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Connect Cell Phone to PDA/Handheld
Due to the thousands of possible combinations of cell phone models, notebook PCs, PDA's, data cables, infrared / bluetooth connections, and various cell service networks, we can only provide a general overview on what is required to connect your PDA to the Internet using your cell phone as a modem.

The Basics:
1. Confirm 'CSD' capabilities of your cell service plan.
2. Establish connection between cell phone and PDA.
3. Configure dialup networking to dial BAMnet's modem.

If you are connecting your cell phone to a notebook computer, see our Cell to Notebook section.

The Details:
1)Confirm that your cell phone service provider allows for fax/data type connections on your cell plan. Please note that we are not referring to high-speed wireless data services, or SMS (simple messaging services). We are referring to your cell service plan's ability to transmit a "fax" type of a call connection which for years has been widely accepted as part of cell service plans. This feature is typically referred to as CSD (circuit switched data).

Notice: As of January 2006, all new Cingular cell plans permantly block CSD. If you have an older Cingular account (pre 2006), you will need to call them and ask to have CSD enabled for your cell service plan.

To test and determine if your cell service plan has CSD enabled, see the Tips section at the bottom of this page.

2) Establish a connection between your cell phone and PDA. The most common connection types will be either bluetooth or using a data cable between your cell phone and PDA.

Bluetooth connections are usually simpler to manage and don't require the purchase of additional equipment. However, using bluetooth versus a data cable will drain the battery life of your cell phone and PDA faster then if using a datacable.

Data cables usually can be found on the cell phone manufacturer's website, not the website of your cell service provider. Or, you might find it discounted on these websites:

If your PDA supports USB, then we strongly recommend purchasing the USB version of the data cable. Otherwise, you will need to find a cable specifically connecting your cell phone to your PDA. If your PDA does not support USB, you might find a USB adapter plug providing the ability for your PDA to accept USB cables.

Cell Phone/PDA Combos don't require bluetooth or a datacable. Simply select 'Cellular Line' as the modem type when creating a new dialup connection with-in the Connections menu.

3) The next step is to configure your computer's dialup networking by creating a new connection. Follow our directions in our configurations page (find operating system at left). During the process of creating a new dialup networking connection, you'll need to choose the modem type. There are usually 4 options which include Bluetooth or Serial datacable on a COM port. Choose the modem option which best describes your connection type.

When ready to connect to the Internet, initiate the new dialup connection by tapping on Dial. On a PocketPC, this would be through the connections menu, select the new dialup connection you created and tap on Dial (or connect). Once connected, open the Internet browser built into your handheld / pda and browse the Internet.

If you are new to using your PDA for browsing the Internet, you will notice most of the major websites, such as yahoo or google, will automatically adjust the screen size to support your smaller screen. Expect to see less graphics, and more text.

Does my Cell Phone support CSD? Here is a trick you can try to see if your cell service plan supports the ability to dial a data connection such as a fax (or BAMnet's modems). Follow the steps above for connecting a data cable and installing a new modem, or use the bluetooth option between your cell phone and PDA. When configuring a new dialup networking connection, set the number being dialed to a phone sitting near you. In essence, you are configuring your PDA so that when you tap "connect" to start the dialing process, at least you get to hear the phone near you ring. If it does in fact ring, then you know your cell service plan supports data connections. Otherwise, if the phone near you does not ring, then it's either your cell plan does not support data connections or you improperly configured the data connection between your cell phone and PDA. One item to watch is the screen of your cell phone. When you tap "connect" on the PDA to start the dialing process, you should see the number being dialed on the screen of the cell phone. If there is no activity on your cell phone, its likely that the data connection is not configured properly. If the screen of your cell phone does light up with the number being dialed but then immediately drops the connection and your local phone never rings, that usually indicates the cell service plan does not support CSD (circuit switched data) connections.

What can I do if my cell service plan does not support data connections?Call your cell service provider and let them know that you have been trying to send faxes using your PDA connected to your cell phone. Ask for the feature CSD (circuit switched data) to be enabled. Do not mention you would like to connect your cell to an Internet modem as they will then tell you that CSD is not available. As you can guess, they would like to sell you their own high speed Internet services for between $45 - $80 monthly fee.

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