How to configure T-mobile GPRS to work with Mac

Mac to GPRS

OK, so I got a new UMTS enabled phone, a Nokia 6233. I got a Dutch T-mobile flat rate internet subscription for € 9,50 a month over GPRS (not as fast as UMTS of course but definitely cheaper). Now I want to use my MacIntosh powerbook running OS X 10.4.7 to go online via my mobile phone over a bluetooth connection. T-Mobile states on its website that using GPRS to connect an Apple to the internet is not possible/supported, but I found out how ;-).

First set up internet access on your phone:
1) On my Nokia, you can set up internet access under Settings > Connectivity > Packet Data > Packet Data Settings > edit active access point > Packet Data Access Point. Fill in “internet” (that’s the access point – or “APN” – T-Mobile uses). Make sure you’re able to browse the internet with you phone.

Now set up your MacIntosh to use your phone to connect to the internet
1) In Mac OS X, choose the Bluetooth panel from the System Preferences. Set up Bluetooth preferences to sync your phone to your computer (I’m not gonna explain that here in detail, just run the Wizzard). Choose the option “Acces the Internet with your phone’s data connection” and tick the box “Use a direct, higher speed connection to reach your ISP…”
2) In the second tab “Devices” of the Bluetooth preferences panel click the button “Edit Serial Ports…”. Add a port and make sure the Device Service is set to COM-1 and the Port Type to Modem.
3) In the third tab “Sharing” of the Bluetooth preferences panel, choose “Add Serial Port Service”. Set the type to Modem, and tick both boxes underneath saying “Show in Network Preferences” and “Require Pairing for Security”.
4) Now open your “Internet Connect” preferences panel from the system preferences. Go to Bluetooth. Fill in at Telephone Number: *99# (for my Nokia that is, Siemens & Motorola: *99***1#, Samsung: *99**1*1#, all other phones also need *99#). I filled in under Account name: guest, and as passwd also guest. Choose Show modem status in menu bar, if you like quick access to this connection.
5) Hit connect et voila, you’re online!

You can check whether you’re connected by typing in “ifconfig” in the terminal. It should say something like this:

macmichiel:~ michiel$ ifconfig
….
….
ppp0: flags=8051 mtu 1500
inet 84.241.202.139 –> 10.6.6.6 netmask 0xff000000

Speed over GPRS isn’t all that bad, I did a test downloading a big file over a nearby FTP connection:

macmichiel:~ michiel$ curl -O ftp.surfnet.nl/pub/DIRLIST
% Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current
Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed
3 49.0M 3 1995k 0 0 38437 0 0:22:18 0:00:53 0:21:25 50751

Speed is > 50000 bytes/sec = over 40 KB/s, something I wish I had just a few years back :-D. Quite cool all this, now I am able to get online everywhere, provided there is GPRS coverage.

3 Replies to “How to configure T-mobile GPRS to work with Mac

  1. Thanks for that piece of advice. I\’m just waiting for t-mobile to bring out a data card that is compatible with mac. Vodafone brought one out recently. I\’m already a t-mobile customer so i\’ll wait for a while longer however will switch to vodafone if they dont get a move on.

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