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Is a Data Connection Required to Use a Bluetooth Enabled Cell Phone as a Modem?

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Question: Is a Data Connection Required to Use a Bluetooth Enabled Cell Phone as a Modem?
Answer: Using your cell phone as modem is normally referred to as "tethering" by the cell phone service providers and using it to dial into your ISP is commonly called "DUN" (Dial Up Networking), both can be prohibited by cell phone service provider unless you have a data service plan.

A data connection is required. You will need a data service plan from your carrier in order to use the Bluetooth enabled cell phone as a modem.
There are a variety of data plans available:

  • Unlimited
  • Limited by Data Transfer Amount

Until you really know how often and how much data you will transfer, it is probably best to go with a data plan that has a higher limit. While initially this may seem more expensive, it could be cheaper in the long run than having to pay for overages on a data plan because of a few big files or emails.
Check with your service provider to see what the rules are regarding changing plan types or if you will be locked in for a certain time period by a contract.
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