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Old 12-02-2007, 01:10 PM
Grant
 
Default Cell phone as modem

Has anyone attached their cell phone to their Gentoo system to act as
a modem? This would be great for traveling. I'm with Sprint (no
contract) but I think I'll switch to T-Mobile because from what I
understand they are the only cell phone provider in the US which uses
the GSM band. That way I should be able to use the phone/modem
internationally. Has anyone set this up? Any phones look
particularly good for this?

- Grant
--
gentoo-user@gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 12-02-2007, 01:19 PM
Mick
 
Default Cell phone as modem

On Sunday 02 December 2007, Grant wrote:
> Has anyone attached their cell phone to their Gentoo system to act as
> a modem? This would be great for traveling. I'm with Sprint (no
> contract) but I think I'll switch to T-Mobile because from what I
> understand they are the only cell phone provider in the US which uses
> the GSM band. That way I should be able to use the phone/modem
> internationally. Has anyone set this up? Any phones look
> particularly good for this?

Last time I used my cell phone (in the UK) it was over an irda connection and
ppp dial up. Happy to share my outdated settings if you're interested, but I
would think that your should be able to set up a bluetooth connection to your
phone and use the GPRS connection which should be much faster than the
9600baud that my old phone could handle.

Some of this may be useful to you:
http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Access_the_internet_with_your_cellphone_and_ bluetooth_(UMTS/GPRS)

--
Regards,
Mick
 
Old 12-02-2007, 03:08 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default Cell phone as modem

On 2007-12-02, Grant <emailgrant@gmail.com> wrote:

> Has anyone attached their cell phone to their Gentoo system to
> act as a modem?

Yes. My Verizon LG VX4400 works fine as a modem. When plugged
into a USB port, it shows up as /dev/ttyUSBn. You can dial up
any landline modem you like using "AT" commands, or you can
dial up Verizon's internal ISP number. The connection looks
exactly like any other PPP connection via a serial modem.
Verizon provides low-speed (14.4Kbps) internet access for
"free" (doesn't cost you anything but normall calling minutes).
The free low-speed access isn't officially supported: you won't
find it listed in your contract. But, it's always worked for me
when I've needed it (I haven't tried it for a few months, so
YMMV). Higher speed access requires a data plan.

AFAIK, most of the Verizon phones can work as modems. At least
that was true back when I was reading up on the subject (about
4-5 years ago). AFAICT, all the other US carriers required you
to pay for a data plan if you want to use your phone for
tethered internet access.

> This would be great for traveling. I'm with Sprint (no
> contract) but I think I'll switch to T-Mobile because from
> what I understand they are the only cell phone provider in the
> US which uses the GSM band.

GSM is a TDMA protocol, not a band. GSM can be (and is) used
on the same RF bands as the CDMA protocols used by Verizon and
Sprint. AT&T is also GSM, BTW.

> That way I should be able to use the phone/modem
> internationally.

That depends. The bands used by GSM phones in the US are
different than the bands used in other countries. Many of the
GSM phones available in the US are 1 or 2 band phones that
won't work internationally. If you want to use the phone
internationally, make sure it's a 3 or 4 band phone.

> Has anyone set this up?

Only on Verzon (which isn't GSM).

> Any phones look particularly good for this?

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! WHY are we missing
at KOJAK?
visi.com

--
gentoo-user@gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 12-02-2007, 03:34 PM
Grant
 
Default Cell phone as modem

> > Has anyone attached their cell phone to their Gentoo system to
> > act as a modem?
>
> Yes. My Verizon LG VX4400 works fine as a modem. When plugged
> into a USB port, it shows up as /dev/ttyUSBn. You can dial up
> any landline modem you like using "AT" commands, or you can
> dial up Verizon's internal ISP number. The connection looks
> exactly like any other PPP connection via a serial modem.
> Verizon provides low-speed (14.4Kbps) internet access for
> "free" (doesn't cost you anything but normall calling minutes).
> The free low-speed access isn't officially supported: you won't
> find it listed in your contract. But, it's always worked for me
> when I've needed it (I haven't tried it for a few months, so
> YMMV). Higher speed access requires a data plan.

Nice, I'm very glad to hear it works so well. I guess something like
that would work even over an analog connection.

> AFAIK, most of the Verizon phones can work as modems. At least
> that was true back when I was reading up on the subject (about
> 4-5 years ago). AFAICT, all the other US carriers required you
> to pay for a data plan if you want to use your phone for
> tethered internet access.

Unless you just dial another ISP right?

> > This would be great for traveling. I'm with Sprint (no
> > contract) but I think I'll switch to T-Mobile because from
> > what I understand they are the only cell phone provider in the
> > US which uses the GSM band.
>
> GSM is a TDMA protocol, not a band. GSM can be (and is) used
> on the same RF bands as the CDMA protocols used by Verizon and
> Sprint. AT&T is also GSM, BTW.
>
> > That way I should be able to use the phone/modem
> > internationally.
>
> That depends. The bands used by GSM phones in the US are
> different than the bands used in other countries. Many of the
> GSM phones available in the US are 1 or 2 band phones that
> won't work internationally. If you want to use the phone
> internationally, make sure it's a 3 or 4 band phone.

Definitely.

- Grant
--
gentoo-user@gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 12-02-2007, 04:37 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default Cell phone as modem

On 2007-12-02, Grant <emailgrant@gmail.com> wrote:

>> Yes. My Verizon LG VX4400 works fine as a modem. When plugged
>> into a USB port, it shows up as /dev/ttyUSBn. You can dial up
>> any landline modem you like using "AT" commands, or you can
>> dial up Verizon's internal ISP number. The connection looks
>> exactly like any other PPP connection via a serial modem.
>> Verizon provides low-speed (14.4Kbps) internet access for
>> "free" (doesn't cost you anything but normall calling
>> minutes). The free low-speed access isn't officially
>> supported: you won't find it listed in your contract. But,
>> it's always worked for me when I've needed it (I haven't tried
>> it for a few months, so YMMV). Higher speed access requires a
>> data plan.
>
> Nice, I'm very glad to hear it works so well. I guess
> something like that would work even over an analog connection.

On a true analog (800MHz AMPS service) cell phone, I've had
pretty decent success using MNP5 modems up to about 2400 baud.
The standard CCITT error dectection/correction schemes used on
landline modems isn't resilient enough for RF links. Good luck
finding MNP5 analog modems. Multitech in St. Paul was the
last vendor I knew about that sold them, and that was 10+ years
ago.

If you're talking about an analog connection to a digital
phone, it just won't work. The Codecs that digital phones use
are optimized for human speech and won't pass QPSK (or even
FSK) modem signals in a usable manner.

>> AFAIK, most of the Verizon phones can work as modems. At least
>> that was true back when I was reading up on the subject (about
>> 4-5 years ago). AFAICT, all the other US carriers required you
>> to pay for a data plan if you want to use your phone for
>> tethered internet access.
>
> Unless you just dial another ISP right?

I don't think so. According to what information I could
gather, I don't think the other carriers provide data
connections to dial-up landline numbers without a data plan.
I'm not sure they even provide that _with_ a data plan. If you
find out otherwise, post a followup. I'd be particularly
interested in Sprint and QWest (which uses Sprint's network).

The problem is that you can't send modem carrier over a digital
cell phone. The phone implements "AT" commands in order to
pretend it's a modem for the convenience of user software.
It's not, however, a modem at all.

It's just passing on digital data that's carried by the
wireless protocol in use (GSM/TDMA or 1xRTT/CDMA). When you
"dial up a landline" with a digital cell phone, the wireless
carrier actually has to connect a modem to a landline at the
carriers switch and dial the number. The digital data from the
cellphone is then routed to that modem.

If you're using the wireless carrier as the ISP, then there are
no modems involved at all: the digital data from the modem is
simply routed onto the Internet.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! My Aunt MAUREEN was
at a military advisor to IKE &
visi.com TINA TURNER!!

--
gentoo-user@gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 12-02-2007, 05:09 PM
Grant
 
Default Cell phone as modem

> >> Yes. My Verizon LG VX4400 works fine as a modem. When plugged
> >> into a USB port, it shows up as /dev/ttyUSBn. You can dial up
> >> any landline modem you like using "AT" commands, or you can
> >> dial up Verizon's internal ISP number. The connection looks
> >> exactly like any other PPP connection via a serial modem.
> >> Verizon provides low-speed (14.4Kbps) internet access for
> >> "free" (doesn't cost you anything but normall calling
> >> minutes). The free low-speed access isn't officially
> >> supported: you won't find it listed in your contract. But,
> >> it's always worked for me when I've needed it (I haven't tried
> >> it for a few months, so YMMV). Higher speed access requires a
> >> data plan.
> >
> > Nice, I'm very glad to hear it works so well. I guess
> > something like that would work even over an analog connection.
>
> On a true analog (800MHz AMPS service) cell phone, I've had
> pretty decent success using MNP5 modems up to about 2400 baud.
> The standard CCITT error dectection/correction schemes used on
> landline modems isn't resilient enough for RF links. Good luck
> finding MNP5 analog modems. Multitech in St. Paul was the
> last vendor I knew about that sold them, and that was 10+ years
> ago.
>
> If you're talking about an analog connection to a digital
> phone, it just won't work. The Codecs that digital phones use
> are optimized for human speech and won't pass QPSK (or even
> FSK) modem signals in a usable manner.

What I meant there was that I should be able to dial up in this manner
even if the signal is reported to be analog instead of digital. Is
that true? Are you saying it depends on whether or not the phone is
capable of 800MHz AMPS service?

> >> AFAIK, most of the Verizon phones can work as modems. At least
> >> that was true back when I was reading up on the subject (about
> >> 4-5 years ago). AFAICT, all the other US carriers required you
> >> to pay for a data plan if you want to use your phone for
> >> tethered internet access.
> >
> > Unless you just dial another ISP right?
>
> I don't think so. According to what information I could
> gather, I don't think the other carriers provide data
> connections to dial-up landline numbers without a data plan.
> I'm not sure they even provide that _with_ a data plan. If you
> find out otherwise, post a followup. I'd be particularly
> interested in Sprint and QWest (which uses Sprint's network).
>
> The problem is that you can't send modem carrier over a digital
> cell phone. The phone implements "AT" commands in order to
> pretend it's a modem for the convenience of user software.
> It's not, however, a modem at all.
>
> It's just passing on digital data that's carried by the
> wireless protocol in use (GSM/TDMA or 1xRTT/CDMA). When you
> "dial up a landline" with a digital cell phone, the wireless
> carrier actually has to connect a modem to a landline at the
> carriers switch and dial the number. The digital data from the
> cellphone is then routed to that modem.
>
> If you're using the wireless carrier as the ISP, then there are
> no modems involved at all: the digital data from the modem is
> simply routed onto the Internet.

I see. So the only ways you know of to get a laptop online with a
cell phone are with a data plan in a digital service area, or with any
Verizon plan in either an analog or digital service area?

- Grant
--
gentoo-user@gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 12-02-2007, 05:46 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default Cell phone as modem

On 2007-12-02, Grant Edwards <grante@visi.com> wrote:

> I don't think so. According to what information I could
> gather, I don't think the other carriers provide data
> connections to dial-up landline numbers without a data plan.

I just googled across something saying that Sprint also
provides a "QNC" minutes-only low-speed data connection. I
don't have the link handy, but googling for "sprint qnc" should
find it.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! Let me do my TRIBUTE
at to FISHNET STOCKINGS...
visi.com

--
gentoo-user@gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 12-02-2007, 05:57 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default Cell phone as modem

On 2007-12-02, Grant <emailgrant@gmail.com> wrote:

>>> Nice, I'm very glad to hear it works so well. I guess
>>> something like that would work even over an analog connection.
>>
>> On a true analog (800MHz AMPS service) cell phone, I've had
>> pretty decent success using MNP5 modems up to about 2400 baud.
>> The standard CCITT error dectection/correction schemes used on
>> landline modems isn't resilient enough for RF links. Good luck
>> finding MNP5 analog modems. Multitech in St. Paul was the
>> last vendor I knew about that sold them, and that was 10+
>> years ago.
>>
>> If you're talking about an analog connection to a digital
>> phone, it just won't work. The Codecs that digital phones use
>> are optimized for human speech and won't pass QPSK (or even
>> FSK) modem signals in a usable manner.
>
> What I meant there was that I should be able to dial up in
> this manner even if the signal is reported to be analog
> instead of digital. Is that true?

I still don't understand what you're asking. Unless you're
800MHz AMPS service, it's all digital. There is no analog
signalling on the network.

If you're using an 800MHz AMPS service, then the "voice"
channel is an analog FM link band-limited to 300-3KHz with C
message weighting (just like a landline phone connection). You
can push an analog modem signal through that voice channel, but
the channel quality varies a lot and you need a really
bullet-proof error-correction scheme like MNP5.

> Are you saying it depends on whether or not the phone is
> capable of 800MHz AMPS service?

I guess so. The carriers are going to shut down AMPS service
soon anyway.

>> It's just passing on digital data that's carried by the
>> wireless protocol in use (GSM/TDMA or 1xRTT/CDMA). When you
>> "dial up a landline" with a digital cell phone, the wireless
>> carrier actually has to connect a modem to a landline at the
>> carriers switch and dial the number. The digital data from the
>> cellphone is then routed to that modem.
>>
>> If you're using the wireless carrier as the ISP, then there are
>> no modems involved at all: the digital data from the modem is
>> simply routed onto the Internet.
>
> I see. So the only ways you know of to get a laptop online
> with a cell phone are with a data plan in a digital service
> area, or with any Verizon plan in either an analog or digital
> service area?

If you're using analog service, you can use any carrier that
allows normal phone calls to access a dial-up modem. You just
need a phone with a phone jack into which you can plug an
analog modem. Motorol "bag" style phones used to have a
accessor that plugged between the handset and the radio which
provided a modem jack. I don't think you're going to find too
many current phones that provide an analog modem jack.

Sprint also apparently has a free low-speed Internet access
service similar to Verizon's "QNC" service. I don't know if
Sprint's free low-speed service allows you dial up a
landline-modem or not.

FWIW, I just plugged my VX4400 into my laptop, and Verizons
low-speed QNC service is still working. There are rumors
that Verizon is about to pull the plug on QNC, but those rumors
have been around for years.

--
Grant Edwards grante Yow! Are you guys lined up
at for the METHADONE PROGRAM
visi.com or FOOD STAMPS??

--
gentoo-user@gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 12-02-2007, 07:03 PM
Grant
 
Default Cell phone as modem

> >>> Nice, I'm very glad to hear it works so well. I guess
> >>> something like that would work even over an analog connection.
> >>
> >> On a true analog (800MHz AMPS service) cell phone, I've had
> >> pretty decent success using MNP5 modems up to about 2400 baud.
> >> The standard CCITT error dectection/correction schemes used on
> >> landline modems isn't resilient enough for RF links. Good luck
> >> finding MNP5 analog modems. Multitech in St. Paul was the
> >> last vendor I knew about that sold them, and that was 10+
> >> years ago.
> >>
> >> If you're talking about an analog connection to a digital
> >> phone, it just won't work. The Codecs that digital phones use
> >> are optimized for human speech and won't pass QPSK (or even
> >> FSK) modem signals in a usable manner.
> >
> > What I meant there was that I should be able to dial up in
> > this manner even if the signal is reported to be analog
> > instead of digital. Is that true?
>
> I still don't understand what you're asking. Unless you're
> 800MHz AMPS service, it's all digital. There is no analog
> signalling on the network.
>
> If you're using an 800MHz AMPS service, then the "voice"
> channel is an analog FM link band-limited to 300-3KHz with C
> message weighting (just like a landline phone connection). You
> can push an analog modem signal through that voice channel, but
> the channel quality varies a lot and you need a really
> bullet-proof error-correction scheme like MNP5.

What I'm trying to determine is, if AT&T or T-Mobile have the type of
service you're describing:

1. will it work in both "analog" and "digital" service areas
2. does the phone need to support anything in particular to use it

> > Are you saying it depends on whether or not the phone is
> > capable of 800MHz AMPS service?
>
> I guess so. The carriers are going to shut down AMPS service
> soon anyway.
>
> >> It's just passing on digital data that's carried by the
> >> wireless protocol in use (GSM/TDMA or 1xRTT/CDMA). When you
> >> "dial up a landline" with a digital cell phone, the wireless
> >> carrier actually has to connect a modem to a landline at the
> >> carriers switch and dial the number. The digital data from the
> >> cellphone is then routed to that modem.
> >>
> >> If you're using the wireless carrier as the ISP, then there are
> >> no modems involved at all: the digital data from the modem is
> >> simply routed onto the Internet.
> >
> > I see. So the only ways you know of to get a laptop online
> > with a cell phone are with a data plan in a digital service
> > area, or with any Verizon plan in either an analog or digital
> > service area?
>
> If you're using analog service, you can use any carrier that
> allows normal phone calls to access a dial-up modem. You just
> need a phone with a phone jack into which you can plug an
> analog modem. Motorol "bag" style phones used to have a
> accessor that plugged between the handset and the radio which
> provided a modem jack. I don't think you're going to find too
> many current phones that provide an analog modem jack.

I don't think I'll have any luck finding a cell phone with an analog
modem jack. Were you using an analog modem plugged into your cell
phone with the service you were first describing?

> Sprint also apparently has a free low-speed Internet access
> service similar to Verizon's "QNC" service. I don't know if
> Sprint's free low-speed service allows you dial up a
> landline-modem or not.
>
> FWIW, I just plugged my VX4400 into my laptop, and Verizons
> low-speed QNC service is still working. There are rumors
> that Verizon is about to pull the plug on QNC, but those rumors
> have been around for years.

I've got to go with GSM. If both Sprint and Verizon offer it, there
is probably a good chance that AT&T and/or T-Mobile do too.

- Grant
--
gentoo-user@gentoo.org mailing list
 
Old 12-02-2007, 07:57 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default Cell phone as modem

On 2007-12-02, Grant <emailgrant@gmail.com> wrote:

> What I'm trying to determine is, if AT&T or T-Mobile have the
> type of service you're describing:
>
> 1. will it work in both "analog" and "digital" service areas
> 2. does the phone need to support anything in particular to use it

AT&T and T-Mobile are both GSM (digital) only. They don't have
any AMPS service. AFAIK, only the older CDMA carriers
(Verizon, Sprint, Alltel, etc.) have AMPS service -- and not
all of their phones will fall back to AMPS even if there is
AMPS service available). Most/all of the AMPS service is going
away soon anyway.

I think that pretty much all GSM phones support data calls (I
could be wrong). Whether or not the network will allow them
without paying extra for a data plan is the question.

> I don't think I'll have any luck finding a cell phone with an
> analog modem jack. Were you using an analog modem plugged
> into your cell phone with the service you were first
> describing?

No. The "free" low-speed service offered by Verizon (and
apparently by Sprint) is all-digital. You just need a phone
and a data-cable. NB: it's possible that not all phones are
data-call capable or that the carrier has disabled that feature
in some phones. The tough part is that at least Verizon's
support for minutes-only data-calls is strictly unofficial. If
you stop at a store, they will claim (probably truthfully) to
know nothing about it. If you call Verizon support, the 1st
line support staff will also know nothing about it. If you can
work your way up a few layers, you can probably find somebody
who does know about it, but even they might not be allowed to
talk to you about it.

> I've got to go with GSM. If both Sprint and Verizon offer it,
> there is probably a good chance that AT&T and/or T-Mobile do
> too.

Could be. If you find out, let us know.

What I do is use Verizon CDMA (far better coverage than any of
the GSM networks) in the US and I have a GSM phone that I use
internationally. You can get good used unlocked tri and
quad-band GSM phones for $20 and up. You can get brand new
ones for $30 and up. I got nearly new used Noka candy-bar
phone that's US-only for $18 off craig's list and a brand-new
quad-band Motorola V190 off ebay for $40. Just for giggles I
have a AT&T pre-paid SIM for my GSM phones so I can use them as
backups in the US.

--
The other Grant


--
gentoo-user@gentoo.org mailing list
 

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