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BIS vs BES Comparison

BlackBerry Internet Service, or BIS, is often confused with BES or BlackBerry Enterprise Server. However, BES caters to the corporate world, while BIS, usually provisioned and managed by the wireless carriers, caters to individual users without the advanced features of BES. While BIS may be sufficient for some users, even individual users who value their time will appreciate the features available with BES hosting and hosted exchange. In this regard, Apps4Rent’s low price plans for hosted Exchange and BES hosting are certainly helpful.


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What is BIS?

BlackBerry Internet Service, much like an Internet Service Provider (ISP), allows you to access the Internet via your BlackBerry. BIS connects with the Internet for email and data delivery, as well as for viewing web pages and other online functions.

What Are the Differences?

Hosted BES and BIS both allow you to look at the Web, use third-party applications, and grab email. Your phone communicates with BIS or hosted Enterprise Server and that server connects with the world. There, however, is where the similarities end.

With BlackBerry Internet Service, your carrier, whether it’s AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or other carrier, controls the server. They decide which applications they allow on your phone and how those apps reach the Internet. Although any data that flows between your phone and the service is encrypted, the odds of compromising any system you have access to is much higher (though more secure than, say, using WiFi or BlueTooth).

With hosted BES and Exchange, however, your BES/Exchange provider operates the server. The server runs your corporate network; your IT department has complete control and the connection is much more secure. Most of your data stays in your private intranet and all transmitted data is encrypted, not just some of it. Unlike BIS, where the carrier has application control, you can create/publish apps and set your own rules on how they work with your phone and corporate network.

BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) Carriers

BIS is provided by over 20 carriers throughout the US, and over 100 throughout the world. The U.S. carriers include:

  • AT&T
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Sprint
  • Team Mobile
  • Cincinnati Bell
  • Cellular South
  • Earth Link
  • Cellular One
  • TeleCommunication Systems

It’s important to note that your particular carrier decides the functionality of BlackBerry Internet Service. Some may allow all third-party applications to access the Internet, while others may not allow any kind of access for third-party apps, which severely limits functionality.

As an individual user, BIS may be enough for your needs. However, we strongly recommend that you compare the features of hosted BES and carrier-provided BlackBerry Internet Service before deciding which platform to use. For those with corporate networks there is no comparison. Hosted BES and Exchange give you the necessary functions, top-level security, support and connectivity for a company on the move.