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Setting up dial-up connections via cell phone Internet
A few weeks ago when we had 2003 Power outaged that affected several states in the midwest, I lost my DSL connection. I needed access to the internet, and my only option was dial-up. I activated the one month free Earthlink that came with my new Powerbook. Within minutes, I was up and running. I have since decided to keep the service since I travel quite a bit on weekends to rock climbing destinations, and would like to have internet while on the road.

The dial-up is a good idea, but I needed more mobility, and I do have Verizon's wireless service. So I decided that it would be nice to use my existing cell phone to connect while in the car (me not driving, of course). I did a couple of searches on the net and I found some valuable information that later led me to a solution, and I only spent $20.95+tax for a USB data cable for my cell phone.

Verizon has two cell dial up services that it offers. The 'Quick to Net' at 1440 bps is included with most dial plans, while the 'Express Network' is an add-on service at 140 kbs. The 140 kbs service sounded nice, but I only needed casual access, so I did not want to pay the extra cash. The 1440 bps sounded good for my needs, but I was limited to using my cell phone at this slow speed even if I had access to a land line (56K built-in modem). Instead, I came up with a hybrid solution by putting together the services that I already had. I wanted to keep my Earthlink because it gives me many access points in my usual destinations in the US, Canada and Mexico at 56 Kbps. I wanted a more casual access from my car using my cell phone.

I went to Radio Shack and bought a USB data cable ($20.95+tax) for my Samsung A310 cell phone (no software included). I connected the phone to the Powerbook and Mac OS X 10.2.6 recognized the device as "SAMSUNG CDMA Tegnologies." I spent some time reading and adapting the information in the article How To Use Your Cell Phone as a USB Modem in Mac OS X by John R Chang. I was stuck on Step 5 for a while. I could not get the driver to connect, until I realized that when you first configure the modem, there is an option selected by default that says "Wait for Dial Tone Before Dialing." You must uncheck this option for cell phone calls. This is not in John Chang's instructions, and the screenshot is cut off, so you can't see the option unmarked. Then, I changed Step 6.3 to use my PPP parameters for my Earthlink connection (id, password, phone number, etc).

So with a modified Steps 5 and 6, I was able to connect to Earthlink with my existing cell phone at a whopping 1440 bps. For what I use it for, this is fine. It only cost me $21.

If you want to take a shortcut and not deal with the manual configuration, you can visit SmithMicro and look for Mac prducts -- you can get the data cable and dialer software for $59.95 plus shipping. If you have a Bluetooth phone, you can get software for $39.95 plus shipping.
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Setting up dial-up connections via cell phone
Authored by: aboswell on Sep 15, '03 11:15:04AM
Rock on. I have T-Mobile service, and wrote a hint here about how to get a Motorola C330 phone to run as a modem. I only get 9.6kbps(that's about 1 K/second) but, as I was travelling in the back of my sisters' minivan to a wedding in AZ, having an internet connection to send a work file and get some messages saved my butt.

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Setting up dial-up connections via cell phone
Authored by: Likos on Sep 16, '03 01:06:48PM

That was a great hint! I am planing a trip and now I can surf for the drive. (4.5 hours) With free weekends that means I can surf both ways and not worry about time.

Only problem I have is that it's 9k. Is there any way the script can be modified to run faster? Or is the hardware limited to 9k becasue of the type of connection? (C332)

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Setting up dial-up connections via cell phone
Authored by: Likos on Sep 19, '03 09:13:06AM

Well I modified the script for my C330 but it had no effect. I guess we are stuck t 9k.

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Setting up dial-up connections via cell phone
Authored by: dturley on Oct 22, '03 08:51:26PM

I've plugged the cable (RadioShack) into my phone (motorola v60i) and into the computer (17"PB, 10.2.8) System profiler detects a new USB device, but it is not shown in network preferences.

Suggestions please.

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Setting up dial-up connections via cell phone
Authored by: dturley on Oct 27, '03 11:19:22AM

Solved. Get a real Motorola cable from cellpoint.Works great. Dump the junk from RadioShack

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Using Airport Base Station
Authored by: sierratarn on Sep 15, '03 11:43:10AM

I do something similar using an airport base station which is setup to answer the phone and provides access to my network connection. With a ComSwitch routing device (allows custom ringing numbers to be routed to different devices) and custom ringing on my phone I have dialup access from on the road. With many cell phone plans including unlimited nights and weekends and having no long-distance charges it works pretty well.

One could argue (correctly) that there is latency introduced by the long distance cell phone call. But at these slow speeds it doesn't matter a great deal.

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Setting up dial-up connections via cell phone
Authored by: kerouassady on Sep 15, '03 11:58:17AM
I worked a lot on this over the past number of months with Verizon. Officially, Verizon denies the existence Macs and has never heard of Apple Computer but their phones do work with it, you're just on you're on for getting it to work. Working with Kyocera phones, I found that by calling the manufacturer, there is possibly a support option on that end to take advantage of. Kyocera has fantastic Mac support. I talked with three different people on different occasions and all were extremely knowledgeable (asking questions about specific point relases and even knowing about using ZTerm to manually adjust settings with AT commands) and had Macs at at their disposal with multiple OSes to walk through problems. I had been using Earthlink with an older Kyocera phone and data cable fine but had issues when I got a newer phone and cable. They emailed me beta drivers for the new cable that had only been tested with 10.2 which got the cable working. I had to use some different modem scripts to finally get the phone working. The above home page is a good place to get started though it only deals with one specific phone. There is a MacCellPhone Yahoo group dedicated to the subject with a good files section that has drivers and modem scripts for a variety of phones as well as hacked scripts that people have used to get things going.

I use the Quick2Connect service on the phone because since it is a #777 number, it will work anywhere Verizon has service so I don't have to change any phone numbers if I travel. I use an Earthlink dial up for internal modem use. You should be able to set up different numbers on different ports and OS 10 should be perfectly happy with it.

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Kyocera & CDMA
Authored by: jecwobble on Sep 15, '03 03:16:25PM

I have a Kyocera phone with server through Qwest. I found the USB Data Kit for $30 on eBay and OS X driver software on the Kyocera site. But the instructions say something like, 'your provider must off CDMA for internet access.'

It that the wireless phone provider or the internet provider?

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Verizon update
Authored by: mr_rangr on Sep 15, '03 12:00:29PM

I followed John Chang's article, and now Verizon doesn't require a username and password. Just the #777 for the phone number is enough.
This gives you the 14.4k connection, just as the Earthlink connection does, but for free (airtime minutes apply).

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Setting up dial-up connections via cell phone
Authored by: xpeed on Sep 15, '03 03:32:13PM

if anyone out there has a 1xRTT (3G, Express Network, whatever...) enabled cell phone and you get yourself a usb data cable, you can probably connect to EN for free as soon as you add it to your account...
EN is available to most national VZW plans as a free add-on now...
i use it to connect my ibook 500 (dual usb) through my kyocera 7135 to the internet and its WAY faster than the regular #777 dial-up...

check out and search for more details...

good luck,

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competition is everything
Authored by: PeterDie on Sep 15, '03 06:58:54PM

Fairly primitive continent, the Americas, as regards to cell phone networks. In the Netherlands, I found myself a good mobile deal:
1. Signed up with mobile phone company: got one Siemens S55 (TripleBand, Infrared, Bluetooth, serial PC-cable and camera included) for free, no entry fee or admin costs, first 3 month 5 euro off subscription fee.
2. Bluetooth in Siemens works flawlessly with OSX, (also with iSync, no need for Palm for me) found myself a Siemens GPRS modem script
3 entered some info in network preferences (ATN name in phone number field; that's a killer)
Got GPRS whereever I might go, with $35 USB bluetooth dongle.
GPRS: always on internet for 1 euro 50 per Mb data transfer. Speeds: didn't check yet, but pages load comparable to 14K4 modem speeds.
My subscription fee is 12 euro 50 per month, for that i can call 500 minutes (that's over 8 hours per month) to landline based phones and other O2 subscribers. Other mobile phones: 15 eurocent per minute.


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