Using Pandora With My Phone As A Modem


prairiefire

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Okay, so one thing i'm interested in is being able to connect to the Interweb when i'm on the road. My cell phone has fairly decent coverage and i'm able to browse online with my phone using Opera Mini (which is quite awesome btw). Also, over the holidays, I was left without a computer for most of it, and thus had to do a lot of web stuff via my phone. What I think would be quite slick is to be able to use Pandora for browsing the web while i'm out of wifi range.

So, my question is (after seeing this on the news) is how do phone carriers know that you're "abusing" their service by using your phone as a modem? Is it only because of the volume of data being transferred?

I know that web browsers for mobile devices do not transfer data at a large rate (and this I assume is largely dependent on the bandwidth you can get from your phone) so if I were to be able to use my phone as a modem for browsing the web on Pandora (we'll assume i'm not downloading movies or music or files, etc) would I be at risk of being detected?
 

icurafu

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Just read the conditions. It may say $10 for unlimited*.

Which might really be 1GB with 15c a KB after that.

If your telco say unlimited with a usage policy, it means that if you download too much, they will just cut you off and you'll need to reapply with a pay plan.

I would just avoid it. In my case, I've got 3G for free from work thanks to a contract with the local telco. But I'd find it easier just to do this on my work laptop, rather than putting the sim card into a 3G phone and connecting to a Pandora via USB and then getting the configuration right.
 

woogal

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They won't know unless you start downloading huge amounts, which can be quite easy to do without realising if you've got HSDPA in your area. Using your phone as a modem is fine if you only use it for basic browsing, or if the company you work for will happily pay your bill because they want you out there in public showing the world how great mobile working is ;). I'd hate to think what my data bill looks like for an average month.
 

prairiefire

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haha. Thanks guys.

Edit: Actually, for anyone who has a "unlimited" mobile browsing plan on their phone (whatever that means) and i'm not talking about using a PDA, since they fall under different rate plans for me, just a regular web capable cell; how much data do you use a month? I used 13.4338 MB last month.

Edit 2: Just noticed that on my bill, for Bell Canada, the limit to my unlimited mobile browsing is 12 MB. Then I paid $0.06 for the rest it seems....
 

woogal

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A lot of telcos these days have a browsing addon where you pay an additional fee to get a certain amount of mb, then pay per mb (or sometimes per day) after that. For example, on Vodafone in the UK you can pay an extra £7.50 to get 120mb a month, if you use all of that up you pay £1 a day for an extra 15mb, and if you go over the 15mb in a day then they hit you with £2 per mb (that's the point where it becomes dangerous).
 

prairiefire

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icurafu said:
lol. 12MB = unlimited.

But 5c a MB is ok for mobile phone browsing. It would be nice if the first 12MB was 5c a MB as well. It might be worth looking at the more limitful unlimited plans. :D
Ya, it's retarded... along with dealing with Bell Canada. I'll be giving their customer service a call soon and see how it works out with their billing.
 
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prairiefire

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PokeParadox said:
I get 1GB per month for £5...
Here in Canada, Telecommunications companies get away with a license to print money. If I didn't get the "unlimited" mobile browser plan, i'd be paying $10/MB.

From Bell:

Your phone comes equipped with Mobile Browser, ready to use. Unless you subscribe to Unlimited Mobile Browser or a Fun bundle, you'll be charged 5¢ per kilobyte (KB) on a pay-per-use basis when you surf the wireless Internet.

Some rate plans include Mobile Browser Lite or Mini Mobile Browser (100KB of browsing each month).

If you plan to download games, music, TV and similar content to your phone, we recommend a subscription to the Unlimited Mobile Browser service or a Fun bundle.
 
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magicman5421

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I find it pretty funny that most of these "Unlimited" plans are actually pretty crappy compared to what you could pay for dirt cheap internet. no download limit and you can get 100KBPS pretty cheap...
 

prairiefire

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They are pretty crappy plans, I agree. There seems to be a lot of discussion on various cell phone forums about the lack of transparency with these companies and their bills.

So I called customer service and although the person had no idea why my limit was listed as 12 MB, I wasn't charged $0.06 for the extra 1.43 MB. THAT charge was for the 2 seconds that I connected my phone to my computer as a modem (using DataPilot). I didn't download anything, and only had it connected for as long as I needed to see that it worked (which was literally 2 seconds). So, with just those few seconds, they were aware that I hooked my phone up as a modem. I guess this means that they don't detect connecting your phone as a modem based on your rate/volume of data transfer.

So, in the end, it's not worth trying to use my phone to connect Pandora to the world since that usage is not covered under the "unlimited" mobile browser plan and will be really expensive.
 

woogal

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Hang on, these days with gprs you don't pay for data by the minute. How exactly did you try getting your phone working as a modem? Did you use the gprs connection on the phone or did you enter a phone number?
 

prairiefire

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woogal said:
Hang on, these days with gprs you don't pay for data by the minute. How exactly did you try getting your phone working as a modem? Did you use the gprs connection on the phone or did you enter a phone number?
Entered a phone number. Here are the steps I took.
http://www.susteen.com/UserGuide/dataconnect.htm
 
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woogal

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Can't see bell canada on that page so I don't know exactly what number you might be entering, but if you're dialing an isp with a normal phone number then it more than likely has nothing to do with your carriers data bundles/charges - you're making a gsm connection instead of gprs, which is basically a normal phone call and will use your minutes. The usual way of doing it is to enter *99***1# as the phone number instead, which will tell the phone to connect using it's first data connection (sometimes you have to keep changing the last number until you find the one that works). Or you can use *99# and enter the gprs apn into the dial string.
 

finisterre

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It'd be nice to be able to surf via mobile phone on the Pandora, but I'm not sure how we'll do it.

With no Bluetooth, we're stuck with USB cable, but I doubt my phone will have drivers that can run on Pandora.

Although there is a new utility for Windows Mobile 6 phones (such as my HTC Tytn) that turn the phone into a wifi router. The only thing is I'd imagine having wifi and 3G active on the phone will kill the phone's battery.
 

Shiny

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finisterre said:
It'd be nice to be able to surf via mobile phone on the Pandora, but I'm not sure how we'll do it.

With no Bluetooth, we're stuck with USB cable, but I doubt my phone will have drivers that can run on Pandora.

Although there is a new utility for Windows Mobile 6 phones (such as my HTC Tytn) that turn the phone into a wifi router. The only thing is I'd imagine having wifi and 3G active on the phone will kill the phone's battery.
Use a Bluetooth USB dongle or SDIO card.
This has been discussed over and over :/
 
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