How to connect to and switch mobile networks using the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook

4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook
By Bla1ze on 13 Aug 2012 03:32 pm EDT

Out of the box, the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook is fairly easy to set-up. If you managed to place your SIM card in the device already, it will pretty much just take control over the situation and connect you right away.

However, given that the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook also has HSPA+ built into it and LTE is not exactly everywhere at the moment, maybe you don't want it to constantly be search for an LTE network to connect to?

In that case, there are some options available to help you address that situation. Go ahead and jump below for the full details on how to get connected and enable and disable certain networks, should the need to arise.

4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook Settings

Assuming at this point you already have your SIM card in your PlayBook, you'll need to access the settings screen of the device. This can be acheived by tapping on the "gear" icon up in the top right hand corner, as highlighted by the red arrow in the above image. Tapping directly on the 4G LTE icon will also take there, when done twice.

4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook Settings

Once inside the settings area, you'll see a list of options from which you can choose from. Depending on what it is you're looking for network wise, you should be able to change it from within here:

  • Data Services: Where you can turn the mobile network on and off. Choices are simple: On and Off.
  • Data services while roaming: Where you can enable data while roaming. e.g, If you're roaming and don't want to end up with extra charges, you may set them to turn off automatically, if you always want a connection no matter what, turn them on or if you want to know about any roaming beforehand, you can have it prompt you.
  • Network mode: Where you can set what networks you wish to connect to. e.g, If you want 4G LTE with an HSPA+ fallback, you would set it to 4G LTE & 4G or if you live in an area without LTE just set it to 4G (Which, let's be real here.. is just HSPA+). If you ONLY ever want it to connect to LTE, set it to 4G LTE only.
  • Network Selection Mode: This should almost always be set to automatic. However, if you're in an area where there is multiple carriers or networks to choose from or you swapped SIM cards to a different carrier and are having troubles finding the network, set this to manual and it will search for ALL available networks in your area.

Realistically, the pre-loaded settings should just work here. There should be no reason to enter these particular settings unless of you course you willingly want to make changes or are having issues with connecting to a network directly. Should you run into any of those issues though, now you know where to go and what they all mean.

Reader comments

How to connect to and switch mobile networks using the 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook


i wish to get 1 soon... but good lord knows when it'l get launched in middle east...

that symbol 4G LTE looks beautiful...


BB 9780 white os 6

BB Playbook 32gb os

Not sure what you mean, since that question could have different meanings.

1) Like.. allowing native BBM etc. on it to work through BIS?


2) Popping your current BIS enabled SIM card out of your device and just using it in your PlayBook 4G? Because, if that's what you mean -- yes, it does work.

Thanks. Meant the 2nd one. We do not have any unlimited data plans for mobiles/tablets this side so having BIS saves a lot.

it doesnt have its own bbm ryt??
we would still need a bb phone...


BB 9780 white os 6

BB Playbook 32gb os

Not sure as RIM is alwasys pushing up the dates of OS releases such as 2.1 and BB10. If you find out let me know :-)
Playbook, the one and only

That's a trickier question then you might think. The unit I have, which is a review unit -- is unlocked. I dunno if retail units are locked though. Following up with RIM on it.

Okay I admit I get confused re HSPA+ access on the Wifi only PB .....

I use my wifi only PB via a HSPA+ enabled mifi device - so therefore wouldn't I be getting HSPA+ access/speed now?

Or is the wifi only PB limited to receiving 3G and below?

(I'm in Aus)

If I'm correct, your PB accesses your mifi device as a WiFi access point. Therefore, whatever speeds your mifi is supposed to deliver is what your PB should get. So technically, it should be getting HSPA+ speeds.

Hi, i wanted to ask if the blackberry playbook 4g lte uses BIS for browsing like a bb phone does.