Unless stated, the following information does not represent the authors opinion or ideas, this information is presented as a composite for information freely available on the web sources that are provided where possible.
This article describes how to use the ModemLink feature on your Microsoft Windows Mobile 5 based phone over a Cingular's MediaNET Unlimited account, which at the time of this writing is an great value at $20-month for unlimited Internet usage over Cingular's EDGE (G2) network.
STEPS TO SETUP
These steps are required the first time you wish to use the SmartPhone
as a modem.
- If you don't already have a MediaNET account, contact Cingular or walk into a Cingular outlet and request the MediaNET Unlimited for SmartPhones be added to your account. They may tell you the 8125 doesn't qualify for the SmartPhone pricing since it's not a PDA, this is a common inconsistancy in Cingular's service, you can call and add the MediaNET unlimited service without problem.
- Install the HTC USB modem driver supplied with the phone (it's on the getting started CD). If you do not have the CD you can obtain the driver from the HTC website: http://www.htcamerica.net
- On the phone, "click" Start, More, More browse until you find the Accessories folder, click on that folder and you'll find Calculator, Download Agrent, ModemLink, etc... "click" on ModemLink
- Plug the phone into the USB cable, connect it to the laptop
- Let ActiveSync finish, then close it.
- On the ModemLink properties screen, make sure for Connection: USB is selected (IrCOMM is default), baud rate will be greyed out and default to unused (ok), For access point name enter: wap.cingular. When all settings are correct, select Activate
- On the PC, go to Control Panel, Network Connections and create a new network connection. A connection "wizard" will pop up. The wizard will be a set of steps, each step providing a Next button. The steps using Windows XP or XP with Service Pack 2 are as follows:
For Step 1: Connect to Internet
For Step 2: Set up my connection manually
For Step 3: Connect using a dial-up modem
For Step 4: Enter "Cingular" for ISP name (any name will actually work)
For Step 5: Enter *99# for the phone number
For Step 6: Enter WAP@CINGULARGPRS.COM for username and CINGULAR1 as the password
Once the wizard completes you'll need to Control Panel, open up "Phones and Modem Options", click on the "Modems" tab and select "HTC Modem" go Properties and then Advanced Properties. For "Extra Initialization Commands" past the following text.
You're all done with the setup.
TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET USING YOUR SMARTPHONE
- Open up the ModemLink application on the phone and select "Activate" to put the phone in "modem" mode
- Connect the USB cable from the PC to the phone
- Go to Control Panel, Network Connections... Select the "Cingular" connection you created (will be listed under Dial-up), right-click and select "Connect". That's it! You should enjoy EDGE connect speeds between 200-300 kbps. Access is limited to MediaNET coverage.
If you have problems connecting, try powering down the phone. Take the
battery out to reset it if you must. Once the phone restarts, put it to
Modem Link Active mode and try again.
Regarding if this process is authorized by Cingular, the answer is unclear but properly not relevant. In an e-mail exchange with someone who claimed to be a Microsoft mobile engineer (I have to say claimed because I can't verify, but he sounded knowledgable) I was told that the ModemLink software abstracts the data from the service provider, in other words Cingular can't tell (or more importantly, can't prove) when you're using a Windows Mobile 5 SmartPhone and ModemLink as a tethered device, as long as you log into their MediaNet server (WAP.CINGULAR).
Consider that when you pay for MediaNET you are paying for unlimited Internet connectivity over Cingular's WAP gateway. You are paying for data access at (limited) WAP speeds and just because your device has the capability to serve WAP data to a PC doesn't mean Cingular has a right to stop you from doing this (as I will point out, they have not). It's a feature of your SmartPhone, it's not cheating Cingular.From an ethical and legal stand point you have nothing to worry about
ModemLink is an advertised and documented feature of the 8125, 2125, 3125, etc.. it's available on every Windows Mobile 5 SmartPhone solid in the US (source: Microsoft Windows Mobile 5 architecture and developers guide)
If you want faster connect speeds for you laptop or PDA, consider a laptop card and a subscription to Cingular's PDA data connect package. You'll pay considerably more, but you will have access to their ISP.CINGULAR gateway. WARNING: The Cingular 3125's Users Manual instructs you to use ISP.CINGULAR for your gateway when configuring modem link, this will likely result in "PDA Data Connect" plan rates or disconnect if you have not signed up for a PDA Data connect package.
Although it's not documented in the Users Manual, you can use the steps above to connect to the WAP.CINGULAR gateway using your 3125 without any problems. If you call Cingular support you may get conflicting information. I was told by a Cingular support rep that if you pay for MediaNET account you get access to Cingular's WAP gateway and that they do not audit what you do with the data you obtain through that network or how often you are accessing it, to quote the rep "you are paying for unlimited access... we do not audit your usage on the WAP gateway with MediaNET". Of course Cingular has their overpriced laptop PDA data connect service they want to try and push, so they aren't too open about how to "tether" over their WAP gateway.
How can you be certain all of this is true? Worried that Cingular will bill you extra or cut you off? Don't! All of the information in the post is a composite of data gathered from multiple sources. The origin of this material seems to be from this blog entry from an imfamous Microsoft Software Engineer Mike Poulson, that blog entry is still on-line.
I had an e-mail exchange with Mr. Poulson a few months ago and he confirmed that Cingular has taken no action against him or Microsoft for that blog entry (you have to consider, his blog appeared on a Microsoft sponsored blog, inadvertently his comments represent Microsoft, if this were a big deal there swords would have risen, but that didn't happen). Mr. Poulson also confirmed that he has never had any additional charges on his bill for data services.
I have personally been using this method for the past two months with no problems with billing. During my first month I even streamed video (as best one can stream video at 230-kbps) and left the connect going for over eight hours, Cingular did not disconnect or bill me beyond the $20 MediaNET Unlimited account.
Before engaging in WAP tethering using a SmartPhone, I sought out responses from this newsgroup and others. I looking for people with billing issues or service disconnect that could be unquestionably tied to WAP tethering over MediaNet, no one has reported this happening and if you search there web there isn't a single reported case.
All evidence seems to point to the way these devices have been designed, prevents Cingular from regulating their use in this way. So while the disclaimer is always "do at your own risk", know that this is sound and has been proven.