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Tutorial: Connect a Pocket PC to the Internet Using a Mobile Phone

In the two years following the introduction of the first Pocket PCs, wireless companies released a series of hardware connectivity products for handhelds, mainly PC Card and CompactFlash wireless modems designed to connect a Pocket PC to the Internet over wide area wireless networks.  With the advent of Bluetooth data-capable mobile phones, however, such stand-alone connectivity hardware was no longer necessary.  If you want to connect your Pocket PC to the Internet using Sprint, Verizon or another wireless provider today, all you need is the right phone. 

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to connect your Pocket PC to a Bluetooth phone for the purposes of using the phone as a wireless modem for Internet connectivity. 


Step 1: Check Your Setup

In order to connect your Pocket PC to the Internet using your mobile phone, you'll need to be sure that you have the correct setup.  Of course, your Pocket PC must be Bluetooth-enabled. Every Pocket PC released in 2005 or later has onboard Bluetooth, but most models for the preceding two years or so also have Bluetooth. 

Next, you'll need a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone that supports Dial-Up Networking, or DUN, over Bluetooth.  While there are many phones with this ability, you may need to check with your wireless carrier for details on compatible handsets and data connectivity plans.  Many wireless providers also charge extra for data connectivity.

If your Pocket PC and mobile phone each have onboard Bluetooth, and your mobile phone supports DUN over Bluetooth, you're good to go.


Step 2: Establish a Connection

Before you begin, be sure that your mobile phone's Bluetooth is turned on and that the phone is in Discoverable mode.  When the phone's Bluetooth is both active and discoverable, it's time to begin setting up your Pocket PC's Bluetooth software.

After powering on your Pocket PC's Bluetooth, open the Bluetooth Settings menu.  This can be done by tapping Start > Settings > Connections (Tab) > Bluetooth.  In the Devices submenu, tap New Partnership.  Allow the Pocket PC to scan for nearby Bluetooth devices.


When the Pocket PC detects your mobile phone, tap the phone's ID, then tap next: 


You will then be prompted to enter a passkey.  Make the passkey whatever you'd like and tap next.  The passkey must then be entered in your mobile phone to complete the pairing process.

The next screen on your Pocket PC will display a list of services offered by the paired Bluetooth device, in this case your mobile phone.  As you can see, our Samsung A900 offers Dial-Up Networking over Bluetooth:


Check the box next to the Dialup Networking service and tap Finish.  A new partnership between your Pocket PC and mobile phone has now been created. 


Step 3: Show the Pocket PC How to Use the Mobile Phone

Now that you've set up a partnership between your Pocket PC and mobile phone, you must instruct your Pocket PC on how the partnership is to be used.  From the Today Screen tap Start > Settings > Connections (Tab) > Connections.  From this menu, you can create a new connection profile.

Tap Add a new modem connection.  Name your connection and specify Bluetooth as the connectivity pathway: 


The software will then ask you which Bluetooth device you would like to connect with for the new modem connection.  Your recently-added mobile phone should be on the list. Highlight the phone and tap Next


Next, you must provide the software with an ISP dial-up number, or in the case of most wireless phones, a dialing string.  A dialing string is a which instructs your mobile phone to connect to your wireless provider's data network rather than dialing an actual ISP number.  Sprint Wireless, our provider, uses the code #777, but your provider may have a different dialing string.  Enter the number or dialing string and tap Next.  

The final step will be to enter your user name and password: 


A username and password may not be required for all service providers, but if required, you'll need to enter both values for validation purposes.  In most cases, the Domain field will remain blank.

Click Finish.  A new connection profile has now been created and can be used to connect to the Internet for e-mail, web browsing, etc.  When attempting to access a web page in Internet Explorer Mobile, for example, the connection to your wireless data service should automatically open.


Final Thoughts

The procedure shown above will provide you with a ready connection between your Pocket PC and data-capable mobile phone.  However, what we can't provide are the specific settings which may be required in order to get your mobile phone talking to its mobile network correctly.

Each wireless provider has different setting and username requirements, and various other connection requirements, which may be system-wide or even change between individual users.  If you've followed the instructions above and are having difficulty, you may need to input settings in the Advanced menu in the final screen where the Username, Password and Domain fields are shown (at the end of Step 3).  Certain modem initialization strings may also be required.  Check with your wireless provider for Dial-Up Networking settings specifics. 

Even if your Pocket PC and Bluetooth phone are correctly paired in the Bluetooth software, failing to enter the right settings required by your wireless provider will almost certainly result in a failed connection.

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