May 24, 2006 spout

T-Mobile Smartphone Fun Facts

A coupla weeks ago, the AT&T wireless cell phone reception at my house went through the floor. I called up the nice folks at Cingular and they guaranteed me that my reception would improve if I moved my old AT&T account to Cingular (Cingular owns both, after all). When that didn’t work, I went to the mall, signed up for T-Mobile, went to my house and, when the reception was much better, had em move my phone number over. Since then, I’ve been moving my smartphone along with me (I have a QTEK 8500 on order, but my Audiovox 5600 is still the greatest thing to happen to me since my first laptop). Here’s what I’ve found:

  • To get the data working (assuming you’ve selected that account option from T-Mobile), set up a GPRS connection that connects to the internet and uses” as the Access Point (no user name, password or DNS addresses). There’s no need for a proxy connection, but make sure that your IE connection options use the internet as its network (I mistakenly had it set to WAP at first).
  • To use the phone as a modem for use in connecting to the internet, pair the phone w/ your computer using Bluetooth (make sure to put the phone into discovery mode so that Windows can find it) and then use the new COM port that Windows adds (COM4 on my machine) to set up a dial-up network connection, using *99#” as the phone number (no user name or password). I get this working when I called T-Mobile and they walked me through the setup, even though the Audiovox isn’t a supported phone and the tech support guy had no documentation on one.
  • This isn’t phone related, but once you’ve got a T-Mobile data plan, you should be able to use WiFi from your laptop at a T-Mobile HotSpot by using your 10-digit phone number as the user name and the last 4 digits of your SSN as your password (I haven’t tried this yet, but I plan to!).

Theoretically, I should be able to use ActiveSync via Bluetooth, but I haven’t figured out how to make that work yet.

So far, I’m loving T-Mobile, not just cuz of the rates and the features, but also because they seem to understand that some folks aren’t going to want to be stuck with the phones that they sell and they actually help you make them work. T-Mobile’s not the biggest network, but apparently that makes em try harder. Recommended.