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Mobile Internet Connection

Find information and FAQ's not related to the parks, like Health & Safety, 4x4 etc.
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Meandering Mouse
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Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:25 pm

Arks, there are some cell phones with 3G access. I do not have one, so I had to take out a contract with my cell phone service provider. They provided me with a 3G card and a 1gig bundle that connected me to the net.

It seems my first mistake was to think that I would receive a warning about exceeding my cap limit.

With my fixed line ADSL, I have had an automatic cut off when I have exceed my cap limit. This is not the case with my cell phone provider, as it seems to work on a completely different system.

I think I will have to take PaulE's advice and have my computer's settings checked. Something was/is very wrong.

I will give feedback for the benefit of those who might need to make use of the same system. Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes. I will also enquire about the best way to set up a system and avoid this kind of disaster.
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arks
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Unread postby arks » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:40 pm

Thanks for the feedback, MM 8) My phone does (I think?) have 3G access as I can browse the internet and check my email on my phone with my Vodacom SIM, but with the small screen that's not great, so I'm hoping to be able to use my laptop as well this trip. Good to know that there can be risks :( . I also think that I can switch off the wireless connection on my laptop when I am not using it? :?

Good luck with sorting out your problems, MM! I'm sure I'm not the only one who will benefit from your experience — positive as well as negative!! — and feedback. 8)
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wingman
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Unread postby wingman » Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:37 pm

Hi 3G is not critical for the parks as most of the camps dont have 3g but do have GPRS connectivity which is much slower, most cell phones work with gprs as a standard feature so you can connect your laptop via blue tooth to your phone and use that as a modem when travelling for basic email etc. If your laptop does not have blue tooth buy a cheap USB blue tooth dongle +/- R75.00 load it and synchronise it to your phone and you are able to do what ever you need.

It is cheaper to use data bundles to do the email etc so you simply buy additional airtime as you cannot convert contract airtime, load it on your phone and then convert it to a data bundle via your service provider. dont but too bigger bundles as they expire after 30 days even on contract bundles there is no carry over.

Remember you will be able to recieve calls when your phone is physically connected via bluetooth doing email etc but you wont be able to make calls while physically connected this way. when the internet link is switched off your phone will work normally

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:16 pm

Thanks, Paul, that's very interesting. However, my phone does not have bluetooth, while my laptop does :? My laptop has a built in modem, plus bluetooth. Will the laptop's built in modem pick up a wireless signal from my phone? Clearly, I am quite confused on how this works! :?
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wingman
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Unread postby wingman » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:17 pm

Hi Arks
In theory if you have a modem in the laptop you should be able to connect via a cable to your phone and dial into a web service provider the problem being you would need a local service provider due to cost to link to the internet unless your overseas service provider can provide you with a local number to use while out here.

I have connected this way before using a USB connection via my laptop and the software provided by my phone company.

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:50 pm

Thanks, Paul, all very confusing. :? My phone is a Palm Treo (600) and with my pay-as-you-go Vodacom SIM I can access the internet on my phone, but it would be a LOT easier if I could access that signal somehow for my laptop — the small phone screen makes anything beyond the most basic internet almost impossible :( . But it's better than nothing when I need it!
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Klystron
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Unread postby Klystron » Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:55 am

Hi,
I have just read this thread and I think there may be a little misunderstanding in the last part. If the computer is linked by cable to the phone, the Internet connection will be using the phone as a modem in much the same way as you would use a dial up modem from your home. the phone therefore is the device that is connected to the Internet but the display used will be the computer screen. This will appear as it always does at the normal size.

If the phone is used alone the the phone display will be used and it will be small on normal Web pages. You would need to scroll to see all parts of a page.

I have tried both methods in the KNP and they both work. Some of the MTN (my Service Provider) towers support GPRS on the phone which would give you the fastest speed.

The Blue Tooth connection would be used instead of the cable to connect the computer and phone together (my normal connection method as it is one less cable to forget). Blue Tooth would NOT provide the connection to the internet.

Hope this helps a little.

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:52 pm

That is very interesting, Klystron, many thanks!! Unfortunately, my phone is not bluetooth, so that's not an option. Can you tell me what sort of cable I would need to connect my phone to the laptop?. And would I connect to the internat via the phone as usual, but the display would be on my laptop as well? That would be cool!! :dance:
RSA 2015
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8-15 July Mountain Zebra
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Meandering Mouse
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Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:02 pm

Arks, I have a E270 USB modem. It connects to my laptop through the USB port. Everything was provided in the package. The modem is pretty good, but the infra structure support is still being developed to get the optimal speed. I did find it rather slow at Kruger and a lot slower than my ADSL line at home.
I use MTN as my service provider and pay for a monthly bundle.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:45 pm

Thanks, MM. I know about those USB modems, but my laptop has a built in modem. I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to use that built in modem with my cell phone, but it sounds complicated at best. :(
RSA 2015
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30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
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Klystron
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Unread postby Klystron » Sat Jul 19, 2008 5:29 pm

Hi again, Elsa spotted your further query and has been on at me to reply. The cable to connect phone and computer should have been supplied with the phone. It will normally be a USB connector on the computer side and a manufaturer specific connector on the phone side. It can be used normally to back up your phone directory and usually charges the phone while connected. Should you not have this cable you will need to buy one from the agents for you make of phone.

Hope this helps.

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:26 pm

Thanks Klystron — and Elsa! :wink: I do have that sort of cable and will experiment to see whether I can use it for an internet connection with my laptop 8) Perhaps ask the Vodacom people if they can help me with it once I'm in SA.
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Unread postby ecojunkie » Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:10 pm

Further bit of clarification.... If you use your cell-phone to connect then you are using the sim card in your phone - but the USB or data-card connections that Vodacom or MTN provide take a separate sim card (or you can use your existing one).
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arks
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Unread postby arks » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:01 pm

Thanks, ecojunkie, that's useful info! So I can get the USB modem from Vodacom and just pop my SIM out of my phone and into the USB modem? That would be an easy solution, I'm thinking, for the somewhat technologically challenged?? :wink:
RSA 2015
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30 June-8 July National Arts Festival, Grahamstown
8-15 July Mountain Zebra
16-22 July Cape Town
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16-28 November Cape Town
29 November-20 January Darling

wingman
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Unread postby wingman » Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:35 pm

Hi Arks
the modems in from vodacom etc are only given free with contracts or else they cost about R2000.00 so your cable will be the best option the software should have come with the cable and your phone or down load it off the web.

You wont get any better speed from the card modem to your phone the speed will be the same.


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