Being a frequent traveller often faced with exorbitant WiFi fees in airports and such places within Australia, I turned my head towards equipping my Sony Ericsson K700i for use as a Bluetooth Modem. This should have been really easy, the only problem being that I couldn’t find comprehensive instructions for setting it up under Mac OS X. The data tech support at Vodafone was fantastic, but was mostly Windows centric.
After a bit of searching and trial and error, I finally got a successful Bluetooth Modem connection via GPRS on my PowerBook. I decided to write my own tutorial for any other users hoping to set up their phone for use with the Vodafone Internet gateway and a Sony Ericsson phone as a Bluetooth Modem.
There are modem scripts available for other phones and the settings described below are likely to also work with them, although the phone set up will be slightly different from the instructions I give below.
Please feel free to comment on the article or add any information you might find useful.
Disclaimer: I wrote this article to help anyone who needs a quick step-by-step guide. It is based on the fact that it worked for me. This is not an official help article from either Vodafone or Apple. I make no guarantees that it will work with your setup. I also can’t be responsible for any unforseen problems it may cause with your computer, your phone or any other aspect of your personal life. The settings are fairly innocuous and are unlikely to caused the aforementioned problems, but please don’t hold me accountable if they do.
With that out of the way, let’s get cracking.
- A Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. I have tested with the Sony-Ericsson K700i, so this should work with most SE models in a similar fashion. You can download scripts for other phones from Ross Barkman’s website below.
- Mac OS X 10.3 Panther with Bluetooth enabled. Again this is what I tested on and am yet to test on 10.2 Jaguar, I will update once I find a test machine running Jaguar.
Downloading The Modem Scripts
Your first move should be to download the Sony Ericsson GPRS Modem Scripts for Mac OS X at VersionTracker provided by Ross Barkman. You can get them directly from his site too, but they are easier to find at VersionTracker. Ross’ site has heaps of other useful information if you get stuck or want to download scripts for other phones. He also has a comprehensive list of common GPRS provider configurations.
You will need to extract the downloaded StuffIt archive into the following folder:
Macintosh HD > Library > Modem Scripts
You will have a bunch of files that correspond to different CIDs (Connection IDs) on your mobile phone. CIDs will be explained later.
Next you will set up your mobile phone to use a custom data connection that will be referenced by one of the CID scripts.
Pairing Your Computer With Your Mobile Phone
You will need to successfully pair your mobile phone with your computer. You can use the Bluetooth Setup Assistant to achieve this. The assistant is easy to set up, so just follow the steps:
- Applications > Utilities > Bluetooth Setup Assistant
More info on how to do this is available at Apple Support.
Setting Up Your Mobile Phone
On your phone, go to:
- Menu > Connectivity > Data Comm. > Data Accounts
Assuming you are with Vodafone Australia, you will see 3 options:
- New account
- VFAU Gateway
- VF Internet
Since none of the default options are set up correctly for GPRS Modem Access, we will need to create a Custom Data Connection by selecting New Account from this menu.
- Choose Account Type: GPRS Data.
- Call it VF Custom
- Edit the APN and change it to: vfinternet.au. Leave Username and Password blank
Your new account should have been successfully created. If you select this account and press More > Account info, you will see an External ID number. This is what will be referenced by your CID number in your modem script. CIDs are assigned in order, so if you have 2 previous accounts (as is the default with Vodafone), your newly created custom account will have an External ID of 3.
You will now need to edit some more details by selecting VF Custom and clicking Edit.
- Set Authentication options so that only the None option is checked.
- Leave both Data Compression and Header Compression (the bottom 2 options) turned off.
Press Back once you are done.
You should now have your phone correctly set up and can proceed to configure your Mac to utilize this connection.
Setting Up Your Mac
On your Mac, go to the Apple Menu at the top left and select System Preferences, then click Network to open your Network Preferences.
From the Location: drop-down, select New Location … I called my location “GPRS”.
From the Show: drop-down, select Bluetooth.
Click the TCP / IP tab and make sure Configure IPv4: shows Using PPP. Everything else in this section can be left blank.
Click the PPP tab and enter the following details:
- Service Provider: Vodafone
- Telephone Number: vfinternet.au
Everything else should be left blank.
Click the PPP Options … button and enter the details as shown in the dialogue in Figure 1 below:
Click the Bluetooth Modem tab and enter the following details (also shown in Figure 2 below):
- Modem: Sony Ericsson GPRS CID3 +CGQREQNote: the CID number refers to the External ID number of the VF Custom Data Account you set up on your phone. If your External ID is NOT 3, then you should select the CID that matches the External ID of the VF Custom Data Account you set up.
- Enable error correction and compression in modem – checked
- Wait for dial tone before dialing – unchecked
Click the Apply Now button.
That’s it! Hopefully all is good now.
Click the PPP tab again and click the Dial Now … button. This should bring up an Internet Connect window to start showing a connection status. A successful connection should look like this:
Note: In cases of network congestion or low reception, you might not get a successful connection. If this is the case, try again in a few minutes or move to an area with better reception.
If you have any questions about this tutorial, please comment below and I will try to answer as soon as I can.