Three Internet (GPRS) with Sony Ericsson k608i and GNU/Linux

One massive annoyance with last week’s trip to the L2SE conference was the terrible state of WiFi access in London. I’d actually paid a little extra for first class on the home trip because it gives access to Paddington’s Victorian Lounge which says “It also has workstations with access to the Internet”.

What it doesn’t say is that the workstations are desks not computers, there’s no wired ethernet and the wifi is Extortionate ISP The Cloud at the cost of £4.50 an hour. Alternatively, you can pay through Orange at £6/hour or more reasonably through O2 at £7.50/month. I was carrying two mobile phones, but not an O2. Why is Paddington so backwards? Bristol Temple Meads has U2com free wifi access through Dashi sushi bar (note it’s not National Rail or First Great Western) and fon which was about £3/day last time I used it. £4.50/hour seems a really terrible deal to me – I’ve used cheaper internet cafes than that and they have to maintain actual hardware. If that fee really reflects their costs, The Cloud must be a pretty wasteful operator.

So I finally got GPRS working on my phone. Essentially, it was the same as described on Dave Stevens site and davesource, with the exception that the k608i already knows the connection settings, so the AT+CGDCONT line can be removed completely, as mentioned on Of Linux, GPRS Phones, Serial Cable, Irda, Bluetooth and USB, by Mikko Rapeli – otherwise the phone replies ERROR and the connection fails. It also needs the guest * guest line in the pap-secrets file and a matching user guest in the gprs options file.

Another TTLLP member tells me that later phones offer NAP service and that pand is much simpler than pppd/gprs. I’ll find that out when I get a newer phone, I guess. Someone else suggested ip-over-dns to punish The Cloud for their silly fees, but is that legal?

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