I recently took up a new mobile phone plan, and took with it a spanking new Sony Ericsson K700i. It turned out to be a very nice phone, the first time in a very long time I didn't go for a Nokia (the current range seem a bit ugly to be honest, and the SE has a bigger screen). It has many features I needed, such as Bluetooth support and iSync for talking to my PowerBook, and some that are a bit of a luxury, like Java3D support (but hey, if you're bored, a quick game of Tennis can take your mind off things).
Anyway, as I often work "on the road" as they say, I am not always within reach of an internet connection, wired or not. And now, with the phone supporting Bluetooth (an amazingly groovy bit of tech if you ask me, only recently coming into its own) I can use the phone's GPRS support for general IP traffic. All I needed to know was how to configure it...
I scoured Telstra's web site trying to find out what settings to use for GPRS via bluetooth with a laptop. Nothing came up, so I phoned up the support line and waited. And waited. Eventually I got through to a lady who obviously didn't really understand my question, and put me through to someone who knew "all about it". What I got was voicemail, so I gave up and tried again the next day. Then I got a fairly helpful guy who knew mostly what he was talking about, although even he had trouble finding the correct information on the settings on the public internet pages. (He had them on the internal site, which is not much use to me.)
When I started asking about the settings, he asked what sort of computer I was trying to set up. "An Apple PowerBook", I replied. "Oh, sorry - we only support Windows", came the inevitable reply. "Never mind", I consoled, "just pretend I'm running Windows, tell me what settings to use and I'll do the translating."
Well that worked out rather well, although it turned out to be very easy. You don't need a username/password, no proxy, nada - just the phone number, which is *99#. If I wanted to use a different profile on the phone, I could specify *99**1#. I thanked him for his help, hung up and went to test it. But it didn't work. The online help in the Mac Help pages covered nearly everything else, but there was still something missing.
I spoke to an old friend of mine about it, and he rather flippantly mentioned how easy it was, and that it worked first time for him. (I was of course jealous, but a little surprised that it wasn't dead easy myself.) Eventually I asked about the modem config, and he said he just used the closest model. It was here that the penny dropped; in the modem config, mine was set to "Ericsson Infrared", but Mick had his set to "T39 28.8 V110" or something. I switched to that, hit "Connect" and - bam! - it worked a treat!
So here is a summary of the settings:
- Telstra GPRS
- SonyEricsson K700i
- Bluetooth Modem: T39 28.8 V110
- Username/password: blank
- Telephone number: *99#
The Internet Connect thingy does the trick, and its help pages have a pretty good rundown on how to set it all up.
I will close this note with a warning: check on the bandwidth charges, and don't get carried away with the traffic. They generally charge a flat one-time connection fee, then a fairly hefty rate per Kb. You can get cheaper rates by purchasing prepaid blocks of bandwidth, if you know you are going to be a heavy user.