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Bluetooth and GPRS

Alastair Grant | Friday 28 May 2004

The wonderful world of wireless networking and mobile Internet. But how do you actually set up your laptop to connect to the Internet through your wireless connection? I have a Bluetooth enabled phone and GPRS services on my tariff. I also have a laptop and the desire to connect them all together.

The idea of this guide really is so I can use it as a reference when I delete everything on my laptop from time-to-time. Although I'm sure the determined will be able to adjust this to their needs.

I am using:

  • Ericsson T610
  • Vodafone UK
  • Belkin Bluetooth
  1. Bluetooth.
    The first thing to do is to get Bluetooth working with your phone. This is fairly easy providing you have all the Bluetooth gizmos installed on your computer. Make sure you pair your phone with your computer so they don't get arsey when they try to talk to each other.
  2. Install modem.
    You now have to install your modem. You can do this either with your Bluetooth software which will locate and emulate the driver, or with the driver from the phone manufacturer. If the latter, you install the modem as you would any other. The former, just select Dial-Up Networking on the remote device (i.e. your phone).
  3. Setup a GPRS data account.
    Your phone by default will be setup to use GPRS WAP (hopefully), which isn't any use to us as we want standard Internet. You will need to create a new data account with the following information:

nb. this is exclusively Vodafone

APN: Internet
Username: web
Password: web
DNS: 212.183.137.12
Authentication: Normal
Secure: Off

Although mine is setup merely with the APN filled in, so it should work automatically anyway.

Creating a dial-up.

Through your Network Connections on your computer you will need to create a dial-up connection. Make sure you select the Bluetooth modem you installed previously as the device you use.

Turn off dialing rules as there is no need for this. Everything else should work by default.

When you try to connect use web/web as your username/password. The phone number, now that's the confusing thing.

Standard is:

*99#

That will connect you up for GPRS, but if you are like me and have different data accounts setup on your phone you will need to specify their CID (unique id). If you are having to do this then the phone number you want is:

*99***n#

Where n = the CID (mine's 2 currently).

You should now have the ability to dial up through Bluetooth and GPRS. Don't bother trying to ping things to test, ICMP is often blocked along with incoming connections.

Watch out for the price. Just because it's always on doesn't mean it isn't costly. Vodafone charge a shocking £7.50/MB (why did I sign up? because they told me it was 7 pence/MB. Can I prove they said that? no).

Now although my home connection is obviously a lot faster; if, and it is a big if, I could download as much as I do on my home connection. I would land up paying over £15,000 EVERY DAY! I in fact pay about 85pence per day on my home connection.

You may also note that mobile phone companies are even more dirty than other telco's. Despite advertising GPRS at 115kbps they have in fact restricted through put to a lot less, I'm getting around 40kbps currently. That plus the costs actually makes using a standard dial-up more cost effective.

Breaking from the voyeuristic norms of the Internet, any comments can be made in private by contacting me.