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# 176937 16-Jul-2015 16:57
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For many years I have used a mobile broadband dongle for internet access when travelling (and no ready free wifi). Usually one just gets a pre-paid data SIM from a telco, plug the USB device into the computer and away we go ... and the data count grinds its way down with usage.

What I'd like to know is, what happens if the same SIM is put into a smart 'phone, which in turn is tethered to the computer (via USB cable).  

Does the 'phone merely act just like the modem/dongle, or does being in a 'phone invoke different charges because the telco's system now thinks its making voice calls as well as data?



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  # 1345607 16-Jul-2015 16:59
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The phone just acts as a router. 

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  # 1345616 16-Jul-2015 17:05
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You get charged the same per MB rate as if you used data from the phone or USB dongle directly.  Have a look at your mobile data plan to figure out what those charges are.  Voice calls don't come into the equation at all, unless you make them at the same time as you are connected to the internet.  This assumes you are in NZ and not roaming overseas somewhere.





 
 
 
 


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  # 1345619 16-Jul-2015 17:06
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It can depend on where you are. When I was in the UK five years ago I had to buy a dongle because Three's system was set up to force you onto a voice plan if you put the SIM in a phone. It'll pay to check the specifics before you go.



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  # 1345644 16-Jul-2015 17:13
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Thanks guys ... given that the phone acts as a router and charges stay the same now seems obvious because the number dialed (*99# is pretty universal as I recall), and the APN is all controlled by the applet on the computer?

Grant:  I think we should ban you posting those temperatures tongue-out

R.

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  # 1345649 16-Jul-2015 17:18
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Rickles: Thanks guys ... given that the phone acts as a router and charges stay the same now seems obvious because the number dialed (*99# is pretty universal as I recall), and the APN is all controlled by the applet on the computer?

The APN etc is all included in the mobile network settings on the phone.  I don't think the *99# is used in most smartphones because they establish their data connection in some other way rather than simulating dialup.

By the way, it's much easier to share your phone's internet connection via WiFi than using a USB cable.

Grant:  I think we should ban you posting those temperatures tongue-out
R.

Yes it has been a lovely sunny day with warm temps which is very nice after the record-setting run of frosts we had last week!







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  # 1345711 16-Jul-2015 19:21
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Ahhh, actually the point here is that I have recently disposed of my usual laptop, and have been using one that is loaded with Linux ... that means some tortuous rigmarole is required to get a suitable connection app installed (the auto-install on the dongle won't do it) ... I have done it before with Vodafone Lite for Linux, but the Valium count got quite high.  
With a Mac or Win machine you just shove the dongle in and it automatically installs the connection app.

So, what I originally thought of was buying a 3G modem/wifi router, and then thought maybe the spare smart phone would do the same job.

I figure that by using the SIM, the dial-up number, and APN embedded in the connection app, is what tells the telco I am using internet/data only.

Will test my theory out tomorrow <G>.

R.


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