1. kwathom1's Avatar

    It's apparent there is still some ambiguity about some of the online guides and FAQ's about how to convert compatible Blackberry's (7520 and 8350i mostly) to BOOSTBERRY to gain the functionality; MMS, a. k. a. TEXTING, and OTA downloads that most people need.

    As such I took the liberty to do some research to gather a very comprehensive guide to dispell some of the uncertainties with conversion to a "BOOSTBERRY". This posting is an updated information to one previously posted. Below is a very thorough and concise guide step by step to converting compatible BB (7520 and 8350i) to Boostberry:


    Why would I want to use a BlackBerry on Boost Mobile?
    Boost Mobile has the cheapest (and slowest) data service around, and the BlackBerry is the only smart phone that works with Boost's iDEN service.
    The old 7520 and 7100i BlackBerries can be purchased for next to nothing, and are very usable smart phones, though limited.
    The newer BlackBerry 8350i is a halfway decent smart phone.
    Does Boost support the BlackBerry?
    Not officially. Boost sells their Starter kit to "give new life to a previously used Boost or Nextel phone", but they make no specific mention of its compatibility with the BlackBerry. Using a BlackBerry on Boost is consistent with their terms and conditions, but there's no guarantee of compatibility and you won't get any help from Boost for configuring your BlackBerry.
    Which features work?
    Based on the experiences of many people in the forum:
    Voice service and basic data service work.
    Most 3rd-party apps work, including apps for web browsing, email, GPS, and instant messaging.
    Over-the-air installation of apps using the BlackBerry Browser will work if you follow the how-to.
    Text messaging will work if you follow the how-to.
    Apps can also be installed using the Desktop Manager software on your PC.
    There is no BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) on Boost, which means native BlackBerry push email, the Blackberry IM apps, and a small number of 3rd-party apps will not work.
    Which Boost plans included data service?
    All Boost plans include basic data service. Pay By The Day and Chat & Text users pay $0.35/day for the use of the Boost Browser on Boost-branded phones, but all other apps get data for no additional fee, making the $0.35 service option unnecessary for BlackBerries. (since there is no Boost Browser on a BlackBerry anyway)
    How fast is Boost's iDEN data service?
    about 15-20 kbps typically. That's plenty fast for email and IM, alright for web browsing, pretty slow for file transfers, and too slow for almost every kind of streaming media.
    What is Boost's iDEN coverage?
    Coverage is the same as Sprint's Nextel network.
    What BlackBerry models work on Boost Mobile's iDEN network?
    The 7520, 7100i, and 8350i are iDEN BlackBerries that work with Boost and are worth considering. The older 6150 and 7510 also work.
    What is the difference between the 7520, 7100i, and 8350i?
    Comparison at phonescoop.com
    The 8350i runs BlackBerry OS version 4.6 whereas the 7520 and 7100i run version 4.1. The older OS does not support as many apps and features. See Recommended Applications for more details.
    GPS fixes on the 7100i (and presumably the 7520) take a minute or two, and are not always accurate. Google Maps does not support GPS on the 7100i and 7520, though there are alternative GPS applications. If GPS is your priority, consider the 8350i instead. (I haven't used the 8350i personally, but I presume its GPS is at least somewhat better)
    The 7520 and 7100i routinely sell for $20-40 on eBay. An 8350i is about $200 used or $300 new.
    Does Push Email work with Boost?
    There is no BIS or BES service with Boost, so you won't get native push email. However Shangmail on the 8350i may give you push email. There are other ways to get email, e.g. the Gmail and Logicmail apps.
    Can I tether a BoostBerry?
    Not practically. You are better off buying an old Motorola iDEN phone and swapping the SIM. Any model iXXX should work.
    iDEN Blackberry models do not offer up a dialup modem when connected to a computer like Blackberries on other networks. The only alternative is to use one of many tethering applications which run as an application on the phone and usually a client on the PC to make the connection. Though these applications are usually payware, require linking it permanently to your 'Berry via the PIN, and are fairly limited such as only acting as an HTTP proxy which limits what can be used on the connection, and makes it slower than a direct connection. Likewise to the parent bulletpoint, it's less pain to use a Motorola iXXX model phone and swap the SIM, with a preference for phones like the i290 and later, which can be powered from USB while tethered. Do not power up the Blackberry without the SIM inserted or one other than the one used during the Service Book loading process. Doing so will wipe out the Boostberry service books and they will need to be reloaded.

    How to activate a BlackBerry with Boost Mobile

    You can buy a Boost Starter Kit from Boost, or on eBay. Activate by calling the toll-free number. (The web activation won't accept a BlackBerry IMEI)
    You can also use any already-activated Boost SIM. Just log into the Boost web site and set your IMEI. Some people have reported problems receiving text messages when they didn't set the correct IMEI with Boost.
    An old phone number can be ported over to Boost at any time, so it is recommended that you start with a new phone number on Boost, see how you like the service, and then port.

    How to fix dialing
    In the dialer, go to Options, Smart Dialing, and change the country code to Unknown

    How to get the native Browsers, OTA downloads and text messaging to work

    This cookbook was posted by Yeswap.
    These instructions have been verified as working for the 7520, 7100i, and 8350i. make sure your handheld battery is FULLY charged before hooking it up to your computer for this process.
    1. Download and install the BlackBerry Desktop Software/Desktop Manager on your Windows PC. Get it from: https://www.blackberry.com/Downloads...93E4F3BB068C22 . I'm using version Version 4.6 and I recommend you do the same although I believe any version 4.1 or greater will work.(after clicking download click RUN not Save)
    2. Download and install BlackBerry OS ("Blackberry Handheld Software") on your Windows PC from https://www.blackberry.com/SoftwareD...ient=biTZdMddN . Select your BlackBerry model, and then download version for the 7520, or the latest OS for whatever other Blackberry you have(you may have to fill out an information form before the download begins, they DO NOT send you a confirmation e-mail so using false info is ok)(after clicking download click RUN not SAVE) This is a critical step that people tend to skip; You must have the OS installed on your PC in order for the Desktop Manager to work correctly and be able to reinstall the browser.
    3. Download the service books from here: http://wapreview.com/download/MMS_WiFiBrowser.zip It is recommended that you use this set of service books, and not the combined3.zip linked in some other guides. Unzip the contained file, MMS_WiFiBrowser.ipd. into a folder where you will be able to find it(REMEMBER WHERE YOU PUT IT!)
    4. Plug in your phone to a USB port and start the BlackBerryDesktop Manager. If it says it needs to upgrade the phone's OS, let it. If it doesn't say it needs to update go into Application Loader > Add Remove Applications. Again, if it says it needs to upgrade the phone's OS, let it. The upgrade can take up to an hour so don't panic if it seems hung, just let it finish.
    5. 7100i and 7520 only: On your BlackBerry, close all open apps and delete the Browser (even if you don't see a browser in the menu!) by going to Options>Advanced Options>Applications>Browser, press the scroll wheel and choose delete, confirm the deletion and the option to reboot your phone now, and wait for the phone to reboot.
    6. Go to Options -> Advanced Options -> Service Books, hold Alt and type AABEB (for full QWERTY phones it's Alt + SBEB). A message reading "Legacy SB Restore Enabled" will appear if you did this correctly.
    7. Connect your phone to the PC again. In Desktop Manager choose "Backup and Restore" , then "Restore", then browse to and select the MMS_WiFiBrowser.ipd file that you downloaded in step 3.
    8. After installing the service books, in the Desktop Manager click Main Menu, then Application Loader > Add / Remove Applications. Check the empty boxes next to the Browser, JavaScript and Help to reinstall them.
    9. After the phone restarts you should have a working HotSpot Browser icon under Applications, and there should be a working MMS option for each entry in your address book and a Compose MMS option in the Messages app.
    10. 8350i only: After installation of the service books, you should have the BB Browser and HotSpot Browser available. Click the Browser icon. In the upper left corner check to see if it says "Browser" , or "HotSpot Browser". If it lists the Hot Spot Browser, click the BB Menu key,then select Options and click, select Browser Configuration and click. In the upper right corner it will show "HotSpot Browser". Click it and change to "Browser", then click the BB Menu key and save.
    OTA installation of apps should work. Go to m.google.com in the Hotspot Browser (7100i and 7510) or the Browser (8350i) and try to download and install one of the Google Mobile apps. If it doesn't work, something is probably wrong, and you should repeat this procedure from the beginning.
    On the 7520 and 7100i, you must not insert the battery without the SIM. Doing so will reset your service books and remove the Browser, forcing you to repeat this entire procedure.
    The service books are "married" to your SIM when you install them. If you switch to a different SIM, this procedure will need to be repeated.

    How to forward incoming text messages to an email address
    If you want to forward your text messages to your email:
    1. Go to Sprint.com and where you can sign in, click on “Sign Up.”
    2. The rest should be pretty straight forward, just fill out the form. Once you get logged it, it might say “Cannot access your account at this time.” Don’t worry about that, just move on.
    3. Go to http://mms.nextel.com/mms and log in with the same information.
    4. You will see a red bar that says “Your messages cannot be read. Please try again later.” Do not worry about that, this is made for Sprint customers so you will never be able to read your messages on this page.
    5. Click on Preferences, then Forward Messages.
    6. At this point, you can choose a place to forward your messages too. This can be any email address, but the most popular is a gmail or msn account b/c you can download the app for the respective email accounts and they poll often enough. Since I downloaded shangmail, I have push email so I just used my favorite email account. I also tested sending it to yournumber@page.nextel.com. This comes in as an SMS message which is instant (sometimes shangmail can take up to 15 minutes). However, it does not show who the message is from. If you get it as an email, it will tell you it’s from “your friends number/TYPE=PLMN@myboostmobile.com” If you want to reply, you will have to send a message to “your friends number@their service provider.com.” It’s a pain, but it’s better than nothing. Anyway, type in your email address and click “add.” If you want to test different ones to see which comes in faster or how they come in, you can add more than one address.
    7. Be sure to check the boxes that say “Enable Forwarding Address” and “Keep a Copy in my Inbox until it expires” and then click “Okay” to save everything.

    What's the difference between the Browser and Hotspot Browser?
    On the 7100i at least, both browsers work over Boost's data network. The Browser supports WML pages only; the Hotspot browser supports WML and HTML. Generally you will use the Hotspot Browser.
    What about SMS?
    On iDEN phones, MMS is the only kind of text messaging. The network will act as a gateway between SMS and MMS users, so don't worry about it.
    Recommended Applications
    Most of these applications can be installed over-the-air using the Hotspot Browser (7520 and 7100i) or the Browser (8350i). The apps themselves will work with or without the Browser and modified service books. Apps can also be installed using the Desktop Manager software on your PC, if you are able to find and download the .cod and .alx files for the app.
    8350i only:
    Google Voice. Google Voice for your phone
    8350i, 7100i, and 7520:
    Opera Mini 4 (web browser). http://mini.opera.com
    Gmail. Google Mobile The Gmail app checks for new messages every 20 minutes, even in the background.
    Google Maps. Google Mobile My Location (GPS) only works in the 8350i
    Google Sync. (calendar and contacts sync) Google Mobile
    Nimbuzz (instant messaging). Nimbuzz - Download: Mobile PC
    Nav4all (GPS navigation) speech only works on the 8350i
    Logicmail (email client)
    Alternatives for the 7100i and 7520:
    Superpages Mobile (business search, maps, and GPS)
    Blackberry Maps: open this link in Internet Explorer on your PC with the BlackBerry attached. Installation of Blackberry Maps may be necessary to enable GPS in other applications. You might need to re-install BlackBerry Maps after adding or changing any applications using the Desktop Manager (if Desktop Manager warns you that unknown modules will be removed)
    01-22-10 05:58 PM
  2. smallie9's Avatar
    I've always been a fan of nimbuzz, but it will not let me connect through wifi and where I currently live, I get close to no bars unless outside. So I recommend palringo, works exactly the same, it does give wifi options in the settings. And it is free :P

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    02-28-10 11:34 PM
  3. aswilled's Avatar
    It worked. The only thing is, I need a hotspot to use the bb browser and gps. is this the way it suppose to work?
    04-24-10 11:19 AM
  4. t-mobilereallysucks's Avatar
    Does this apply to the 8520? (T-Mobile)
    06-13-10 10:11 AM
  5. ErikJackson's Avatar
    Thanks for all the great info!
    06-28-10 10:13 AM
  6. MisterJoshJones's Avatar
    I did everything you said and the web works and all of that -- I have options both in messaging and in my address book to "MMS (...)" the ... being whoever's name I am higlighed on. However everytime I do it says message failed to send. Looks like I am missing something... Also, the phone is not yet receiving any texts and I know I have some waiting because I am texting test messages from another phone. Please advise.
    02-09-11 03:41 PM