How to Configure a BlackBerry smartphone as a tethered modem on a Mac

Article ID: KB19641

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 08-24-2012


Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry Desktop Software Version 2.0 (Mac OS)
  • BlackBerry® Desktop Software Version 2.0 (Mac OS)

A BlackBerry® smartphone with tethered modem capabilities can be used as an external modem to connect a MacIntosh computer to the Internet using a USB cable or Bluetooth® connection. As part of this, a script has been included with the BlackBerry® Desktop Software installation that provides the ability to select Research In Motion® as a vendor when configuring a BlackBerry smartphone for tethered modem use.

Dialing and connection is supported by the wireless service provider and extra fees or additional charges might apply as this is going through the carrier's network. Contact the wireless service provider for more information about tethered modem support and any form of fees incurred.

Note: Depending on the connected BlackBerry smartphone and the wireless service provider or network type provided by the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card, the modem script auto-populates the required configuration information when configuring the modem capabilities.

To use the BlackBerry smartphone as a tethered USB modem, complete the following steps:

  1. Install BlackBerry Desktop Software on the Mac computer. For further instructions, see KB18771.
  2. Using a USB cable, connect the BlackBerry smartphone to the Mac computer.
  3. On the menu bar of the Mac computer, click the Apple icon, and then go to System Preferences.
  4. Click Network. A dialog box stating New Interface Detected appears.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Apply.
  7. Click Advanced to complete the modem configuration.
  8. Verify the following information:
    • Vendor: Research In Motion
    • Model: BlackBerry IP Modem (GSM) or BlackBerry IP Modem (CDMA) - depending on the network type that the BlackBerry smartphone or SIM card is associated with.
    • APN: - by default, the "" Access Point Name (APN) is displayed.
  9. Click OK to save the configuration changes.
  10. Click Apply.
  11. Ensure that BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac is closed.
  12. Click Connect.


  • If the Mac computer does not automatically detect a new interface, the device will have to be added manually. To add the device manually follow the following steps:

    1. Click the plus sign in the bottom left of the network list

    2. Click the drop down for the interface and choose the BlackBerry device.

    3. Click create

    4. This will create the device as a network and you can follow the steps 7-12.

  • If the BlackBerry smartphone is password-enabled, a password helper application (part of the BlackBerry Desktop Software) is launched prior to connection and prompts for the BlackBerry smartphone password. Type the BlackBerry smartphone password and click OK to initiate the Internet Protocol (IP) modem connection. If the BlackBerry smartphone password is not typed and authenticated, the IP modem connection does not work
  • If connectivity is not achieved by the preceding configurations, contact the wireless service provider to verify the required information

For additional information regarding wireless service provider specific configurations, see the Additional Information section.

For instructions on configuring a BlackBerry smartphone as a Bluetooth IP modem on a Mac computer, see KB18127.

CollapseAdditional Information

If the wizard in Step 5 of the Overview section does not appear, complete the followings steps:

  1. Click the plus sign (+) in the bottom left corner of the window.
  2. Select the BlackBerry - <PIN> from the drop-down list.
  3. Click Create.

Continue at Step 6.

Specific Configurations

If the BlackBerry smartphone cannot be successfully configured as a tethered or Bluetooth modem on the Mac computer by using the steps outlined in the Overview section, note that some wireless service providers require different configuration information to be manually entered to connect the BlackBerry smartphone as an IP modem.

For example, the following information should be configured specifically for T-Mobile® USA:

  • APN:
  • Telephone Number: *99#
  • Account Name: <space>
  • Password: <space>

Note: "<space>" indicates pressing the spacebar in the Account Name and Password fields.

Alternate configuration for T-Mobile:

  • APN:
  • Telephone Number: *99#
  • Account Name: gprs
  • Password: gprs

After this information is specified, click Connect.


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