It’s never too late to learn something new, at least that is my justification for being somewhat behind the times in figuring out wireless Internet connection. Last night I managed to get my bluetooth enabled cell phone and PDA to pair, and using my
Verizon Wireless talk plan was able to connect to the Internet using my airtime minutes / nights and weekend free minutes.
I’ve had my Motorola V710 cell phone for over a year now, and an aging Compaq iPAQ 3870 for some time. Since both these devices use bluetooth technology I figured that there must be away to connect them and make a data call over the Internet, but up until yesterday I assumed that I needed an expensive data plan from VZW to make the connection happen. I had heard different stories from multiple different sources about connecting to the ‘net using a standard talk plan and free airtime minutes – some said it could be done, some said not, VZW insisted that I’d need to pay for a plan upgrade when I spoke to customer support. So, I decided to try it.
If you dig around the VZW website, you’ll find something called Quick 2 Net (sometimes known as 1xRTT), which is a low bandwidth connection over wireless (up to 14.4kbps). VZW don’t like to mention it much because they want customers to subscribe to their broadband packages (EVDO and National Access), which offer high speed wireless at a monthly cost. My talk plan is America’s Choice Plan Network, with two phones – mine and my wife’s, and Quick 2 Net is available in my area at no extra cost. I have yet to determine if I have incurred any KB charges, the newsgroups say Q2N is free except for the airtime call, but as soon as my next bill arrives I’ll know for sure. Not all plans are the same, so I would recommend trying out a connection and then following up with VZW to see if you’re charged or not.
So, how do you get it to work? Here’s how…
1. Make sure that you know how to pair your bluetooth enabled VZW cell phone with your PDA/laptop. Typically, the bluetooth radio in your cell will not be turned on when under normal conditions, so make sure you turn it on (duh), and remember to turn it off afterwards, when not in use as bluetooth can burn battery life looking for devices to pair with.
2. Once a pair has been established, configure dial-up access on your PDA. If using PPC 2003 or Windows Mobile 5, you should be able to establish a dial-up session using the bluetooth manager.
3. When prompted for the telephone number for dial-up ‘net access, key in #777.
4. The user name for the session should be email@example.com. The password is vzw. I’ve read in a few forums that the user name and password should both be qnc.
5. That’s it, click connect and your PDA should communicate with your cellphone over bluetooth and make an outbound call, connecting to the Internet. Looking at my Motorola V710 I see “Packet Data” on the screen, indicating that the call is a data call and not voice.