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Do you need a separate tariff for BlackBerry services?

When you buy a BlackBerry you aren’t just getting a phone, you are getting access to BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and email. Both these features rely on data, so if you aren’t on the right tariff – perhaps if you’ve been given a BlackBerry and just swapped your sim over –  you might not be able to access them.

All the major UK networks offer BlackBerry services. Some Pay Monthly tariffs include them automatically, with others you’ll have to pay extra each month. On Pay As You Go all the networks add a monthly charge on top of call costs. If you don’t want to pay extra for BlackBerry services you’ll still be able to make calls and send texts, but you won’t be able to access features like push email or BBM.

Each network – Three, Orange or Vodafone – handles BlackBerry data using its own servers, so if you swap networks you’ll need to sign up to a new BlackBerry package.

BlackBerry Curve 9320


The BlackBerry Add-on costs £3 a month for email and BBM in addition to the standard monthly goodybag.



Pay Monthly: If you’re an O2 Pay Monthly customer you’ll need to opt in to BlackBerry services by calling customer services on 202. There may be a charge depending on the tariff.

PAYG:  BlackBerry users need to sign up to the Text and Web for BlackBerry tariff:

  • £15+: 500 UK texts, 500MB data, BlackBerry email and unlimited WiFi
  • £30+: Unlimited UK texts, 500MB data, BlackBerry email unlimited WiFi

Text FREEBB TO 21300 to opt in. To stop BlackBerry services opt out by texting FREEBB OFF to the same number.



Pay Monthly: Orange includes BlackBerry services in some Pay Monthly tariffs, so check with customer services by calling 150. Otherwise BB services costsan extra £5 a month for unlimited push email and 500MB data.

PAYG: BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) costs £5 a month on a rolling contract. Activate it by calling 450 and selecting Extras. A minimum £5 credit needs to be on your account.



Pay Monthly: Some contracts (such as The Full Monty) include BlackBerry email support. Alternatively to add a BlackBerry Booster text BB1 to 879 and it will cost you £5.10 a month

PAYG: T-Mobile offers three packages on PAYG. As with Orange you need a mininum of £5 credit:

  • £5 for 30 days of internet, email and BBM. Text MONTHBB to 441
  • £20 for 6 months of internet, email and BBM. Text 6MONTHBB to 441
  • £5 for rolling 30 days of internet, email and BBM. Text MONTHBB2 to 441



Pay Monthly: Three’s BlackBerry Internet Service costs £5 and last 30 days and is avialable via My3. If you are  on The One Plan it is included, however you’ll need to activate it again via My3.

On The One Plan you’ve got unlimited data, on other plans such as Essential Internet you’ll still need to top up once you’ve run out of data.  

PAYG:  Make sure you’ve got credit and text Start to 38001. £5 will be taken from your account.




Pay Monthly: Vodafone has specific tariffs for BlackBerry smartphones. If BB services are not included you’ll need to call Vodafone and request a BlackBerry bundle, which costs £5 a month for email and BBM, while data costs are extra.

PAYG: BlackBerry Internet Service costs £5 a month and lasts for 30 days. Opt in by logging in to My account and select ‘Manage my extras’ or call 40035 free. Vodafone will keep deducting the credit unless you opt out.


Once activated you may need to turn your phone on and off. It can take up to 24 hours after activation for BlackBerry services to work.


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