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Summary:

The practice of using a cell phone with high speed internet access as a modem for mobile PCs is called tethering. Most cell phones can be tethered over Bluetooth, a convenient method that doesn’t require a physical cable connecting the two devices. Verizon has the best […]

The practice of using a cell phone with high speed internet access as a modem for mobile PCs is called tethering. Most cell phones can be tethered over Bluetooth, a convenient method that doesn’t require a physical cable connecting the two devices. Verizon has the best high speed connectivity to date with its BroadbandAccess service based on EVDO but they have never allowed tethering to cell phones, instead relying on selling a PC Card-based service for $60 per month. They go out of their way to disable Dial-up Networking (DUN) on their cell phones to prevent mobile workers from tethering to their phone. This past week Verizon has leaked word that they will soon allow such tethering on four of their phones with EVDO- the LG VX9800, LG VX8100, Motorola RAZR V3c, and the Motorola E815. Consumers will need to purchase a $60 per month data plan that will allow unlimited high-speed internet connectivity using either the phone alone or tethered to the mobile PC.

While it is good that Verizon is finally acknowledging that providing what consumers are demanding is a good thing, in typical Verizon fashion they have limited how this service can be used. Currently, none of the EVDO smartphones like the Treo 700w can be tethered under this plan, a fact likely to anger their customers who have spent a goodly amount on such phones. Perhaps they will incorporate more of these phones under the tethering plan in the near future. Verizon also decided to prohibit such tethering over Bluetooth and instead restrict it to using a USB cable to physically connect the phone to the mobile PC. This is a continuation of Verizon’s fear of allowing their customers to use the more convenient wireless Bluetooth method for tethering, something they have even been sued for. The bottom line is this is a half step forward for Verizon data customers. Maybe one day they will wake up and realize that enabling their customers will help create the type of customer loyalty they don’t currently enjoy. Maybe.

(via PC Mag)

  1. I have a Verizon Blackberry 7250 that allows me to connect to the EVDO network through a cable (unlimited data and voice through work). It would be excellent if I could use the Bluetooth capability of the Blackberry to connect to my Ipaq hx4700… I’ve been scouring Howard’s Forums to see if anyone has been able to do this. Have you heard anything?

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  2. Roger McIntosh Sunday, February 5, 2006

    All posts that I have seen on this refer to the PCMag item, but that does not provide a link to Verizon and there is no mention on the Verizon site (that I could find).
    What was the original source?

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  3. I’ve been “abusing” my e815 via Bluetooth tethering and I’ve got to tell you, I think Verizon made the right call. Motorola’s bluetooth stack is not very reliable. I found myself yanking the battery out of the phone daily to keep the bluetooth working with my LE1600. One would also need to press the end key on the phone every so often to allow reconnects (when the end key doesn’t work, you get to yank the battery). USB tethering is stable.

    In addition, via USB I’ve gotten 1Mbps. No way can you do 1Mbps over bluetooth 1.2 since it tops out at 721Kbps (raw, one must add overhead to that for encapsulating the IP in it).

    Best I’ve seen via Bluetooth is around 500Kbps, and that with the same phone, in the same place, where I can get 1Mbps via USB.

    But of course people are free to think of them as a big evil corporate giant. But I don’t think they wanted all the support calls.

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