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Dec 13, 2008  |   Gadgets  |   178 Comments

Blackberry Storm Working on Alltel

Well, I ordered a Blackberry Storm on eBay on Friday in hopes of being able to activate the phone on the Alltel network (the Storm has only been released on Verizon in the United States). This might seem unnecessary with the Verizon/Alltel purchase deal looming, but I prefer my Alltel plan to the Verizon plans available, especially with the My Circle feature.

Now let’s just hope Verizon hasn’t locked down the programming menu of the phone too badly and I will be able to program in the Alltel network id and update the phone’s PRL to pick up Alltel’s towers. I will update this post with my progress in the coming days.

UPDATE (12/29/08):

My BlackBerry Storm is officially working on Alltel except for issues with EVDO (1x works fine). I will do my best to detail the steps I took to make the phone work:

  1. Enter the NAM programming menu by typing ##000000 SEND from the phone screen.
    • Mobile Directory Number (MDN) should be your 10-digit number
    • Home SID (check your current Alltel phone programming menu for this number)
    • BlackBerry Registration Id should be 144 for Alltel. To change this setting, press the BlackBerry menu button and choose “Edit BB Reg Id”
    • SIP User ID should be <your mobile number>@bb.alltel.net
    • SIP Password should be “alltel”
    • MIP User ID should be <your mobile number>@bb.alltel.net
    • Push the BlackBerry menu button and choose “Save”
  2. Now that your phone is programmed, you need to have the MEID hex added to Alltel’s system. You cannot use the web-based tool since this is a smart phone. Call Alltel from a different phone and have them add your phone to the system. You can check your MEID hex by typing #4357* SEND.
  3. You will also need a SmartChoice plan with the BlackBerry option added to your account.
  4. Dial *22801 to enter the Alltel OTA programming system and choose the option to activate your phone.
  5. After the phone is activated, dial *22801 again and choose the option to update your phone’s roaming service. This will update the PRL on the phone to Alltel’s latest version, overwriting the Verizon PRL.
  6. To provision the data services on the phone, go to options…advanced options…host routing table, press the BlackBerry menu key, and choose “Register Now”. This should replace your Verizon HRT entries with Alltel entries and you will receive a message from BlackBerry stating that the handheld has been registered with the wireless network.

UPDATE (3/3/09) – Issues with EVDO have been solved by some members of the Crackberry forum. Read this step by step guide on fixing EVDO.