Bluetooth Group Slates Dongle Use


A “Ditch the Dongle” campaign has begun in order to convince users to use their Bluetooth-enabled handsets to connect to the internet

A Bluetooth group is calling for users to stop wasting money by using their dongles to access the Internet whilst on the go, but rather to use their mobile phones instead as the gateway for mobile broadband.

The Bluetooth SIG has launched its ‘Ditch The Dongle’ campaign after a study in Sweden showed that two-thirds of the 500 consumers surveyed who are currently using 3G dongles for connecting to the Internet, are interested in saving money by connecting through their mobile phones instead.


More precisely the study from web research firm Cint found that 27 percent of users are using a 3G dongle or modem, and among those 67.2 percent were interested in saving money by connecting directly through the mobile phone instead.

According to Bluetooth SIG, not only is it less costly to add a data plan to an existing mobile phone subscription, but it is also more convenient than carrying around a separate dongle.

“Bluetooth Technology saves consumers up to 40 percent on monthly Internet access fees,” said the specialist interest group.

“By leveraging the convenience of Bluetooth wireless technology for their mobile Internet connection consumers can avoid the costs associated with the purchase of a separate 3G modem and the restraints of the standard 12-24 month required subscription typically used in many European markets,” said the group.

It cited research among four major Swedish carriers which found that consumer savings was up to 40 percent when using a mobile phone as a Internet access point compared to a 3G dongle with subscription.

The group has created a website, located here, to help users figure out how to use their mobile phone as a modem, rather than using a dongle. It includes step by step instructions in what can sometimes be a tricky process.

The group says that it is typically done by making Bluetooth discoverable (i.e. visible) on the mobile handset, and then creating a PAN (Personal Area Network) connection from the computer by accessing the Bluetooth functionality from the control panel. This assumes the mobile phone is Internet capable and configured for direct Internet access. Of course, having a 3G phone would help matters as well.

“We hear from a lot of consumers that it is difficult to see what way of mobile connecting to the web is most convenient and affordable”, said Anders Edlund, Marketing Director for the Bluetooth SIG.

“As we found that it was indeed very difficult to compare apples with apples, we asked an independent study to analyse the situation for us,” he added.

Author: Tom Jowitt
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