Non-gprs Internet access options without wifi (cel-dialup)

Justyn Butler justynbutler+openmoko at
Fri Jan 12 22:17:15 CET 2007

> Maybe something small enough to clip on a belt.  Then connect to it
> through bluetooth and have it connect to wifi and redirect network
> traffic.
> I am sure its possible.. Has anyone ever heard of anything like that?

Something like this DID exist, the PX20:

Launched in 2002 by a company called Possio, it seems to have instantly
faded away, despite plenty of hype when they unveiled it. Possio don't make
anything particularly similar any more (  It "allowed
Bluetooth devices access to WLAN networks" and looks as though it was based
on an embedded Java web server, and was apparently pretty cheap. It wasn't
quite ideal - relatively compact but not comfortably pocket-sized, and
although it has an internal battery it was designed to plug into the mains
most of the time.

As for something available today, there's this seriously OTT option:

The "mobile broadband gateway" is a "slim, pocket-sized" router that creates
bluetooth and wifi networks and bridges them to a UMTS-TDD data network, so
that your bluetooth and wifi devices can connect to a UMTS-TDD network
wherever you go. It doesn't say that it could bridge wireless and bluetooth
connections together but it's got all the right bits so I bet it could be
made to.
I don't know anything about it but it looks very, very expensive.

I haven't spotted anything feasable on the web. It's worth bearing in mind
that wifi is a considerable power drain, and bluetooth isn't that great
itself, so I'd imagine this device would have to have a fair-sized battery,
and would need to be recharged frequently. However, it would certainly be
possible to hack something together by taking any embedded Linux project
with USB (ie a gumstix and adding wireless and
bluetooth dongles, then setting it up to bridge the two connections. Gumstix
aren't cheap though.

I reckon modding a wireless usb dongle to be internally powered is the way
to go.


ps something went wrong sending the first time, so apologies if anyone has
received this message twice.
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