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Verizon Cellular Phone Modem

Update July 31 2012: The Shared Data plan voids my update from 2/2008. 🙂 The VZW software required to use the MiFi tethered sets up a modem with the #777 phone number, so that number is apparently still valid and the username and password is still correct. (I didn't test it and have no idea how slow it might be.) Some of the information between here and QNC setup is incorrect, depending on your cellular plan.

Update 2/2008: The newest Verizon plans charge for data by the megabyte for all users, there is no longer an option to spend minutes for data usage. On the positive side, once you upgrade, you don't need to pay extra ($5 or $15) for Mobile web access from your cell phone. It's 1.99 per megabyte, or about 50 pages, which is a better deal for lite users.

Note also that the following may be a violation of the Terms of Service for some plans.

Most Verizon cell phone models can be used as a modem provided you have the right equipment – specifically a "null modem" cable or card. (Update: newer phones can be tethered using just a USB cable).

You can get a modem cable for your phone from Verizon, the phone's manufacturer, eBay, Radio Shack or other electronics stores. When you buy the Mobile Office Kit you'll get software and a null modem cable for your phone.

Using the QNC (Quick Connect Network):

Install drivers for the USB cable, if needed, and for a modem. For QNC, install a generic 19,200 modem driver.

If you don't use the Verizon software to configure your modem and DUN

Your connection should be completed within a few seconds and you're on the Internet.

Using Express Network

There is a lot of confusion over the Express Network. Beginning with all new accounts setup after June 1, 2003, free Express Network access is provided for all 3G capable phones. If you have an older plan and own a 3G phone, call Verizon and ask for an upgrade. They are working on adding it to all accounts – by the time you read this, it might be enabled on your phone and you don't know it.

If you don't use the Verizon software:

It takes seconds to connect to the Internet.

If you have problems connecting, you may need a modem init string. If varies with the phone — search groups; or visit the alt.cellular.verizon newsgroup for the correct initialization string for your phone. As a last resort, call Verizon for technical support.

You'll need two DUNs — one for QNC and one for EN if you want to save your username and password.

Verizon is working on upgrading their network and it's expected that Verizon will end the QNC service in the future, leaving EN service only. If coverage is as good as QNC, that's not a bad deal, unless you own an older phone. But hey, there's always the New every Two plan.

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