Quick Look at Mobile Hotspot on BlackBerry OS 7.1

By IsaacKendall on 26 Nov 2011 10:03 pm EST

We've all been awaiting the arrival of OS 7.1 to drop for one specific feature, Mobile Hotspot. This allows your BlackBerry to serve as a WiFi hotspot to other devices. Our wish was granted yesterday with leaking, this is an early build of what we are hoping is an OS coming to a carrier near you. This quick video walkthrough shows Mobile Hotspot running on a Bold 9900 with the leaked OS.

I've very excited about this option because now when I'm using the web on my BlackBerry PlayBook, my web speed is not limited to the speed of Bluetooth. Now with Mobile Hotspot I can better take advantage of the 14.4Mbps modem in my Bold 9900. In the walk though video we see the web running on my PlayBook (cracked screen and all).

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Quick Look at Mobile Hotspot on BlackBerry OS 7.1


As I gather, mobile hotspot use require subscription to a tethering plan; otherwise, this will be charged as an overage.

What about wi-fi calling? Does this count against one's minutes? Also, if the party being called is in another country, will this be charged as an international call?

for being on h+ that didn't look like it loaded anything very quickly on the playbook. also, what did you do to your poor playbook screen? lol

The H+ is very misleading. The 3G in UK is FASTER, yes faster than H+ on Telus Canada. It has very little do with the phone, but rather the network you are on.

I'm on Rogers and lately the network has not really been up-to-snuff.

As for the screen, I shouldn't blame my wife just just she dropped it, but she doesn't read the blog or comments so I'm going to lay the blame where it belongs.

My wife dropped the Playbook.

THANK YOU Telus for giving me free hotspot usage under my BIS plan. Other guys are charging the customers.

mobile hotspot is just like any wifi. so any application that requires wifi, then the hotspot will enable you to use it.

I'm guessing any app requiring wifi will work with this hotspot feature?

Isaac can you do a speed test with your playbook and post results with hotspot vs tether?


BlackBerry Bold 9900 on T-Mobile Observations:

1) T-Mobile UMA Calling is working
2) Mobile Hotspot provides faster speed that BB Bridge

I did three speedtests on my PlayBook to compare Download/Upload speeds. They are as follows:

Local Wifi: 6.82Mbps/0.79Mbps
Mobile Hotspot: 3.32Mbps/0.96Mbps
BB Bridge: 0.82Mbps/0.30Mbps

Also, Mobile hotspot to my laptop works well. Enjoy!

i am with rogers too but it s not working for me, it says cannot start mobile hotspot due to a temporary network problem.
can anyone explain what that mean?

0:30 he says that Wifi has to be turned on in order for mobile hotspot to work... Does Wifi have to be on and connected to a wifi network or just on as in "idle"? IF it has to be connected to a network for mobile hotspot to work then why not just connect the playbook or any other device directly to the wifi network?

WiFi hotspot means WiFi between devices, not between the provider and the phone. Which is to say, your phone has access to data, the internet for example via 3G.As a hotspot it can transmit to another device via WiFi, instead of bluetooth.

You seem to know what you're talking about... Does it charge people extra to use mobile hospot? ...and while I'm on here, how do you make it so that you recieve an email when someone replies to your post on crackberry? I can't seem to figure it out :/

1) That's carrier dependent, and we won't know for sure until the feature is officially released. I'm sure many will.

2) You can subscribe to threads, when your writing a post, scroll down a bit and you'll see the option to receive daily, weekly and summary emails for replies to posts in that thread.

Let me try this again. Why does wifi have to be turned on for mobile hotspot to work? (refer to 0:30 of the video). I am aware that mobile hotspot is to turn your phone into a wireless router (perse) using the networks data service.

part two of the question... IF wifi has to be "on" on the phone but not actually connected to a wifi router in order for the hotspot feature to work then disregard because that answers both of my questions.

But, (refer to 0:30) if wifi has to be on and connected to a wifi router (as is the case in the video shown, 0:30 again) then the hotspot feature is defeating its own purpose. It is like drinking with two straws from the same can of soda...

I am not saying that the guy said "it has to be on and connected to a wifi network"... That is what the video actually shows!

wifi would need to be turned on so other devices can connect to the phone via wifi. The idea is you create a hotspot when no other wifi networks are available.

Dude, mobile hotspot means you can connect more than one device at a time to wifi connection, so yes in theory you could just connect directly to the original source connection. The feature is not that big of a deal, which is why RIM didn't bother delaying the BB7 launch to get it in. It's a nice feature for when you want to connect multiple devices but pay only once.

And if you have 3/4g connection and want to share it it is cool, but really not a daily use case scenario.

No, mobile hotspot means you turn your phone into a router and devices connect to it thru wifi and the phone connects to the internet thru the cell network. An example would be someone could surf the web thru the phone when you are driving down the road in your car.

This is different, and much faster, than Bridge.

Bridge allows access to the BlackBerry's apps and allows the BlackBerry to act as a web proxy for the PlayBook to BIS.

This doesn't proxy: it bridges cellular to WiFi, much like "Hotspot" modes on the iPhone and Android devices do. It's not going to allow you access to the corporate network via BES, nor will it work without tethering.

But it will be much, much faster: Bluetooth (what Bridge uses) is not exactly a speed demon. Another bonus is that you can use your PC or laptop through this without mucking about with Bluetooth DUN or BlackBerry Desktop. If you use Linux or a Mac, it means you can use your BB without hacks or kludges.

I've had this feature on past phones (iPhones have it since iOS 4, Symbian users could get it JoikuSpot) and it's really helpful. In a pinch, you can set up a wireless network and get to the internet from any devices.

What I'm hoping is that RIM allows Bridge to function over WiFi, much like Apple will allow, say, an iPad that uses the WiFi hotspot of an iPhone to use the phone's GPS services. I think a lot of Bridge's pokiness and glitches would be improved for not going through Bluetooth.

Does this require the APN information to be filled in? If so then this has nothing to do with BIS or BES, it's just a regular 3G connection, and it's basically paying for another phone's service...

Seems people are still out of the loop by what it all means. Here's a simple way, fast explaination:

HotSpot- your phone becomes a hotspot for WiFi. You can connect up to 5 devices that are WiFi capable. Yes that means Itouches, laptops, desktops, gaming consoles.

WiFi- allows you to connect to web wireless. WiFi does not eat up your data plan. You can browse the web, download and upload FASTER!

UMA- you are able to make and receive calls FREE without it tapping into or using your "minutes" on your calling plan.

All these features will show an icon on your homescreen when connected and may have to be "turned on" your connections screen.

My past BB phones were UMA capable when UMA first turned up. I connected my phone to my wifi network at home. However, even if my calls were made thru UMA, TMO still charged me with those calls because I did not have the hotspot subscription for around $9/mo. They supply the hotspot equipment which is connected to your router. When that happened, I stopped using UMA since that entailed another $9 monthly expense. This was about 2 or 3 years ago.

Then recently, when news about UMA with the new bold became hot topic, and I read about people using their BBs connected to UMA to call home for free when abroad, I thought that things have changed. So using UMA again, I called my folks in another country. TMO recognized these calls as International calls and my bill has gone up due to these calls.

Any ideas regarding this, and perhaps, I may be doing something not right, maybe in my settings?

UMA on t-mobile is not as naples claims. On t-mobile, it taps into your minutes in your usual fashion as if it were on the carriers network. (mobile to mobile, daytime, night/weekends and etc) The two benefits are (1) the ability to gain mobile service where t-mobile doesn't or where they don't have enough. (2) Phone calls made via UMA are considered local calls so long as the call is to a place that is included in your plan (regardless of where you are in the world). example: I live in NY and my plan includes minutes to U.S.A and Puerto Rico so if I travel to Canada (which is not in my calling plan) and use UMA on t-mobile to call anyone in the U.S.A or Puerto Rico the call is free because T-mobile assumes that I am calling from my home city of NY. Keep in mind if I am in Canada using UMA and I call a Canadian number, it will charge me as if I am back home calling to Canada.

To sum it up: calls on UMA will not cost you extra if the place you are calling is included in your plan. Abroad to home is a GO, home to abroad and abroad to abroad are a No-Go

Don't know about everyone else, been on T-Mobile for 5-6 years had UMA on my 8900 Curve through T-mobile, never had to buy 9.99 extra fee for hotspot at home nor had to buy the router Tmobile sold, as I had a Linksys router already (the same one T-Mo offered you to have to enjoy Wifi/UMA at home) that I purchased at Office Max. Always got UMA and always checked to make sure calls made on it was not charged to my Tmobile bill. I checked numerous times throughout years and was never charged for calls made or received while on UMA! Maybe it was a loop hole in system somehow, but this I am for certain!

sbx's case is unique as hotspot and uma are apples to oranges. that $9 or so fee was uncalled for (for uma purposes)

They never charged me either, so long as the stuff I mentioned in my previous post apply (above)

a few years back the UMA on t-mobile allowed unlimited (unbillable) minutes which MIGHT be the case for your 5-6 year old plan.

At its current state, they just pull the minutes from your pool of minutes (accordingly).

thanks to both of you. I get the picture now. 2 0r 3 years ago, it was counted against my minutes and to have unlimited uma calling, i was required to have this hotspot subscription. I have 1000 mins then in my calling plan. I thought i could save by using the UMA feature of my BB.

But when hurricane Irene struck, our cell tower broke down so I was without signal at home. I reverted to UMA and I was able to make calls. this time, in the bill, TMO recognized it as UMA by having a U beside the call. But I was not anymore billed nor counted against my minutes since I have unlimited minutes already. This time, UMA was helpful when otherwise, I would not have been able to make nor receive calls since there was no signal.

And so I tried to call my folks in another country. This time, I got billed....now I understand. If I am in another country and call a number in the US, which is under my coverage, this is a GO....but not if i call from the US to another country.

Thanks again....

it's really interesting, and i just love the fact that the wifi hotspot times out itself after being idle for 15 minutes for battery conservation, that's a brilliant idea!


I think you need a better brain. Why did you buy that device knowing that it didn't have autofocus, did you really hope that it was going to come as an update in the future?

Buy 9790 if you don't mind 9900 keyboard.

I know, there can be no update for it. Thats a generall complain. I really cannot understand, why some stupid managers from RIM decided to put such a crappy camera in such a perfect device.

The autofocus shouldn't be something u need to check for. It was a bad move by RIM. If all other blackberries have auto focus, I would also assume this one does. It's a RIM cheap-shot, and we shouldn't take the blame for "not having done enough research"

So doesn't this make my Playbook pointless now? I bought the playbook cuz I could get internet on it using bridge. But now ANY table will get internet with this. Kind of makes me just get an android tablet now, I'm pretty fed up with there being no apps for the playbook (video, games, etc) compared to android!

Why get into a marriage if you don't like the fact that your wife doesn't cook? Your fault, not ours. Android tablets have been available for you to choose from. Make your move and keep your negative comments to yourself. Thanks!

by the way, a TABLE can't get internet :)

It's not really a negative comment though. I'm sure a lot of ppl bought the playbook so they don't need a separate 3G plan. This feature (great feature if I may say) is also a shot in their own foot though, since it removes the bridge benefit of the playbook, in that context

1. Before you got the playbook you had to know that Apps would take some time to develop on a new OS. If you didn't that's not RIMs fault. 2. Mobile Hotspot takes nothing away from Bridge. You can still Bridge for free unlike mobile hotspot which on most carriers will cost you an extra monthly fee.


it is negative in the sense that "most" people knew what they were getting into before hand.The lack of apps is nothing new (to most of us).

How is it a shot in their foot? Other phones have a mobile hotspot feature and if you want it you can pay the extra monthly fee for it. Bridge still is free smh

I cannot download any applications from the bb app world. it always asks me to agree with the terms and then it goes back to the previous screen. this is the 2nd phone I've gotten for the other one had the same problem.........I've done everything possible to no avail. bold 9900 ATT. any suggestions???