Activate Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) Vodacom, MTN, Cell C Prepaid

Activate Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) Vodacom, MTN, Cell C Prepaid

Having a Blackberry is more than just about having a flashy cell phone. The flexibility and features of smartphones like the Blackberry can really change your personal, social and business life. But a Blackberry is only really worthwhile if you have the Blackberry Internet Service (BIS).

For a flat fee of R59 per month (2013 price), you can have unlimited access to emails (send and receive), browse the Internet through the phone browser and use branded services like Blackberry Messenger (BBM). The majority of South African users opt for the prepaid option. Fortunately you can still access the Blackberry Internet Service even if you are a prepaid user.

Vodacom BIS

Here are the steps to activate the Blackberry Internet Service if you are on Vodacom prepaid. First you have to ensure that you have at least R59 prepaid airtime available.

  1. Dial *111# on your Blackberry phone.
  2. A menu should pop up on your screen. Select “Bundle Purchases” which is usually option 2.
  3. There should be a “Blackberry Internet Service” on option 4. Select it.
  4. Decide whether you want this as a once-off option or for your prepaid account to be debited monthly. The once-off option means that you will have to renew it every month and when it expires you will no longer have access to the BIS until you activate it again. With the monthly subscription option, Vodacom will automatically deduct the BIS fee on a monthly basis thereby ensuring you uninterrupted service.
  5. Complete the transaction and you are done.

Alternatively you can purchase the BIS for 30 days once off by sending an SMS with the word “Blackberry” (without inverted commas) to 100. If you get an error message when buying the BIS by dialling *111# then you should use the SMS route instead.

Vodacom should send you a confirmation message within a few minutes verifying your purchase of the Blackberry Internet Service. It can take about 30 minutes for the service to be activated. However, it may still not work on your cell phone until you do a hard boot as described below.


The procedure is simpler for MTN users. Simply dial *141*2# and the BIS will be purchased if you have sufficient airtime funds. Remember to do a hard boot of your phone as described below.

Cell C BIS

Cell C users should dial *147# and select option 7. Once again it is important to ensure that you have sufficient funds for the transaction to be successful. Remember the hard boot thereafter.

How to do a hard boot after buying the BIS

In order to do a hard boot on your Blackberry, simply switch it off, remove the battery, wait 10 seconds and then insert the battery and start up the phone again. You should see the Blackberry sign and GPRS / EDGE / 3G in capital letters next to your signal strength. The four squares Blackberry sign should be next to it. You are now good to go with the Blackberry Internet Service.

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