BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) on "Pay In Advance" plans?

seville

    I'm looking for a carrier that offers the old BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) data plan on prepaid service. Verizon and AT&T do not. I don't care about Sprint either way as they're too horrible to even consider.

     

    I've got an old BB7.1 device that I'm dying to use again. But these old legacy devices demand that kooky BIS plan that gives you your data from BlackBerry in Waterloo, through your carrier. Ever since BB10 devices you can use regular carrier data plans just like iPhones and Android phones.  But I'm going OLD SCHOOL, baby! And that means a BIS data plan. It will be a backup/secondary phone for me so I want to keep it on a Pay In Advance basis rather than on a postpaid monthly plan.

      All replies

      • tidbits

        You need a postpaid plan

        • seville

          I've been poking around on the MVNO sites and I'm sad to report that BIS is not available on any of the ones I investigated. BIS is almost dead in any respect so looking for it on a prepaid basis is probably a fool's errand. You can get a legacy BlackBerry to work like a dumb phone - text and talk - but no BlackBerry data services like email. Web browsing over WiFi works so as long as you can't get BIS you really don't need a data plan at all. As a backup phone that will work for me. It has to at this point unless I want to add another line to our family plan and pay double what I'm paying for the one line prepaid on Verizon.

           

          I've read forum posts where folks said they were getting data on prepaid, but those posts were old and I suspect at least some of them were not talking about full BIS. They may have been getting some data services like web browsing over WiFi. They weren't specific about exactly what or how. More like "I get data on prepaid with my 9900."

           

          The one link I followed overzealously seemed to steer me to prepaid BIS. I thought, "Yes, I FOUND IT!!"  And indeed I had --------- in South Africa on Vodacom. Yeah, that's not gonna work for me. But if I ever find myself back in Capetown or Jo-burg, I know exactly who to call. No, not Ghostbusters. Vodacom.

            • tidbits

              Why would you pay double than on Verizon. Currently adding a line depending on the plan is no higher than $40(legacy unlimited everything plan). IIRC the cheapest plan without data is $45 unless you go with a basic phone? You must have a really old legacy Verizon prepaid plan.

                • seville

                  We have 4 iPhones on the Verizon Plan X Large 12GB, giving us the shared data, unlimited talk and text. It looks to me like it would take $30 to add the BlackBerry our plan via an extra line plus a $20 access fee. So $50/month for the new line. My prepaid plan is $30 so it's not quite double to go postpaid for BIS.

                    • tidbits

                      You don't need to add a plan for T-Mobile I thought. I wish I still had my BB Curve I could test it out.

                        • seville

                          I don't know about T-Mobile as I'm on Verizon. I just came here to see if TMO could give me BIS on a prepaid basis. I have no plans to leave Verizon. Where I am, Verizon is the only good choice.

                            • seville

                              Well DANG!!  Last night Verizon enabled BIS on my prepaid line over wifi - no data plan. It's the $30/month WiFi-only data plan. I have $20 credit on the line above and beyond the monthly fee. Just sort of "whatever" money. I had called Verizon's prepaid customer service number and even opened an NDR ticket - that's the top top level of BlackBerry help within Verizon. The answer seemed to be "No, no BIS on prepaid." Nobody ever came right out and said it, but nobody ever said they'd add BIS. If it was possible I'd have thought somebody would have said, "Yeah, sure, we'll just slap that on your account."

                               

                              Then it just showed up. Maybe Verizon got sick of my calls and figured they'd humor me. But for whatever reason I was able to add three email accounts and test them. Outlook, Yahoo, and the VZW.BlackBerry accounts. And no data plan except WiFi. This whole thing could get yanked away at any time, but for now I have BIS on prepaid.

                                • seville

                                  Update:

                                   

                                  Here I am, two months later, and BIS is still working perfectly over Verizon prepaid. I'm still WiFi-only for data and Verizon doesn't seem to have a problem with that. I'm proof that BIS over prepaid is possible. Maybe you just have to be the "squeaky wheel" to get the grease. But at least one carrier has proven both the capability to add BIS to a prepaid plan and the willingness.