.0"

Version "RIM-PlayBook/2.0"

Notice in the newer version the "b" is uppercase. To allow the BlackBerry PlayBook to enroll, administrators will have to add the correct user-agent string or use the wild card to allow all devices.

Cause 2:

The device may not have been allowed to access the server yet. Certain Mobile Device Management systems may give the administrator the option to not allow devices access the system without their permission on a device by device basis. The flow would be that the user attempts to setup their Active Sync account on the BlackBerry PlayBook, the BlackBerry PlayBook responds with a 403.

Once the user tries for the first time the administrator will log into the system and allow access for this device. Once the device is allowed, Active Sync integration using IBM Lotus Notes Traveler server can be performed.


IBM Lotus Notes Traveler administrators can add the "ALLOWED_USER_AGENT_REGEX" value of "RIM" which, moving forward should allow all versions of the BlackBerry PlayBook to activate on the IBM Lotus Notes Traveler server

CollapseAdditional Information

Addition Information regarding the restriction of device access by category to Lotus Traveler (via NTSConfig.xml) can be found in the IBM documentation for IBM Lotus Notes Traveler.

Specifically, the document titled " Restricting access by device category" on the IBM website (linked below) goes over the configuration in detail:

Note: The above issue can occur both when initially attempting to integrate the BlackBerry PlayBook through the BlackBerry Device Service or directly through IBM Lotus Notes Traveler. Additionally if the wild card (".*") or blanket ("RIM") value is not present or the previous value ("RIM-Playbook/2.0") was used, after upgrading the BlackBerry Playbook to the same issue will be observed.



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