How to Set up a BlackBerry Data Service on the Phone

By Edward Mercer

Activate a data plan to use all of the features on your BlackBerry.
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Although you can use a BlackBerry phone over a Wi-Fi connection to access the Internet, you need a data plan to use certain features on your phone. Especially in the case of a small business, features like software updates and BlackBerry Messenger -- which are enabled through a data plan -- are very useful for streamlining communications with your clients, distributors and employees. Most new BlackBerrys come with a data plan, so all you need to do the first time you use your phone is go through a few simple steps to set up the plan.

Turn on your BlackBerry and connect to a Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerrys should connect to a Wi-Fi network automatically when you enter a hot spot. Otherwise, press the "Menu" button, select the "Manage Connections" icon, identify the network to which you wish to connect and type in a network password, if necessary.

Press "Menu" and select the "Setup" icon. Select an option by highlighting it with your finger or scrolling over and clicking with your trackball, depending on the BlackBerry model you are using.

Select "Setup Wizard" from the setup options.

Select "Email Setup." You configure a personal email account -- or sync your phone with an existing account -- and activate your data plan simultaneously. Select "Next" after checking "I Want to Create or Add and Email Address" to open the BlackBerry Internet Service application.

Type in your BlackBerry Internet Service username and password. These were provided when you purchased your phone and data plan. Select "Log In" and, depending on your service provider, agree to the terms and conditions displayed.

Enter a username and password to configure a new BlackBerry Internet Service account. Alternatively, select "Other" from the "Email Setup" options and enter the URL, username and password for your existing email client. Select "Next" to display a message confirming that your BlackBerry Internet Service data plan activation and configuration with your email account are in progress. Select "OK." You will receive an email confirmation of data plan activation as soon as the process is complete.


Synchronize your email and BlackBerry contacts by checking the synchronization option before pressing "OK" in Step 6.

You can also activate a data plan through BlackBerry's website if you do not have access to a Wi-Fi connection on your phone (link in Resources). The steps are very similar, but you will be asked to provide the PIN and IMEI numbers of your device, located on a sticker under the battery.