Configure BlackBerry Pearl as a Modem on Mac OS X

When I’m working away from my apartment or the office, I’m usually in a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi. However, occasionally I’ll find myself in a location where the only connection available is via my AT&T account. In order to utilize that from my PowerBook, I’ve configured my BlackBerry Pearl as a Bluetooth modem on Mac OS X 10.5.

I’ve documented the configuration procedure, as a reference for anyone who might find it useful.

Prepare BlackBerry Pearl

To allow Mac OS X to find your device, ensure that Bluetooth is enabled on the BlackBerry Pearl and that it is set to be discoverable. These settings are available under Bluetooth in the Options screen.

Download Modem Scripts

Mac OS X 10.5 does not provide support for BlackBerry devices out-of-the-box. However, Grant Goodale has been kind enough to provide modem scripts that enable the missing functionality. I’ve mirrored his scripts here:

Download to your Downloads folder, and extract the archive. A new BlackBerry.ccl folder should appear.

Copy the BlackBerry.ccl folder to the Macintosh HD:Library:Modem Scripts folder.

Set Up BlackBerry Pearl on Mac OS X

Step 1

Open System Preferences and go to the Bluetooth pane. Click “Set Up New Device…” which will bring up Bluetooth Setup Assistant.

Step 2

Click “Continue” to move past the Introduction screen.

Step 3

Select “Mobile phone” as the device type.

Step 4

Mac OS X should find a BlackBerry 8100. Select it and continue. If your phone is not discovered, check that Bluetooth is enabled and the device is set to be discoverable. Once those settings are verified, go back and repeat this step.

Step 5

In order to pair the computer and the phone, enter the given passkey on the phone.

Step 6

With the devices paired, the BlackBerry Pearl can now be configured as a Bluetooth modem. Check the box next to “Access the Internet with your phone’s data connection” and continue.

Step 7

Select Research in Motion and BlackBerry 8100 as the phone vendor and model, respectively. If wireless service is provided by AT&T (formerly Cingular), use the following settings.

Password: CINGULAR1
Phone Number: wap.cingular

If not using AT&T, contact your wireless provider for connection settings.

If Research in Motion does not appear in the Phone Vendor menu, the modem scripts were not properly installed. Repeat this procedure after fixing the installation.

Step 8

Congratulations! The device has been configured.

Connect to the Internet

Step 9

Open the Network pane in System Preferences. Select the Bluetooth service and click “Connect.”

Step 10

If everything is correct, you should now be connected to the Internet using your BlackBerry Pearl!


Mac modem script for BlackBerry 8900? - BlackBerry Forums at
February 4, 2009 at 6:03 AM

[...] have any issues with the instructions PM me, or reply to the thread I would be happy to help you. Backdrifter: Configure BlackBerry Pearl as a Modem on Mac OS X __________________ Sleep gets in the way of my life; I only do it because it is necessary Macbook [...]

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March 6, 2009 at 9:05 AM

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August 29, 2009 at 12:31 PM

[...] to return 2 Mac book pros (new unibody ones). I had tethering setup and working great using this Backdrifter: Configure BlackBerry Pearl as a Modem on Mac OS X). The 3rd MBP doesn’t seem to want to do anything. I get exactly the same message. Each time I try [...]


Lonna Hanson
May 1, 2008 at 7:19 AM

This is amazing Jared. What a nice feature for your Blackberry. Again, this is amazing. Happy May Day!

Colin Devroe
May 19, 2008 at 6:13 AM

Oh how I wish I had this for my iPhone.

Lee Walters
May 23, 2008 at 3:03 PM

Wow, so close, yet so far. I’ve followed your instructions to the letter and I’m still getting this annoying Dialog: “Could not negotiate a connection with the remote PPP server. Please verify your settings and try again.” Any ideas? Thanks!

June 1, 2008 at 4:24 PM

I’ve gone through this process a number of times with a few variations here and there. It worked once for me and I can’t get it to work again. I’ve followed everyones nicely clear & simple instructions and I get a few different error messages, including the -Could not negotiate a connection with the remote PPP server. Please verify your settings and try again.- message.

In my quest for answers I ran into one person who seemed to think it was the current version of the blackberry pearl 8100 software. They said they downgraded to the last version and everything worked fine.

Can anyone verify this?

Blackberry pearl 8100 new macbook pro 10.5.3 t-mobile wireless

June 27, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Im having the same problem as lee and acajaja. I keep getting the same message as well. If you figure anything out e-mail me.


June 30, 2008 at 12:42 AM

Got it “working” with following config:

Mac OS X 10.5.3
BB 8700 – AT&T

If I follow the instructions above my mac book connects via BB 8700. Although the speed is incredibly slow. Anyway the problem is disconnecting the modem – I always get ” CCLExit: -6019 (Modem error, modem not responding.)” error in my /var/log/ppp.log file. This is causing following behavior: I can connect once, then after disconnecting – my BB modem become really confused and I am not able to connect anymore until I “hard” restart the cell phone (removing battery). This brings following conclusion – I believe that the problem is in the disconnect script or the BB device it self.

October 23, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Hi Jared, your instructions have been the best of the sites so far. However, I can’t get the RIM to show as a vendor, so I am thinking I didn’t copy the script over correctly. Not sure why, but do you think it has something to do with me copying another script from another website? Could they be interfering with each other?

Stefano Luporini
January 2, 2009 at 2:56 PM

siwtched from motorola to blackberry, thankyou for the scripts. One shot and go! (Italy, provider: TIM)

January 14, 2009 at 6:56 AM

Nope. Doesn’t do the trick. I appreciated the fact that someone finally posted something with the Network Configs from Leopard. I see the Tiger configs all over but this is the first one I saw for Leo. Also good to see an updated modem script. Not sure if it works though!

Other problem: other configs have the password as all lower-case and not upper-case as it is in this tutorial. I tried both and I cannot connect with either. It keeps booting me telling me there were negotiation problems.

Anyone know where I can find a “tethered” solution for USB? What connection would be faster than BT anyway.

January 14, 2009 at 6:57 AM

Whoops! I meant “that” connection (meaning USB) would be faster. Not “What!” Sorry!

February 15, 2009 at 5:49 PM

My problem is that I’ve got an 8900 and I’m trying to tether it via bluetooth to a macbook, with no results either. I don’t get an option to select the Research in Motion window after the step of: Access the Internet with your phone’s data connection. it says generic, and it’s otherwise grayed out.

Can anyone help?

February 17, 2009 at 8:43 PM

Hi – I have an AT&T pearl, and a MAC PBook running 10.5.6 – I follow all the instructions but when I try to connect, it starts the process, and a few seconds later automatically disconnects with an internet connect error pop-up saying “the connection has failed. Please verify your settings and try again”. Please help, Thanks FM

February 18, 2009 at 7:26 AM

I had copied an incomplete folder into the modem scrips folder. Silly mistake, easy fix. Works beautifully now. Thanks.

February 20, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Hi, just set this up with a Bold and OSX 10.5.6. It worked beautifully.

And to think ATT wanted to charge me another 30 bucks a month for their tethering service.

March 3, 2009 at 1:19 PM

All of you who get the PPP error: you may connect through a blackberry enterprise server where the modem function is disabled. Talk to your company’s IT support team.


March 16, 2009 at 5:41 PM

I have a Blackberry 8900. I have followed the instructions but several things are not working.

1. My BB successfully pair with my MacBook Pro but Bluetooth Mobile Phone Setup finds no configurable services on the phone. I do not get the “Access the Internet with your phone’s data connection option and checkbox.

2. I copy the Blackberry.cll folder into HD/Library/Modem Scripts as instructed but I do not see the Blackberry modem scripts listed as options when configuring the modem.

What am I doing wrong?

Adrian P
April 8, 2009 at 1:51 AM

I have a bold and macbook pro 10.5.6. I get stuck in the phone vendor section because it’s always greyed out with Generic.

You mention something about “extract the archive” once you download the blackberry.ccl file which i’m not sure if i’m doing or not. When i download the blackberry.ccl file, it seems to already be extracted because it’s sitting in my download folder so i just copy it and paste it in the Modem Script folder. Am i missing a step??

May 4, 2009 at 5:40 PM

can anyone with the bb 8900 confirm that this works and if so, what did they do different so as to get it to work?

May 10, 2009 at 9:10 AM

T-MOBILE 8900 Tether in OSX Leopard SUCCESSFUL!
Using Grant Goodales script for the 8800, This is what worked for me!

Phone Number:
Account Name: guest
Password: guest

None of the other phone numbers i saw worked, but as i read thru the script, it gets the APN from the dial string, so use that as your phone number. the actual phone number is hardcoded into the script. Hope this works for others.
I’m running on my blackberry.

May 14, 2009 at 6:45 AM

Does anybody know how to do this with Blackberry Pearl 8130 from Sprint? I get to the screen Bluetooth Mobile Phone Setup and then it just keeps spinning trying to configure services. Thanks.

Hosnel Guerrier
May 19, 2009 at 10:57 PM

Worked perfectly for the 8900 thanks for the help

May 22, 2009 at 9:37 AM

I’m using the 8100 Pearl, it worked great using Bluetooth to connect UNTIL I went from OS x 10.4 to 10.5.6….since then no luck getting to work.

June 9, 2009 at 6:49 PM

This worked great with the Blackberry Pearl 8100 with an ATT Unlimited Data plan. I don’t have the tether plan! Just be warned you may be charged IM with AIM if you don’t have a texting plan. I’m using a MacBook with OSX 10.5.7

Password: CINGULAR1
Phone Number: wap.cingular

June 12, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Long shot here, but is there any chance someone could tell me how I get this to work with a bb 8900 using mac os 10.5.7.

I had it working sweet on os 10.4.11.

Also I’m from the UK. And my apn will be

Not to worry
June 16, 2009 at 9:53 AM

I got it to work now, silly me I was trying to connect with the airport still switched on :-)

note to anyone else, if you are trying to connect via bluetooth, make sure the airport is switched off first.

all working fine now.

Humayun Maqbool
June 22, 2009 at 12:10 AM

I have followed your instructions use by BB Pearl 8210 as a modem with by Macbook. However when I get to the screen where one selects phone vendor and model, both these buttons are disables (greyed out). Please help!

Stephen Brown
June 22, 2009 at 6:33 PM

Sweet. Worked like a charm for me.

BB 8110
MacBook 10.5.7
MacBookPro 10.5.7

June 26, 2009 at 9:50 PM

i have the bold with AT&T and it works great with the mac 10.5.1 to 10.5.7…
you need to get the 3g blackberry modem script and load it in to the modem script folder. i don’t remember the web site. i think it is i could email it to you. send email to


July 8, 2009 at 12:11 PM


I am using verizon/alltel as my blackberry service provider. Does anybody have any ideawhat the settings need to be?

July 26, 2009 at 8:21 AM

This site work out like a charm. I have BB 8900 with T-Mobile. I connected it to a MacBook Pro.


August 7, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Does anyone know how to configure for Sasktel mobility? I tried using the Bell mobility configuration with no luck.

August 16, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Works great with T-Mobile.
Need to use phone #
Username: guest
Passwd: guest

Thanks for this!

August 29, 2009 at 10:02 AM

This is my 3rd MBP. It worked fine with the other 2. Now it just hangs and won’t connect. I am with Verizon. Any ideas????

October 2, 2009 at 6:56 PM

I am following all the instructions but I still can´t connect my 8900 to the macbook pro, help please

October 16, 2009 at 11:16 AM

Hi, I’ve done everything but when I go to choose the connection from “Network Preferences” it’s showing that Blackberry is “Inactive” and won’t let me connect. I use a MacBook Pro and have AT&T with a Blackberry 8900. Any ideas?

October 22, 2009 at 10:23 AM

thankx! Good job!!!
it’s work for Mac OS X 10.6.1 vs 8100

October 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Yes it works – i’m now using my Blackberry Pearl as modem.

Super! Thanks

November 1, 2009 at 6:15 PM

Works Great! thank u!

~Blackberry Bold 9000
~Macbook Air OS 10.5.8

November 6, 2009 at 7:40 PM

M – I have the same config, 9000, ATT, but a Mac Book Pro with 10.6.1 and get all the way to the end and although bluetooth pairs, the network connection is a no. Did you do anything different than the instructions? Any tweaking at all?

December 21, 2009 at 8:55 AM

I managed to connect my 8900 using the above modemscript. I did find the following link very useful
it is a list of all the service providers wordwide and the login and password details

March 12, 2010 at 7:58 AM

Thanks for the excellent instructions — best than I’ve seen by far, and the most up to date. For anyone using Snow Leopard, the instructions are remarkably similar. I have a BB 8900 and specified it as an 8800 when setting up the device. Like others, my modem kept hanging when disconnecting and I kept getting authentication errors. So I deleted the Bluetooth DUN profile in Network settings and created a new one — then restarted my machine. Went back to Network Settings and clicked “Setup Bluetooth Device” and walked through Jared’s instructions. After that, everything works fine — though pretty slowly. I have an 8900, so I specified the device as an 8800 (I’ve read in several places that the 8800 scripts work for the 8900 too)

March 22, 2010 at 4:14 PM

I need a complete walkthrough for setting up my blackberry 8900 as a modem with T-mobile phone service!

May 30, 2010 at 3:06 AM

i have a bb 8900 orange, i cannot use it as a modem, can anyone kindly help on this.
i use mac book 5.8
bb 8900 orange
bought from bkk

Jessica Hansen
March 10, 2011 at 6:43 AM

Worked flawlessly! Thanks for the step-by-step!

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