iPhone and Mobile Broadband: How-To

Yes, the iPhone isn’t 3G. No, that doesn’t mean you can’t get an iPhone to work with 3G data.

One key feature that many missed was that the iPhone carried Bluetooth 2.0. That means, if you’re an EV-DO-loving or a UMTS-cruzing person, you can still have your iPhone and keep your speedy connection.

How’s that you say? Both UMTS and EV-DO are now shipping Bluetooth 2.0 phones that support tethering their internet connection to another device. iPhone will be able to sip web from another device just as easily as it does from Cingular’s network.

There are positives and negatives to this solution. The largest positive is of course, keeping the wireless broadband connection you’ve known and grown to love. The largest negative being that you will have to pay the non-contract cost for iPhone. While $700 ($900 for the 8 GB version) may seem hard to swallow, consider this; HTC’s Omni, a competing device, will likely retail for over $1000 without contract.

Somewhere in between the mania and depression (wallet-wise) of having iPhone on a non-GSM carrier (UMTS or CDMA) is the notion that you will have to carry two phones. For most, this is a small problem. Phones as small as 10mm are already touting EV-DO/UMTS and Bluetooth 2.0. Meaning, you won’t have to break a hole in your pocket to use the iPhone and another device. Not to mention the benefit of putting a prepaid SIM in your iPhone and having a backup device.

The iPhone has dynamic connection switching. That means it will first try the built-in phone, then Wi-Fi, and finally Bluetooth 2.0. Turn the built-in phone off, and guess what? Your iPhone will happily hop onto Wi-FI when available, then call out to your Bluetooth phone to hop on the web.

This is nothing new for many tech savvy users. The Nokia 770 internet tablet operates in a similar solution, simply lacking a built-in phone. Even more tech savvy users have found new life in older GSM PDAs (such as the Siemens SX66 and HTC Blue Angel) by loading them up with new software… while tethering to a Bluetooth phone.

In short, to those who refuse to buy iPhone because they’re on Sprint, Verizon, or T-Mobile… you don’t have to dump your carrier to get iPhone.

4 responses to “iPhone and Mobile Broadband: How-To”

  1. WMWifiRouter Gives 3G to iPhone, iPod, And Anything Else | PhoneNews.com

    […] downplayed PhoneNews.com’s previous reporting about adding 3G to iPhone via this methodology, before iPhone was released. However, hundreds of iPhone and iPod touch users have asked us for a […]

  2. danfa


  3. phil

    link dead http://www.phonenews.com/content/view/1736/9/
    please update, thank’s

  4. Christopher Price

    While this article is pretty old, we did go ahead an update the links.

    Note that our more recent coverage clarifies the situation. You can use this method… but you have to use a Wi-Fi sharing option on your phone, as linked in the first trackback at the top of the comments.