How to set up a mobile phone as a Bluetooth modem?

Internet connection settings on the mobile phone
Bluetooth radio activation on the mobile phone
Installing Standard Modem over Bluetooth link
- Starting the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard
- Bluetooth device discovery
- Pairing
- Generic Bluetooth drivers installation
Verifying Standard Modem over Bluetooth link installation
Creating an Internet connection using the New Connection Wizard
Connecting to the Internet
Possible connection problems for troubleshooting
Internet Tethering: using iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS with iPhone OS 3.0 as a Bluetooth modem.


Mobile phone can be used as a modem that will connect a computer (laptop or desktop PC) to a mobile data network such as HSCSD, GPRS, EDGE, CDMA2000 (1xRTT), and enhanced 3G (EV-DO or HSDPA). Using mobile phone as a modem is the preferred mobile Internet solution for many travelers since they don't need to buy another hardware, i.e. a special card (PCMCIA PC Card, PCI Express Mini Card, CF card, or SD card) or a USB modem dongle for accessing a cellular data network. To use mobile phone as a modem, a connection must first be established between the phone and the computer. The physical connection is commonly a USB cable, an infrared (IrDA) link or a Bluetooth link.

Using Bluetooth as the connection link between a mobile phone and a computer allows mobility, because - unlike infrared (IrDA) - Bluetooth doesn't require both devices to be in line-of-sight (LOS). You can use your mobile phone in your pocket or briefcase or elsewhere as a modem that connects your computer to the Internet provided both devices (the computer and the phone) are still within range (i.e. up to 10 meters for Class 3 devices). Bluetooth has many standard usage models (profiles), but we are going to use only the DUN (Dial-Up Networking) profile for this purpose.

The latest revision of this tutorial was created using a PC running Windows XP (SP2), a USB Bluetooth dongle, and a Nokia 6600 GSM/GPRS phone. The result is the same with the previous revision of this article that was based on tests on Nokia 7610 and O2 Xda II. This revision was made to give readers direct comparison with connecting using infrared (IrDA) modem. Instructions for setting on the mobile phone are provided as an example, the real settings must follow your mobile phone documentation and your cellular data service provider.

What should I prepare?

- Insert your Bluetooth dongle (adapter) to your computer USB port if it doesn't have a built-in Bluetooth transceiver. Connect the dongle to other port (e.g. serial, PCMCIA) if you have a non-USB model. If you use Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), the adapter will be installed automatically and working with the Generic Bluetooth Radio driver. If you use a previous version of Windows, then you have to install the software that comes with your Bluetooth adapter before plugging it into your computer for the first time.
- From the documentation, check whether your Bluetooth phone can be used as a modem.
- You must subscribe to a mobile (cellular) Internet access service and you are within the cellular data coverage. Your mobile phone must be configured for mobile Internet according to your mobile Internet service provider directions. Very often the default settings have been preset in certain phone models, you only need to activate them. The following illustration is an example from Nokia 6600 with Symbian OS. For newer smartphones that usually have Internet tethering capability, only use this illustration as a comparison and kindly follow the detailed instructions in your phone guide.

Back Next