[maemo-users] DUN via bluetooth - with Verizon?

From: Jeffrey Mark Siskind qobi at purdue.edu
Date: Sat Feb 23 02:54:06 EET 2008
I use bluetooth DUN over EVDO with a stock Verizon Motorola RAZR2 V9m (CDMA
version) and my N810. I get 500-600 kpbs downlink and about 150-200 kbps
uplink when there are 2 or 3 bars of EVDO signal. The latency can be long: up
to a few hundred milliseconds. But I have run emacs over X tunneled through
ssh -C -X. It takes a while to start up but once it has, it is useable. When
there is no EVDO, it degrades to 1xRTT which is much slower: about 100-150
kbps downlink and 20-30 kpbs uplink.

Setting it up was fairly straightforward. You need to search the menus on the
phone and the N810 to enable bluetooth and pair the devices. It helps to give
both the N810 and the phone distinctive names to avoid confusion with other
bluetooth devices that may be in range. (There are menus for that on both the
phone and the N810.) Once you pair the devices you run some setup wizard
specifying USA and Verizon. (The N810 setup wizard knows about many carriers
in many countries.) The only thing that you need to know is that when the
setup wizard prompts for a username it defaults to <MDN>@vzw3g.com. You need
to replace <MDN> with your 10-digit mobile phone number. And you need to
specify the password as vzw.

You don't need any Windows or MAc specific "connection wizard" software or any
firmware updates. It might need you to sign up for the "tethering plan" which
is $60/month for what they call "unlimited" data (but which I here may
actually be limited to 5G/month). I signed up for the tethering plan since I
use it regularly. I keep my N810 in one pocket and my phone in the other and
the N810 dials up and retrieves email regularly. (Standard software on the
N810 does this.)

Verizon seems to quite openly support this now. Before I purchased the phone
and signed on the tethering plan, I called customer support. I asked quite
openly if they supported bluetooth DUN with the N810. They said that they were
pretty sure that it would work and offered to help me set it up if I needed
help. They also said that they offer a 30 day return policy in case it didn't
work. And they suggested that I go to a local VZW kiosk to try it out first. I
did. They were happy to oblige and I played with it at the kiosk and got it to
work with my N810 and one of their phones before I decided to buy.

I'm pretty sure that it needs the phone to have a tethering plan because at
the kiosk I tried several phones and only one worked, which coincidentally was
the one that the reps said had tethering enabled.

I also tried the same phone (the Motorola RAZR2 V9m, GSM version) with AT&T at
a local kiosk. And I also got that phone to work. (The AT&T version was even
easier to get to work because it didn't need a userid/password and apparently
all of the phones in their kiosk had DUN enabled.) But where I live (Lafayette
IN) they don't have UMTS/HSDPA. They only have EDGE. I got only about 100-150
kbps downlink and and 50-80 kbps uplink with high latency. I also tried it out
at an AT&T store in Chicago where they have HSDPA. I got 500-600 kbps downlink
and 200-300 kbps uplink. The good thing was that the latency was really low.
I was able to run emacs over X tunneled through ssh -X (without -C) and it
started up quickly and was very snappy. I could scroll pretty freely with the
stylus and scroll bar. I would have gone with AT&T except that they don't have
HSDPA in Lafayette and it won't be here for 9-16 months. Shortly after that, I
hope WiMAX will be available both for a follow on to the N810 and in Lafayette
(Both Chicago and Indy are part of the early roll out and Lafayette is in
between so one can only hope.) So I will just wait for that.

The RAZR2 V9m is a fairly new and expensive phone. But I'm pretty sure that
many other Verizon and AT&T phones will support bluetooth DUN. My wife has a
Motorola KRZR K1m and I looked at the menus and it has the same bluetooth
menus as the RAZR2 V9m so I suspect that phone will work as well. They are
selling that phone cheap now. I bought my wife hers for $20. Call up VZW
customer service. They will tell you which phones support bluetooth DUN. And
there is also some VZW web page that lists which phones support bluetooth DUN.

If you need help setting up either Verizon or AT&T with the N810, I can tell
you what I did. But it is fairly straightforward.

    Jeff (http://www.ece.purdue.edu/~qobi)

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