Accessing Internet in Greece using Linux, Nokia E61, and a Vodafone data plan contract

The aim is to be able to connect my laptop to the Internet over the cellular/wireless networks in Greece at a reasonable price and speed.

I am using the following configuration:

  • Dell D630 laptop
  • Nokia E61 phone
  • Ubuntu Linux 8.04

I signed up for a SIM-only contract with Vodafone. Price is 30 Euro/Month and includes 5GB of free usage a month. You need a credit card and passport to sign up and must be resident in an EU country. The contract can be cancelled at any time. Therefore this arrangement is suitable for short term visits.

I wanted to use my normal phone as a modem to avoid extra equipment (although this may not give maximum performance). The Nokia E61 works fine with the data-only SIM -- you can not make voice calls but data works fine. The laptop can connect to the phone via bluetooth so not even an extra cable is required.

Bluetooth connection of phone and laptop

This is the bit which allows you to get away without any cables.

Configuration is in fact extremely easy. To connect the laptop to the phone acting as a modem, you can issue the following command:

rfcomm connect /dev/rfcomm2 00:12:99:99:99:99 2

This command connect channel two of your E61's bluetooth interface with the virtual serial device /dev/rfcomm2 of your laptop. You need to replace 00:12:99:99:99:99 with the address of your own phone. You can find out the addresses of phones within range of your laptop by issuing the following command:

hcitool scan

Alternatively, it is possible to arrange for automatic binding of the phone's bluetooth channel with a serial port device by editing the /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf file and inserting something like:

rfcomm0 {
bind yes;
device  00:12:99:99:99:99;
channel 2;
comment "Bojan's E61";

(Again, you must change 00:12:99:99:99:99 to actual address of your phone).


  • Sign up to a SIM-only data plan contract that can be cancelled at any time
  • Insert SIM into your phone. No voice but you can do data
  • Connect phone and computer via bluetooth
  • Make computer route network traffic via phone using the wvdial program.