1. Dennis Eldridge's Avatar
    Hi all, I'm a computer tech of too many years' experience, and I'm here because I do come across vintage BBs often. I hate to see them go to waste and landfill, and I'm looking here for ways to repurpose them.

    Hope all are well!
    12-08-20 03:31 PM
  2. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    Acceptance is part of recovery....

    Old technology is old technology. You can try to make use of it as some secondary device, but in the end your primary device can do what it can... and more.
    bakron1 likes this.
    12-09-20 08:52 AM
  3. joeldf's Avatar
    Also depends on what vintage your'e talking about. Pre-BB10 devices rely on special cellular data service from the carrier to work, called BIS (or BES, if it was a corporate/government phone). And a lot of carriers have dropped that service. BlackBerry itself is shutting down the entire backend service at the end of next year.

    Really old BBOS devices that were for the Edge (2G) networks only are basically dead now with the shutdown of 2G in the US, except maybe the few that had Wi-Fi. Later devices that ran on 3G will soon be dead as well for the same reason - 3G shutdown over the next couple of years. Though, more of those devices included Wi-Fi so, there's that.

    There are ways to use a BBOS phone without BIS, and one member here has a site devoted to that.

    BB10 phones never relied on BIS, so it has a bit more going for it. But, it does still tie to BlackBerry servers for backend services, and those are also shutting down on Jan 1, 2022. That, coupled with many US carriers shutting down 3G and forcing VoLTE use (which none of the BB10 phones properly support - they were supposed to, but carrier implementations changed leaving BB10 behind), will make those Wi-Fi only devices, too.

    Edit: Actually, those BlackBerry services end on Jan 4, 2022.
    Last edited by joeldf; 12-09-20 at 10:47 AM.
    bakron1 likes this.
    12-09-20 10:22 AM
  4. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    You didn't state where you are located, but in the US, no carriers will activate a 3G-only phone at this point - it takes supervisor approval to activate a replacement phone on an existing account (it's the supervisor's job to warn you about 3G service ending, and to try to talk you out of it), but new activations haven't been allowed for a while now.

    In other areas of the world, 3G will stick around a year or two longer, but even then, BIS service only has a year to go at most.

    Cellular phones aren't like most other electronics, which will still function even when they're long obsolete, because cell phones require network access to function, and the networks themselves are constantly moving forward; not just the generational changes in technologies but also how the individual radio bands are used. An AT&T phone won't work on Verizon, etc., because each of the (then 4) carriers used different bands and different technologies. So, even if you are outside of the US, you still likely need to have a specific sub-model for your intended carrier.

    The process may not be impossible (outside the US - inside, it is impossible at this point), but it won't be fast or easy. And you'll find that a lot of the apps and services are long-dead, so you really need to understand how little you're going to get even if you manage to get one activated. It's unlikely to serve as a daily driver in any case.
    bakron1, Laura Knotek and bbfanfan like this.
    12-09-20 11:12 PM

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