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Questions Regarding The Nokia N800 and Tethering

In my post comparing the Nokia N800 to an Apple iPhone, I got an interesting question I thought was worth answering in a blog post:

The actual technique of connecting wireless away from home. That is what I need to know now to buy. You know, I am 60 but pc savvy “to a certain point”. My questions are:

  • Do I have to buy a special phone or subscribe to a certain phone provider?
  • Can I use it with any bluetooth enabled phone? How?
  • Am I charged for additional connectivity time?
  • I already use a wireless card from AT&T to connect via cell phone signals with my laptop. Can I use that same service???? How?

Answers after the jump.

Do I have to buy a special phone or subscribe to a certain phone provider?

As far as I know, it should work with any Bluetooth mobile phone that supports a DUN (Dial-up Networking) profile. Not all Bluetooth mobile phones support this. I myself have only been able to confirm that it works with GSM handsets made by Nokia and don’t have carrier branding. I have not heard any success stories with CDMA handsets by Verizon.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that it only works with GSM carriers. That limits you to AT&T and T-Mobile in terms of the major US carriers, Rogers/Fido in Canada. Your regional provider may be GSM. If it has a SIM chip, it’s quite likely GSM.

Can I use it with any bluetooth enabled phone? How?

The Connectivity Wizard on the N800 will help you with this. Where it gets tricky is what to put in where. For AT&T (Cingular) and T-Mobile, I’ve documented the process. For your regional GSM provider, you’ll have to ask your service provider what the GPRS APN should be.

Am I charged for additional connectivity time?

AT&T and T-Mobile both offer flat-rate data plans. AT&T seems to charge for the same access depending on the type of phone you use. I believe their unlimited data plan for non-smartphones is $20 a month. T-Mobile’s unlimited data plan is $20/mo. I don’t recall if it’s an extra $10/mo or not to get access to all T-Mobile WiFi hotspots, which would be a highly desired way to connect with the N800.

If you don’t have a data plan, AT&T charges per-kilobyte. Check with them for the specific rate. I seem to recall Rogers charges an arm and a leg for data service.

I already use a wireless card from AT&T to connect via cell phone signals with my laptop. Can I use that same service???? How?

The N800 is set up to tether to a phone for the purpose of connecting to the data network. It’s not set up to connect to a laptop for the purpose of connecting to the data network.

Other Questions On This Topic?

Post them in the comments, of course.


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