How to set up a mobile phone as a Bluetooth modem?
Mobile phone can be used as a modem that will connect a computer (laptop or
desktop PC) to a mobile data network such as HSCSD, GPRS, EDGE, CDMA2000
(1xRTT), and enhanced 3G (EV-DO or HSDPA). Using mobile phone as a modem is the
preferred mobile Internet solution for many travelers since they don't need to
buy another hardware, i.e. a special card (PCMCIA PC Card, PCI Express Mini
Card, CF card, or SD card) or a USB modem dongle for accessing a cellular data
network. To use mobile phone as a modem, a connection must first be established
between the phone and the computer. The physical connection is commonly a USB
cable, an infrared (IrDA) link or a Bluetooth link.
Using Bluetooth as the connection link between a mobile phone and a computer
allows mobility, because - unlike infrared (IrDA) - Bluetooth doesn't require
both devices to be in line-of-sight (LOS). You can use your mobile phone in your
pocket or briefcase or elsewhere as a modem that connects your computer to the
Internet provided both devices (the computer and the phone) are still within
range (i.e. up to 10 meters for
Class 3 devices). Bluetooth has many
standard usage models (profiles), but we are going to use only the
DUN (Dial-Up Networking) profile for this purpose.
The latest revision of this tutorial was created using a PC running Windows XP
(SP2), a USB Bluetooth dongle, and a Nokia 6600 GSM/GPRS phone. The result is
the same with the previous revision of this article that was based on tests on
Nokia 7610 and O2 Xda II. This revision was made to give readers direct
comparison with connecting using infrared (IrDA) modem. Instructions for setting
on the mobile phone are provided as an example, the real settings must follow
your mobile phone documentation and your cellular data service provider.
What should I prepare?
- Insert your Bluetooth dongle (adapter) to your computer USB port if it doesn't
have a built-in Bluetooth transceiver. Connect the dongle to other port (e.g.
serial, PCMCIA) if you have a non-USB model. If you use Windows XP Service Pack
2 (SP2), the adapter will be installed automatically and working with the
Generic Bluetooth Radio driver. If you use a previous version of Windows, then
you have to install the software that comes with your Bluetooth adapter before
plugging it into your computer for the first time.
- From the documentation, check whether your Bluetooth phone can be used as a
- You must subscribe to a mobile (cellular) Internet access service and you are
within the cellular data coverage. Your mobile phone must be configured for
mobile Internet according to your mobile Internet service provider directions.
Very often the default settings have been preset in certain phone models, you
only need to activate them. The following illustration is an example from Nokia
6600 with Symbian OS. For newer smartphones that usually have
Internet tethering capability, only use this illustration as a comparison
and kindly follow the detailed instructions in your phone