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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>
    • SIP Password should be “alltel”
    • MIP User ID should be <your mobile number>
    • 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.

178 thoughts on “Blackberry Storm Working on Alltel

  1. williamsck on said:

    Kansas-One issue I ran into was with the *228 was, it wants to call the strongest cell tower. At my house that was US Cellular. I walked around a bit until I hit a strong Alltel tower and then the *228 worked. Then Activated it and updated the PRL. All was right with the world

  2. clayc_989 on said:

    Well, here’s an update….

    I have full MMS capabilities now. I’m not sure if its due to Verizon and Alltel starting their merger or if it’s because I loaded the .103/.106 hybrid OS yesterday. However, I have not messed with my MIP password, and I do have MMS capabilities.


  3. williamsck on said:

    Please tell me how you did it? I am assuming you have 1EVX for data, no longer 1X. Where did you find it, can you give us steps? Thanks

  4. williamsck on said:

    From Crackberry site, there are several users that loaded 103 and it did not work. They still have the same issue. I would have to assume your MMS capabilities started working due to Verizon takeover.

  5. clayc_989 on said:

    I’m in a small area where Alltel is not going to become Verizon. My OS is .106 from the 9500 loaded through the .103 for the 9530. I’m not sure if its due to the Verizon merger, where I’m assuming the the towers are shared or not…I’m going to have to assume it’s something to do with the mms.cod file. I’m not quite sure…

  6. williamsck on said:

    Well, I have always had MMS. Everything has worked except I am slow on Data speed. I was hoping .103 would solve this issue. Guess not.

  7. digitard on said:

    So I went and talked to an Alltel tech friend of mine, and he gave me the following info. Apparently the MIP username is hard coded into the OS (why it gives the option to change it I don’t know).

    There is no passcode as its just your ESN and Alltel’s data system knows to auth your eSN with MIP connections, and the “alltel” with SIP (1x).

    I went through and programmed my info as above (I actually did that on my own, found this site after when i was researching the evdo problem), and came across the same 1X only problem.

    So I called up my hookup, and he checked their data system and sure enough my username for MIP connections was still coming out as the @vz3gw or whatever even though I’ve changed it.

    His info, and I trust he’s right as it makes sense to me, is that the OS has that hard coded and locked in and it would need to be changed via some software changes but he has NO idea how to do that honestly.

    So there it is: The issue seems to be the MIP prefix is hard coded, even though it says you can change it, therefore you auth as VZN on Alltel’s system and unless VZN add’s your number into their data system (which may happen post conversion but who knows… it’ll probably stay stand alone) we’re SOL unless we can find out how to change that in the OS’s deep downs.


  8. Labphoto on said:

    I guess that make’s sense, but odd that it shows correctly in QPST 2.7 build 3.01. I can see the M.IP tab and make changes as required.

  9. williamsck on said:

    Okay, so the golden question is….When Verizon moves into my town, will data auto go 1XEV? Or will we be stuck. Did you tech friend say anything? My hookup said he was unsure on the transition, he did say they spoke software updates for Alltel phones, Hell, that could mean PRL’s or maybe, software change to Verizon on Alltel phones. If the latter is true, then all we have to do is wait. Does anyone know?

  10. blthiewes on said:

    I am not able to call *28801 and reach an alltel tower. it keeps giving me verizon. does any one know of a map of the alltel towers?

  11. barry on said:

    Have a couple of questions before I purchase the Storm. How fast is the internet speed on the phone? do all the functions of the phone work? What are the things that wont work?

  12. blthiewes on said:

    i was wondering if the people who updated their phone using *288 can still do so or if verizon took over the alltel towers

  13. williamsck on said:

    My *228 works fine for Alltel. However, Verizon was not part not in my neck of the woods until the buy out. So Verizon phones piggybacked on US Cellular in my area. I have a question for Timmey, that girl I suppose she works for Verizon or something? Does she know June for all locations or only certain locations?

  14. blthiewes on said:

    thanks williamsck, i actually got *22800 to work for me today and everything is working great.

  15. fi_fi08 on said:

    Why do I have to add a smart choice plan. I just want to used the phone for texting and calling can I just add it to my current plan and not be charged extra?

  16. barry on said:

    Got the Storm today but I keep reaching verizon on the *228 and *22800 I think Ive tried all any sugestions? I need an alltel tower

  17. barry on said:

    Help is there anyone still out there? Scott? anyone? I purchased the Blackberry Storm. I followed your intructions. I got to #4 to dial *22801 and I reach Verizon. I registered my storm on the server on accident. I get text messages, send text, phone calls but no data, no internet. I dont even have a browser for internet. If I have to call Verizon to release my information from there server, what could I possibly tell them? I hope I havent done anything terrible to my phone. This blackberry is so hot! you can even call me 843.478.2408….

    911 HELP!

  18. scott on said:

    Barry, try dialing *22801 from different locations and see if you are able to reach an Alltel tower (somewhere nearby an Alltel store is a good place to try).

    As far as having registered with the Verizon blackberry server… the only way I was able to get out of the system was to call up Verizon’s blackberry support line, tell them that I bought the phone used and need to have the PIN released so I can re-register it. When they comment that the phone is not activated yet in their system, just tell them that you are not ready to activate yet but need to have the PIN removed.

    Internet will probably only work after you get *22801 to take and update your host routing table (step #6).

  19. barry on said:

    what about my interenet browser? I dont even have one on the phone anymore will I get another once the phone is registered on

  20. williamsck on said:

    You will have to have your info removed from Verizon. It cannot be registered to two carriers at the same time. When you have completed the removal, and you get an Alltel tower, Dial your *228 option 3, then option 2. As long as you have followed the steps above, your Storm will work. 1X data only. Sorry, no 1XEV speed. From other blogs, The MIP is hard coded to the phone.

  21. williamsck on said:

    Okay everyone, On Crackberry they may have a way to get the Storm up to EVDO (1XEV) speed on data. As soon as user posts the instructions, I will give it a try and post them here. He said he was good to go and would post instructions in a little while ao now I am waiting….

  22. barry on said:

    Well I must not be convincing enough for customer service, they have no clue what im talking about….if anyone has other great plan or would like to try to help me please feel free to say!

  23. williamsck on said:

    Do you still have Alltel in your area or has Verizon taken over? From the sounds of it, if you receive Verizon activation from *228, then I would say Verizon may already be taking over that area.

  24. barry on said:

    William, I will try that 505# and let you know. What is the purpose for this number…

    My Sip and Mip is correct, BB REG ALSO 144

  25. barry on said:

    Yes when I dial *228 It says verizon, im going to try to call from diffrent locations like scott said also!

  26. williamsck on said:

    MSID stands for Mobile Station Identifier and it identifies the phone to the network. Call Alltel Tech support and have them verify the numbers with you. They will give you a new number. But dont ever let on its not an Alltel phone. They will stop helping. Second, I would go to a location you know does not have Verizon. Not sure how easy this would be for you but if you can, then it should work. I had an issue with US Cellular as stated above. If you are in one of those locations that have Verizon and Alltel, you are not going to be able to add it to the Alltel network. You will have to install the PRL manually then register the phone that way. Crackberry has a good how to guide. If you need it, I will copy the URL.

  27. barry on said:

    I wanted to let you I can make calls, send and recieve text messages. First I have to convience Verizon to release my pin so I can register online @ I dont have a internet browser on my phone. When will that come back? After im able to get data, service books all that great stuff?

  28. williamsck on said:

    Oh…Okay, thats a different story. If your phone works fine, do you get data connections? Download Viigo (its a great app) and install it to your phone using your computer. Then you can test your data connection using that. Do you have BBM on your phone? Can you use MMS on your phone? If your BBM works fine and you can send Pics Via MMS then you have data. Thats a different fix.

  29. Labphoto on said:

    Some guys over at Crackberry have finally figured it out. To do this you will need to find a copy of QPST 2.7 Build 301. After you install it, you will need to run BB Desktop Manager 4.7 and make sure that your Storm shows up with the PIN. Then install QPST and launch it. You will need to add the COM4 and COM5 ports. Once this is done, you should see a connection on either COM4 or COM5 with your storm. Launch QPST and start the client service programming. Once there click the radio button to read the phones contents. Now scroll the tabs until you get to the PPP Config. Select that tab and then go to the AN tab. Remember that the AN tab. Now locate the password field and fill it in with the ESN number of your phone. You can get this from the main QPST screen. Make sure to capitalize all characters. Then click the write to phone button. The phone will reboot and once the signal comes online, you should have full 1XEV signal. NO MORE HUNTING and defaulting to the crappy 1X signal and speed.

    One last thing, if you are not comfortable doing these changes with QPST, THEN DO NOT DO THEM. You can screw up the phone.

  30. Illusion740 on said:

    ok it took me some time but i got my phone working to call in and out and text messages. I then used Labphotos post and stablized my phone to 1xev and that worked. Now here is my problem sms/data doesnt work what did i do wrong or what do i need to check? I switched from a blackberry curve and had the full alltel package.

  31. sbrown on said:

    How has average standby and talk time been on the converted storms. also just overall happiness with the phone. Due for a new phone (alltel)and would like to take advantage of the great advice here. Currently on a MOTO Q and can’t wait to skip it across the ocean like a rock, as email and battery life are critical uses for me. Thanks for all of the great posts.

  32. Illusion740 on said:

    ok I got it working… everything working… Labphoto post from the other forums is right accept 1 thing was left out so here it is again…………:::::: Using QPST, go to the PPP Config tab, click on the AN box, and change the user ID in the AN screen to , then put in the ESN in the password field. Do NOT click Req PW enc. The ESN you need to use is shown in QPST right about the phone data window

  33. digitard on said:

    Thanks Grav.
    Yes we figured it out last night, adn have tested it on multiple phones and it works. If you would like please follow this post.

    PAGE 1: Steps on programming everything but EVDO to Alltel (what’s above basically)

    PAGE 5: Details on what you need to do so you can update the phones normally hard coded EVDO settings.

    I’m glad we were able to get it working. I missed my EVDO.

  34. digitard on said:

    Oops that was the avatar…lol. Thanks Lab for reposting that.

    If you have any questions please register for Crackberry and contact us there. Myself and MyPDAphone are on quite often so we can help you out.

  35. THOS on said:

    I have my Storm working as a phone on Alltel but cannot get the browser to work. I get a “no service book” pop up. When checking “manage connections” it indicates the mobile network is Verizon and under ‘services status” mobile network provider Verizon.
    Any help is appreciated .

  36. sheika82 on said:

    I programmed my phone, following the directons above, I also had to use the IMSI_S number Scott gave. The phone is saying alltel network when dialing *611. So thanks to all very much!!! Now the only problem I have now is getting alltel to accept the phone, I think I made an mistake when I told them it was a Blackberry storm, so what should I do?

  37. Illusion740 on said:

    tell them its a curve.. I made the mistake of telling the guy its a storm too but he was still cool with me and still did it… It wont effect anything its just a # you needed added into the system.

    I didnt use the 301 build just the newest 1 i could find and that was 217 if i rememer correctly.

    I also found out MMS does not work for any storms at the moment there is a fight on the net about if its software or network side. Once they hash it out then ill post it here. But everything else works honestly I can go without sending and recieving photos.

  38. bwashington on said:

    Ok here is an update. I downloaded the QPST 2.7. I still have 1xev. I dont have any data going to my phone. Any reason you all might think this is? I dont even have a browser. I can send and recieve regular text messages and make and rec phone calls.I cant send MMS or pic messages. I have road around all this weekend trying to pickup an alltel tower with every possible *22801,22802,03 etc… I even picked up Sprint and Cricket. Ha! Ha! what do I have to do Im about to give up please HELP HELP HELP!!!!!

  39. fi_fi08 on said:

    Do I need to have a SIM card in the phone when I buy it? I know that alltel doesn’t use GSM and probably wouldn’t need a SIM but I need to know before I buy the phone off of eBay. If anyone could answer that would be great also no answers to my previous post about having to add the smart choice plan. Is it a must have or can I get by without adding the smart choice plan? what features will I gain from having the smart choice plan?

  40. barry on said:

    if you are an Alltel customer, you dont neeed to worry about the sim card. To really get the use of any Blackberry you need the data plan aka Smart Choice, it allows you to access the web from your phone, mms, email, use it as a modem,all the good stuff..

  41. digitard on said:

    Illusion740: MMS works just fine. I have been recieving pictures from my wifes previous phone (LG Scoop) since I activated my Storm. I’ve also sent her multiple pictures fine.

    She just changed out her Scoop with a Pearl today (the new pink one) and I sent her a picture and she got it, and she sent me one back.

    This is all on my Storm (w/ EVDO enabled)

  42. Illusion740 on said:

    so where do i double check to see where i screwesd up at? all functions on my phone work just can’t send pictures or recieve them… i also only have 1xev and not evdo or are those the same? when i get mms messages i can see the message but never recieve the picture.. i have to manualy retreave them but they never come threw…..

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