Monday, May 26, 2008

Access the internet with your iPhone using Globe EDGE

One major gripe I had with the iPhone was that it was primarily a WiFi phone which meant no WiFi: no Internet. Well, WiFi is great because of its speed, but there are times when you need internet access in a hurry and a WiFi signal is nowhere to be found.

Back when I had the Nokia N80 Internet edition phone, I tried using its internet capabilities through Globe. It was especially built to work with Yahoo!. It was great and all, with my Yahoo! mails being downloaded every so often, and with YM capabilities as well. But much to my astonishment, my phone bill skyrocketed to 4 times my monthly limit! My phone got disconnected, and it took a while to get my basic phone services on line. I was paying my internet access by the kilobytes then, and after that I became weary of internet access through the mobile phone.

A couple of weeks back, I learned that you can now access Globe through EDGE through a time-based scheme. This was the system being used by Smart, and my colleagues said it was practical because you know hoe much you are being charged for.

How to configure the iPhone for Globe internet access:
- send TIME to 1111
- you will receive a "processing" reply text, followed shortly by "thank you for shifting to TIME browsing ... yadda yadda"
- Charge is 5 pesos for every 15 minutes browsing. If you use up only 5 minutes though, you are still charged the fixed rate. I believe this is where Smart has the advantage; their system bills you by the minute.

- next, go to "Settings", "General", Network, "Edge"
- type internet.globe.com.ph at the APN field

Go back to the main screen, fire up your browser, and you're ready to go!

I was quite happy with this development, when I realized that there was still a question left unanswered... how do you turn EDGE off? Since it is now time-based, once you start browsing, your time starts too. And there is no off switch here!

I searched for a way to turn it off. One suggestion was to go back to the EDGE setting, delete the APN entry, then reboot the iPhone. But of course it eventually becomes a cumbersome task. I soon discovered a way though, through a software application.

to be contimued...
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