Can You Use a BlackBerry With a Generic Data Plan?

Spread the love

Planning to buy that cool looking BlackBerry Bold or Storm you just noticed in the mobile store? Then prepare to pay more each month for the privilege of accessing your emails and surfing the internet. A BlackBerry data plan is one of the extras that many buyers don’t budget for when they purchase their new BlackBerry. And we are not referring to the generic data plan offered by your operator at a reasonable price; its the costlier BlackBerry data plan which your BlackBerry is best designed to work with.

BlackBerry data plans come in different packages: there is BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) for accessing your Gmail or Yahoo mail or corporate emails running on POP or IMAP, and then there’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), which includes the instantly synced e-mail, contacts, and events that corporate users crave.

The advantage of the costlier BlackBerry data plans is that on most networks, they come with unlimited data. But what if you can only afford the cheaper generic data plan? We tell you what’s possible & what isn’t if you plan to use your BlackBerry with a generic data plan.

Using BlackBerry with Generic Data Plan:

  • You cannot use the resident BlackBerry internet browser; you will need to use a third party browser such as Opera Mini
  • You cannot use BlackBerry Push email; you can only check your email through a third party browser such as Opera Mini or through a third party mail app such as Gmail Mobile App or through a third party push mail service such as Shangmail
  • You cannot use BlackBerry Messenger service and cannot use the BlackBerry optimised apps for Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger & Windows Live Messenger; you can only use third party apps such as IM+
  • You cannot use the latest version of Facebook (v1.7); you can use the older version (v1.6) and you can access the mobile version of Facebook from Opera Mini browser
  • You can use any third party apps such as TwitterBerry which allow you to specify your internet connection as regular TCP/IP instead of BIS
  • You cannot install apps over the air (OTA) since it requires the resident browser; you will need to use the Desktop Manager interface to install any of the third party apps mentioned above for browsing, email, messaging or social networking
  • You can tether your phone to a laptop for accessing internet on the move. In fact, on some networks, if you subscribe to the costlier Blackberry data plan, it won’t include this ability. You will need to subscribe to a generic data plan separately over & above your premium data plan to do so!

BlackBerry Lite Plans:

Some operators have recently introduced cheaper BlackBerry Lite plans, such as this offered by Vodafone India, which gives you access to unlimited emails & instant messaging. So what’s the catch? You cannot access the internet for browsing nor can you use third party apps to connect to the internet!


The real benefits of a BlackBerry lie in its proprietary Push Email & the BlackBerry optimised instant messengers & social networking apps with push notifications. You can arguably use a BlackBerry with a generic data plan by installing third party apps for all of this but then you could buy any other smartphone with a QWERTY keypad such as the Nokia E71, E72, E63 or the Samsung B7320 Omnia Pro!

Note: Some of the points mentioned in this article could vary based on your BlackBerry model & your mobile network. Its advisable to contact your mobile operator before making your purchasing decision.

10 thoughts on “Can You Use a BlackBerry With a Generic Data Plan?

  1. With the blackberry prices dropping I was looking forward to buying one. However had my doubts about data plans. Was looking for just this information. thank you very much.

Comments are closed.