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Untangle Internet Tethering for Your BlackBerry PlayBook

Although it sounds like you’re tying down your BlackBerry PlayBook, the act of tethering actually opens it up to use of (in theory) any smartphone’s cellular data stream for access to the Internet. That’s a good thing, but it may not be a workable (or affordable) solution for all users.

Here’s the inside skinny:

  • Some cellular providers may block their network from this sort of second-hand browsing. Others may apply extra charges — which can be substantial — for such use. Their rationale is that a tablet like the BlackBerry PlayBook consumes a great deal more bandwidth than the screen of a small smartphone. Bottom line, though, is that they want to find ways to get more money out of the pockets of their customers.

    Before you attempt Internet tethering, I strongly recommend you contact your cellular provider and discuss the data plan in place for your smartphone.

  • Internet tethering, when you’re roaming in a foreign country, can be extremely expensive and usually isn’t covered in any way by a domestic “unlimited” data plan. If you choose to go ahead and use Internet tethering, you need to know which of several Bluetooth profiles the phone uses. The information should be available in product documentation or in online specifications.

  • The Bluetooth DUN (dial-up networking) policy must be enabled. If you’re working with an IT department, they may have to allow this; otherwise, contact your cellular provider and hope for their help.

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