Getting my Mac OS X iBook on the Internet with Bluetooth over GSM GPRS
You're sitting in a park. There's no 802.11b airport anywhere near, but you're
surfing the Internet anyway on your iBook. Your GSM phone is acting as the modem but there are no
wires; in fact, it's safely tucked away in your pocket. The only giveaway is a tiny USB dongle
sticking out the side of your computer.
|T-Mobile / Voicestream
||GSM cellular network carrier, provides GPRS data service
||6310i GSM cellphone
||900/1800/1900 world phone with GPRS and Bluetooth support
||DWB-120M Bluetooth USB adapter
||wirelessly connects cellphone to iBook
||iBook running OS X Jaguar 10.2.3
||I hear the next generation of TiBooks will have bluetooth built in...
now offers a $19.99 unlimited rate plan. To take advantage
of the new plans you have to call them and initiate the switch
yourself. If you signed up for a plan before now, call.
has repriced their Internet Plans.
I consulted the following references:
Here's what I did. Note: I am in the Philadelphia, PA area. YMMV in other zones.
- Call T-Mobile and tell them you want one of the Internet Plans --- eg $39.99 for 20 megs. (I signed up 20021018 and paid for $19.99 for 5 megs, but they seem to have turned off that plan.)
- You should have a "My T-Mobile" login on the website --- you may have to register for it. Log in.
- Under "T-Mobile Settings" you should see a complex menu
system full of "content", such as horoscopes, weather
reports, stock market numbers, and news headlines. If you
just see some "why you should get T-Mobile" marketing
gibberish, the network hasn't provisioned you yet. Wait 24
to 48 hours.
- Download the "Nokia scripts for GPRS phones" from
taniwha above. After they've been unpacked, install them by
dragging them into /Library/Modem Scripts/
- Configure the 6310i as follows.
- Menu 1 3 4 brings you to Services / Settings
- activate an unused set of settings
- change the name. I named mine internet-GPRS.
- Homepage: http://wap.myvoicestream.com
- Session mode: temporary
- Connection security: off
- Data bearer: GPRS
- GPRS connection: when needed
- GPRS access point: wap.voicestream.com (note: different from wap.myvoicestream.com above)
- IP address: 220.127.116.11
- Authentication type: normal
- Login type: automatic
- User name: blank
- Password: blank
- Aside: There are two access point names,
wap.voicestream.com and internet2.voicestream.com; you
configure the first one for regular phone WAP, and the
second for internet access, but you do that on the computer,
not on the phone. The above configuration will let you WAP
from your phone, and also let you get online with your
computer without having to change settings.
- The official voicestream instructions may tell you to use
"GSM data" as the data bearer, but if you have GPRS it
doesn't make sense to dial up to a circuit-switched data
transport when you can do GPRS. Ignore that. That
old-style stuff is so 1999.
- If you haven't already upgraded to Jaguar, you'll need to download the Bluetooth software from apple.com.
Enable bluetooth in System Preferences.
If you have Jaguar, confirm that you've properly discovered and paired with your phone by getting the Address Book to dial your phone over bluetooth.
Note that these instructions may be obsoleted by OS X 10.2.4 which has a Bluetooth setup wizard.
- To make things easier, on the phone I turned off "Request connection authorization" for the iBook pairing. (menu 11 4)
- It seems that only one application can use the bluetooth connection at one time.
If you get a "RFCOMM: unable to establish connection channel" error, you need to quit Address Book.
- Under System Preferences / Network, you should see "Bluetooth Modem" as a new Network Port next to AirPort and next to Ethernet. I keep Bluetooth below those connection types so the computer only resorts to Bluetooth if other faster, cheaper networks are not around.
If you don't see it, try fiddling with the Network Port Configurations.
- TCP/IP: Connection type PPP, DNS Servers: 18.104.22.168
- Modem: Nokia GPRS CID1 +CGQREQ. (Also worked without CGQREQ. Did not work with CID2.)
enable error correction and compression in modem
wait for dial tone before dialing
show modem status in menu bar
- Proxies: unset everything.
- PPP: Service Provider: voicestream
- PPP: Account Name: istream (i don't think this matters)
- PPP: Password: <space> (i don't think this matters)
- PPP: Telephone Number: internet2.voicestream.com
- PPP: Save Password yes.
- PPP options:
- disable connect automatically when needed (until you're confident autodialing won't cost you)
- disable disconnect automatically when user logs out
- disable redial if busy
- disable send PPP echo packets
- enable use TCP header compression
- Internet connect will show you what happens after you click "connect".
- Once you're connected, you should be able to ssh (remember to -C) and browse the web.
- The first time you surf the web you'll be intercepted by an accelerator configuration page
that lets you shrink images, etc. The GPRS web gateway insanely rewrites the content-types
of all HTTP transfers to application/gzip, instead of more sensibly gzipping transparently
at the HTTP level. I need to bring this up with the Data Services group.
- You can return to that accelerator page by connecting through T-Mobile and going to http://getmorespeed.t-mobile.com. Note: that URL won't
work from outside T-Mobile. Like other hostnames shown on this page, T-Mobile's split
horizon DNS means things resolve differently if you're connected over GPRS inside the
- Now you are really cool, because you can sit in a park with your phone in your pocket
and magically be online without any visible signs of connectivity besides the little
USB dongle sticking out the side.
- If you want to be even cooler, for extra credit you could install a Squid proxy on your laptop and accelerate the way big
- If these instructions helped you, drop me a note.
If you want to do this under linux with an AirCard, see http://www.xmission.com/~bmidgley/tmobile/
- started 20021019. last modified 20021105.
- this file is maintained by Meng Weng
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