July 30, 2004

Nokia 6600, T-Mobile, Bluetooth, and Internet Connection

A little note about T-Mobile, t-zones, T-Mobile Internet, Nokia 6600, and connecting your Mac OS X system to the net via Bluetooth: it's possible, but it's a little different.

Let me point out the original articles on this subject: Rael Dornfest's, and this other one. The point is, you can hook your Mac OS X 10.2+ machine to a GSM phone which has GPRS capabilities and Bluetooth capabilities, and thereby have a portable data source.

Most of the articles that followed up on this talked about T-Mobile. The reason? T-Mobile has unlimited access for $5-$20/month. That's it, it's cheap.

A huge confusion that I had to figure out was the terminology: half of the articles talk about t-zones, half talk about T-Mobile Internet. And T-Mobile's site is not too hot on details. But Google, once again, has provided an actual answer, in the form of this page: dcDan's "Not a Blog"-in-French blog explains all. To sum up: t-zones is meant for WAP access only, so it only has port 80 open for the $5/month one, port 80, port 443, the S/IMAP ports, the POP3 port and the SMTP port for t-zones pro, and everthing open for T-Mobile Internet.

Another source of consternation was that both sets of instructions above have a couple of problems with them for the Nokia 6600 -- just differences in the technology. Rael's article is on the Nokia 3650, the other is a more general, but geared towards the Sony Ericsson T610, so it's not a surprize that the Nokia 6600 varies a little.

Setting up the phone is a critical step. From dcDan's web site, I'm copying the instructions he posted:

  • Go to the "Connect" folder and open "Bluetooth" set the following menu items.
    • Bluetooth: On

    • My phone's visibilty: Shown to all

    • My phone's name: What you would like to name it, for this example my is named Granola

  • Leave the connect folder and go to the "Tools" folder and open "Settings"

  • Move to "Connection" and choose "GPRS" and set the following

    • GPRS connection: When available

    • Access point: internet2.voicestream.com (if you have t-zones this will be wap.voicestream.com)

That last one isn't listed most places, and it's crucial. I couldn't connect until I found that posting.

Another problem, I'm finding that the GPRS CID string (see step 7 in Rael's posting above) is wrong. I found two things to work: either the name of the access point (for t-zones, "wap.voicestream.com"; for T-Mobile Internet, "internet2.voicestream.com". Note that voicestream.com is T-Mobile's general internet access point; "internet.voicestream.com" is their access point for PCMCIA cards without VPN access, "internet3.voicestream.com" is their acceess point for phones and PCMCIA cards with VPN access). If you use the web names, use one of Ross Barkman's Nokia scripts.

The other thing that works is dcDan's explanation, which uses "*99#" for the CID string. If you use *99#, use the Nokia Infrared found in Mac OS 10.3.4 (it may be in earlier versions, but I couldn't say for certain.) I found, though, that using the *99# version was slower than the web name, by about 1/2 to 1/3. It could well have been my connection, but I was getting up to 30kbps using the web name, and only 10kbps using the *99# setting.

Posted by Ted Stevko at July 30, 2004 03:12 AM | TrackBack

I guess this stuff only applies in the US....

Posted by: hans de haas at March 28, 2005 08:42 AM

For the most part, yes. But the connection, in theory, should work through any phone capable of doing internet connectivity and bluetooth. I found this site -- http://www.access-sys-eu.com/gprs.html -- which lists GPRS information for quite a bit of Europe. The problem is, getting the GPRS phone to act as a modem; screwing around with Ross Barkman's scripts might get you somewhere.

Posted by: Ted Stevko at April 1, 2005 02:02 AM