Recently the S10-2 IdeaPad netbook was announced and the prospect of a 3G option, sounded pretty intriguing to me. I plan to compare the ease of use and set up to my recent experiences setting up my T61 ThinkPad and 3G Nokia phone as a connection to the Internet just as soon as I can get my hands on one. For benefit of those who have thought about using their 3G enabled phone as a modem, I thought I'd share my experiences.
I registered with Celcom Broadband which is one of the internet service providers in Malaysia. I had two choices - either to utilize a USB data card or a 3G mobile phone and SIM card as modem. So, I elected to register to get a SIM card without a year contract, and easily swapped it into my 3G mobile phone, a Nokia 6120 Classic. So, I did not have to spend more to purchase a USB data card which costs about RM 499.
I clicked through the Celcom site to review their plans. I would expect carriers in other countries to offer related services. Next, I verified that the company's coverage area included the places I planed to use the system and needed connectivity beyond wireless or wired at work, home, or the local wi-fi hot spots. I filled out the online form and checked the coverage map and expected signal strength for my intended locations.
After selecting and the carrier, I needed to configure my T61 to talk to my Nokia 6120 Classic. I accessed the Nokia site, and followed the navigation prompts to select my phone and download.. A list of system requirements and what Nokia PC Suite version is compatible for the system are provided in the home page.
I checked my system and OS version requirements...
I found my model of phone from the list, and found that it supported both XP and Vista, so I was all set. I downloaded and installed the software which took several minutes. The guidance for the installation could be referred here.
Nokia PC Suite installation step by step– I updated to the latest version as recommended
After install, and the requisite restart for changes to take effect, I observed the new icon on my task bar.
The Nokia PC Suite icon is grey until a connection is made, after which it looks like this.
Next, I chose my modem and network carrier ...
I then proceeded to the final step, clicking the bi-directional arrow icon...
All in all, utilizing a 3G mobile phone as modem connected to laptop is not a bad way to access Internet virtually everywhere. If you already have a 3G enabled phone, this set up might make a workable alternative to using a USB data card.
Once configured, I could connect to Internet anywhere there was coverage available during my day -home, office, library, even on the train.