Tethering my Nexus 7 to Nokia E72

I’ve recently (following a saga of customer service that was shockingly awful) received my Nexus 7 tablet, and I rather like it. But of course, there’s no 3G, as many reviewers have noted.

That shouldn’t, I thought, have been much of a problem – I’ve managed fine in the past using my iPod touch, tethered to my Nokia E72, which runs the JoikuSpot hotspot app. So, thinking it would all be fine, I fired up JoikuSpot, and tried to connect to it from the Nexus.

No dice. And it turns out after searching online that the reason is that Android simply doesn’t come, out of the box, with the ability to connect to an ‘ad-hoc’ wifi network, which is the sort that JoikuSpot creates (since it can’t do an ‘infrastructure’ mode on Symbian phones). I’ve never had that problem with other devices, like the iPod, or my MacBook, and even a Windows laptop – they’ll all happily talk to an ad-hoc network. But Android won’t, unless you root the tablet (ie open up access to the underlying OS) and do some manual tinkering – and, the Nexus 7 appears to be so new that so far no one’s actually made that work, though you can solve the problem for earlier Android devices that way.

No problem, the phone has Bluetooth, and again, I’ve successfully managed to use it as a modem in Bluetooth Dial Up Networking (DUN) many times, with various different computers.

But, here too there’s a problem. Android doesn’t support the Bluetooth DUN profile – even though it’s been around for years – and instead wants to use the PAN (Personal Area Network) to connect, and the E72 – in common with quite a lot of other phones – doesn’t support that. So, again, it looked like no dice.

Fortunately, a bit of Googling turned up the solution. It’s called BlueVPN, and you’ll find it in the Play Store, in versions for Ice Cream Sandwich and earlier. I’ve installed it on my Nexus 7 and it works pretty well, allowing me to run some – but not all – apps that need a net connection. Bluetooth isn’t going to be as fast as using WiFi (though given the speeds I experience via Orange’s mobile data network, I’m not sure I’ll notice much difference), but it should be less harsh on the battery.

How to get going

Obviously, you’ll need to have paired tablet and phone beforehand, via the control panel; it helps if, on the phone, you set the tablet as authorised. Then download and install BlueVPN, and you’ll see your phone listed in one of the slots on the main screen.

You can just tap the name of your phone to connect, but that probably won’t actually work right away; instead, tap the settings option, and in the ‘GPRS options’ section of the screen tap Access Point and enter the internet access point name (APN) for your mobile network – for Orange it’s orangeinternet. You don’t need a user name and password for Orange; other networks may vary, and you can find a list of APNs here.

There’s one other tweak I had to do to make things work – that was ticking the option ‘LCP Compatibility’, without which the tablet didn’t manage to connect properly, so if at first thing don’t work, try that. I didn’t need to change anything else – though I have ticked the box to turn off Bluetooth on exit.

My email (ProfiMail) and web browser (Dolphin HD) both work fine when connected this way; so too does the Facebook app, Plume, Chrome, FlickFolio, eBay, ZipCar and other apps.

However, the Guardian, Netflix and Ocado apps report that I don’t have an internet connection, as does SpeedTest.net’s app. So, either there’s something in the way that BlueVPN sets up the connection, or in the way that those apps check for one, that means they won’t work in this way.

But, if you just need to check a few things quickly, when you don’t have WiFi available, but you do have a phone in your pocket that supports Bluetooth DUN, then BlueVPN seems like a very useful thing to install on your Nexus 7.

74 Replies to “Tethering my Nexus 7 to Nokia E72”

  1. Nigel, you’re a genius for working this out! It took a few tries, but my Nexus 7 is now tethered via bluetooth to a Nokia E71. My mistake at first was to use the “access point name” from the E71 connection menu instead of what’s termed the “connection name.” So, in my case, the access point in BlueVPN is defined simply as “(name of evil telecom) Internet” with capitals and a space between the two words (unlike your orangeinternet example.) Many thanks! Jill

  2. Hi – can anyone help me with tethering on my e71 on three?
    I’ve paired the devices, and installed bluevpn, but nothing will accept that I’ve connected and can’t refresh any internet apps.

    1. Have you checked for the access point name that you need to use? One of the links I’ve mentioned should give you the right details – though it’s possible that they may be detecting tethering and blocking it.

      Does BlueVPN get as far as saying that it has connected or not?

  3. Hi Nigel – yes, I can pair it, and connect, and then I can browse the internet fine using Chrome, but I can’t get any of my apps to recognise that I’m connected – i.e. I can’t refresh my Hotmail inbox, or get the Facebook app to refresh. I suppose, as you say, that certain apps won’t update, but it’s an alternative option.

    Have you made any progress in getting apps to recognise the connection? Is there some setting that I need to change?|



    1. I’ve not found any settings that help with the apps so far, I’m afraid. I suspect it’s something that may need tweaking per app, though also worth checking to see if any have a setting that tells them only to connect when using wifi

  4. You made my day Nigel.
    When I decided to buy nexus, I did it assuming that I cud use joiku to tether to my Nokia e71. So was worried when it didn’t work. Then I saw your post. Thank you

  5. Damn I never set up something so fast. Just installed BlueVPN on n7. Turned bluetooth on on e71. Paired devices. Changed APN in settings. Checked LCP compatibility and I was done!

  6. Thanks for this – it worked for me on a N900 after I put the DUN support on. However, my connection to vodafone UK only works with “LCP Compatibility” turned off

  7. Hmm, seems it doesn’t work for me on my C6-00 🙁 I cannot get any connection via BT from Nexus to the mobile. Tried many APN names without success 🙁

  8. Yes, I tried many combinations of all options without success. It simply does not connect at all. pairing was fine, but bluevpn tries to connect for 1/2 secs and doesnt do anythimg.:'(

  9. I was trying to do the above between my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and my Nokia E72. I think I am in the same shoes as Thorsten. I can’t connect via Bluetooth. Pairing went fine – I can see my phone in my Galaxy Tab’s settings panel as “Paired” and I can also see my Galaxy Tab in my phone’s “Paired Devices” – Set as authorised. I Installed BlueVPN all right onto my Galaxy Tab. The trouble starts when it comes to connecting. Using Blue VPN I tap my phone’s icon to connect and for around 1 second I can see on my phone an icon signalling bluetooth connection – after which the icon on the phone disappears and no connection is being made. Also, BlueVPN “Pairing Request” screen (it’s already been paired???) with password prompt disappears, too. I have tried “three.co.uk” and “3internet” as an access name but I think the trouble started well before it came to establishing APN name. LCP on and off – no difference. Is there anything that could be tried to solve this???

    1. Weird. I’m using a E72 as well. Have you set the tablet as authorised on the phone, after the initial pairing?

      There are also some variants of the number to dial, such as *99*1# which may be worth trying.

      Finally, sometimes a power cycle of the BT devices can help reset the Bluetooth radio if it’s not behaving

  10. Nigel, I have set the tablet as authorised after the initial pairing. I can see that “Dial up phone number” showed up as *99***1# by default. I have tried what you said but I still cannot connect both devices via bluetooth. To make more sense out of it I have tried my old Nokia 6220 classic. Pairing process went fine again. When it came to connecting via BlueVPN it was the same story all over. Not possible to connect via Bluetooth.
    Maybe there is something entirely wrong with that “Samsung Galaxy Tab 2” tablet… both my phones pair and connect to my car’s handsfree kit without any problems..

  11. Oh.. do I need to switch on DUN support in my phone? I have no clue if there is such option in E72 and if so… where to find it..

    1. No, you don’t need to enable support on the phone; it should work pretty much as-is.

      It may be worth trying some of the other variants of the dial string – you can try *99***1#, *99***2# and *99***3# – the 1, 2 or 3 species an ‘access profile’ but it’s been so long since I had to change that, I honestly can’t remember what that is, but it’s worth a try.

  12. This is pointless. Nothing I do makes any difference. Galaxy Tab 2 will not connect to Nokia E72 via Bluetooth. Only half a second or so attemp is being made each time after which the “Bluetooth Pairing Request” screen vanishes and all I can see is BlueVPN main screen with my Nokia E72 listed but not connected – even though I have just gone through pairing process successfully through settings in Galaxy Tab 2.
    I thought maybe “3” Network blocked it but then I have checked other phone with european SIM card inserted and the same thing happens. There must be something wrong with Galaxy Tab 2.. evil thing.. should have gone for a 3G one.. if I only had an extra £100 to spare..

  13. I meant Galaxy Tab 2 pairs to Nokia E72 via Bluetooth when you go through Settings in Galaxy Tab 2. Both devices are paired. But they will not connect via Bluetooth through BlueVPN.. sadly

  14. I think I have BlueVPN for ICS (whateevr that means) and I have Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 on Samsung Galaxy Tab 2..

  15. Yesssss !
    Done it. Well, not completely but I have managed to connect via Bluetooth through BlueVPN. All that was needed to do was to update Android system in my Galaxy Tab 2. So far I was using it straight out of the box – as I purchased it brand new few days ago. It just occured to me that maybe it needed some updates. It did indeed.
    Now I still cannot use internet but I suspect this is where fine tuning takes place.. do I use “3 internet” “3internet” “three.co.uk” or anytning else as a APN name. Then there is dial up number… but I am sure this will eventually work. I am so happy I can now connect those devices that the rest does not scare me… 🙂

  16. Works well with Nokia E6 and Nexus 7. Usually have to cycle the bluetooth on/off with the Nexus but once going it’s great. I think it uses less power than Joiku and hence did us a favour.
    It is pleasingly fast!

  17. Nigel you are the best!

    My nokia 5800 with nexus 7 works perfectly. I have found lots of people looking for a solution like this.

    Thank you very much for your article.

    People like you makes this world a better place

  18. Well done Nigel – works well with the new samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, GT-N8010, Nokia E-72 and Orange, at least I have web access now. Though the e-mail program doesnt see that there is a network connection via Bluetooth. I need to do some more staring at screen to work this out!! (unless anyone has clues?)
    This is my first tablet and nobody seems to mention when looking or reviewing tablets this “elephant in the room” of not being able to connect with ad-hoc wifi networks – I don’t want to “root” my machine or “hack” it in any way, we shouldn’t need too, the manufacturers should enable this particular anomally as standard after all these are meant to be “mobile” devices after all aren’t they??

    Anyway, many thanks Nigel, your a star!

  19. I have tried several things the last days. I enabled logging and now I finally receive an error:
    “Fail to connect to BT device, please turn off Bluetooth; is not a valid Bluetooth address.”
    Hummm….. I turned it on and off several times on my Nokia C6 and my Nexus, rebooted both devices – without success. Played around with options in the settings – no change.
    Might it be possible, my nokia C6 is not able to accept this kind of connection while my car’s BT device can connect without problems?
    Any further idea?

  20. Unforunatly, maps also report there is no data connection, as does android pul down notification area. Other apps has connection. I’m guessing apps that work does not rely on android and just tries to connect anyway.

    1. I that what’s happening is many apps check to see if there is a wifi connection, rather than checking to see if they can reach the internet. And I guess there’s no way for a well-behaved app to fool Android into thinking that there is a wifi connection. Which is annoying, and means some apps just won’t work this way.

      I’m not familiar enough with the internals of Android to know if this is something that an update to the Nexus could fix (ie, by reporting a connection available when a VPN is established) or if it would need individual apps to be updated to work when there’s no WiFi.

  21. Hi guys.

    I have a competability problem with my Nokia X6. When I try to pair with the nexus 7 starting with the X6 there’s a warning that the devices is not compatible.
    When I initiate the pair from the Nexus the BT logo on X6 shows a connection is there, but I cannot see the connection anywhere to list the nexus as trusted/authorised.
    The phone transfer shortcuts will just try and set up another connection, discontinuing the existing one.
    The BlueVPN keeps negotiating with modem forever with no difference when I try single AT commands, insecure sockets, LCP compatibility.
    The AP name is correct, so what else can I try ?

    1. You definitely do need to have the phone number in there, otherwise the phone won’t know how to initiate the connection; APN and phone number both have to be correct – as well as the default, try some of the other alternatives that I’ve mentioned earlier in the thread

  22. Just discovered another ‘tab’ in the BT, which did allow me to define the Nexus as authorised.
    Regretably same difference for the modem negotiating flashing blue and red continuously.

  23. Thx Nigel
    Instead of trying to back-trace all of my setting change attempts today I uninstalled the app, reinstalled an then only changed the access point name, and…. ta daaaah !!
    Great stuff. Although not everthing works and claims no internet connection available, it a small step for man, but a major step for mankind.
    Now we can kill the time, until someone comes with an android update fixing the ad hoc access point restriction.

  24. Worked first time with my HTC TP2, been looking for an answer to this issue for a while and amazed how easy it finally was. Gograts to all.

  25. Nigel,

    thanks for the help. have my Nokia E72 connected to the Google Nexus 7. have web and email working.

    throwing you positive karma from Istanbul!

    thanks a lot.


  26. Many Thanks Nigel.

    I am able to connect net my Asus Infinity TF700T with Jelly Bean and Nokia C6-01 with Belle Symbian without any setting.
    Just connecting after pairing both devices.

    Dilshad Ahmed

  27. Thanks Nigel.
    I was about to give up trying to tether my Nexus 7 to my Nokia e71 when I came up on your post. Connecting the Nexus 7 using BlueVPN could not be any easier. I did not even have to change any of the default settings.

  28. Thank you so much! I paired right away after reading your post and now my T-Mobile HTC HD2 and my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 are working perfectly on Bluetooth! Crazy easy…all default settings! Like you said, no Netflix, but I can deal with that! I have everything else I need and it is definitely fast enough. You have made my day!

  29. that’s great! it works like a pie! you are genius man! web works because of you.. the kind of creative people! hats off man!

  30. your article is great!!! it is working! it took me days to configure my e71 to connect on my nexus 7 but unfortunately i’m out of luck until i saw your article.. maybe a part of the issues you were saying is i cannot download images from my gmail but i can live with that. and also play store is not downloadable with this method. but thanks so much!

  31. Thank you for your support. This thing is great. Sometimes my N7 was just a piece a plastic, or an e-reader, nothing more. Not any more !

  32. I am able to connect to the internet as you advised but most of my apps like chess.com app and epocrates as well as downloads from google play store report that I am not connected. Is it possible to get them online aswell

  33. Hi
    I am using nokia c7 and I am getting the same error as Thorsten-
    “Fail to connect to BT device, please turn off Bluetooth; is not a valid Bluetooth address.”
    My N7 is upgraded to ICS 4.2.1 but still I am unable to connect.

  34. Thanks Nigel,

    Works with my Nokia 5800 chrome. I purchased Joikuspot specifically to enable a wi fi hot spot connection it works well with my laptop but not with the nexus 7 I recently purchased so you have pointed me to a reasonable solution without having to fork out more cash.

    Top man!

  35. Por favor necesito conectar por bluetot mi tablet bq curie y mi nokia n97 para tener conexión de internet en la tablet. Saludos

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