How-To: Use your EV-DO Pocket PC phone for internet access

You're flying through the new Engadget WAP site, but you want to see all that new hardware on the big screen while you're out and about. And let's face it, chances are there's no WiFi hotspot in range, and you haven't justified that new ExpressCard with EV-DO just yet. Don't worry, we've got you covered. In today's How-To, we'll show you how to share your HTC Apache's EV-DO internet connection with your laptop. We're going to focus on the XV6700 by Verizon, but one can re-apply some of these techniques to other devices.

Wether you're running Windows or OS X, we'll show you how to connect via EV-DO with Bluetooth or (gasp!) tether with a USB cable to get full speed access. (Unfortunately, OS X fans are limited to Bluetooth unless they're running Parallels.) First we'll cover using USB to connect with Windows XP, then move on to Bluetooth for Macs, and finally, put them together with Parallels.

Before we can do anything, we'll have to enable WModem (the Bluetooth and USB Dial up networking app) on our Verizon XV6700. Despite having Internet access on our EV-DO phone, we have to pay Verizon extra to teather. We had to call Verizon and pay extra to teather with our Verizon account. Yeah we know, it sucks.

To enable the features we need, we dialed ##3328873 and hit talk.

We enter the not so secret code 000000 on the unlock screen.

Now one at a time we select BT DUN and Wmodem and click Edit at the bottom left of the screen

Then we select Enable from the drop down menu, complicated huh?

Hit ok a couple of times to finish making the changes.

Hit OK just just one more time to soft reset our device. What's that you say? Reboot Windows Mobile? Yup.

Any time we want to use the phone as an EV-DO modem, we'll have to launch the Wmodem program. Of course, it's hidden. Whip out File Explorer and pull up the Windows folder. (select show all files in the menu) and we'll find the super secret program we need. Make a shortcut to Wmodem and place it inside the Windows/Start Menu folder. Now we'll have easy access to the modem feature when we need it.

Bluetooth is glorious in its cable free wonder, but unless you're rocking full Bluetooth 2.0+ EDR on both ends, in order to get full EV-DO speeds, we need a USB cable. Now we'll need a few files from the CD that came with our phone. Grab the Verizon CD, pop it into your Windows laptop and navigate to X:\OEM\APPS\Drivers\CDMA USB Modem\ and copy CDMA USB Modem.INF and CDMA_USB_Modem_Dialer.exe to our desktop. (Sorry OS X fans, there are no USB Modem drivers for you, but we got you covered in a bit.)

We need to make sure our phone isn't transmitting when we try to use it as a modem so we have to use Comm Manager to stop data service.

On our phone we launch the Wmodem application from the start menu, select USB as the connection type and hit Start. If you get an error it's because you forgot to stop data transfers, try turning the radio off and back on to make sure.

We plug the 6700 into our Windows XP machine and when the driver window pops up, we direct it to use the CDMA USB Modem.INF (If we don't have WModem running on our 6700 the correct device won't show up in Windows and our device will try to sync instead.)

Once the device is installed, and WModem is running, double click on CDMA_USB_Modem_Dialer.exe

Fill in the fields with the following:

  • Username: (Put in your phone number)

  • Password: vzw

  • Dial: #777

  • Modem: CDMA USB Modem

Click Dial and you should see the windows notification that we're connected. (Nightmare flashbacks of dial-up still haunt us.)

Mac users have two options: Bluetooth under OS X or USB, but only if you're running Parallels. (There's no native USB driver for OS X) Again, until Bluetooth 2.0 really starts to show up in handsets, it'll limit your connection speed.

After we've set up Wmodem, we set the phone to be discoverable via Bluetooth. (Don't leave this on)

On our Mac, under Bluetooth system preferences, we choose Set Up new Device
Click continue on the first page of the BT wizard then choose any and hit continue, NOT PHONE!

During the wizard we will be offered a one time passkey.

To finish setting up the connection, use your keyboard of choice to enter the key into the phone.

Next we verify Access the Internet with your phone's data connection is selected and hit continue.
We could choose to use our phone as a headset too, although we don't know why anyone would.

Fill in the fields

  • Username (Put in your phone number)

  • Password vzw

  • Dial #777

  • au cdmaOne Bluetoot adaptor Modem

We need to make sure our phone isn't transmitting when we try to use it as a modem so we have to use Comm Manager to stop data service.

Now that we're setup to connect on our phone, we launch the WModem application, choose Bluetooth from the connection type drop down and hit Start. If you get an error it's because you forgot to stop data transfers, try turning the radio off and back on to make sure.

Open up Internet Connect on our Mac. Choose the Bluetooth pane and hit Connect. (Later on you might want to add this to your menu bar - then the data connection is just a click away.)

If everything is good , we're rewarded with the connected screen. If we get an error it's usually because the data connection is being used by something else on the phone. The quick fix is to stop any other data transfer on the 6700 and reconnect.

To get a feel for our success, we pulled up one of those handy speed tests. Bluetooth is pretty slow, so it limits our connection speed to around 150Kb/s and EV-DO teathering runs the phone battery down pretty quickly.

Right now there's no USB Modem driver for the 6700 on a Mac. But thanks to Parallels, we can run a virtual machine and use the Windows driver. (With this trick we can leach power over the USB port and get the high speed access we crave.)

To get things going, we're running Windows XP under Parallels. Before launching our XP Virtual Machine we go into the VM properties

Switch the NIC from bridged to host only networking. (not required, but default doesn't work)
Hit OK and power on the VM. (Make sure you're on at least Parallels build 1862, which fixes many USB bugs)

Once the XP VM is booted, we launch WModem on our phone and choose USB, then press Start.
Then plug in our USB Cable.

Verify that Parallels has control of the USB device by clicking on the USB logo on the bottom right of the Parallels window, and look for the check mark next to the device.

Scroll up and use our Windows instructions to configure the USB Modem device and the dialer.

USB Modem Properties

Once XP is connected to EV-DO via USB, go to the connection properties by right clicking on the connection icon on the status bar near the clock and choose properties, then the advanced tab.
Select Allow other Network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection.

Open up the network preferences on the Mac and check the settings for the Parallels Host-Guest Adapter. If it's set to DHCP, we should have an address in the 192.168.0.x range

A quick check with a speed test reveals that we're enjoying full speed EV-DO access. As a bonus, we can charge our phone at the same time.

Now, once you throw Bluetooth DUN and certain other hacks into the equation you'll wind up with a lot more ways to get your laptop online with your EV-DO phone -- if you've got some more hacks, please, do leave them in the comments! Still, we think this is a good way to get you started if you're ready to take on the challenge of ExpressCard / PC card-less 3G on your laptop.