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. hi to all of you guys out there, i managed to tether my galaxy tab 2 7.0 wifi through a samsung non-android phone. it works! messed around with some of the settings, but i finally made it, through trial and error, but it works. and i’m so glad you helped me guys do it, it’s so relieving, ’cause i was working and searching to tether using wifi till last midnight, still no joy and then i found you. thanks again.

  2. MANY THANKS INDEED… so helpful… and wonderully clear instructions… for a non technical person like me!
    I have been trying to connect an unlocked O2, HTC HD2 to my Nexus 7, in oder to use an “all you can eat” data plan with Three… and this is the first time I have been successful. I successfully downloaded the app you suggested and it worked first time., again thanks!

  3. Why my X6 cant work with it?
    It said, Your device does not support VPN connections Cannot create interface.

  4. Has anyone got this going with a Telstra Australia E72?
    The BT pairs nicely, the tablet is set as authorized and the phone shows in the tablet BT list.
    I tried the suggested dial string changes as well as LCP on and off, all without success.
    On the E72 I went to Control Panel, Settings, Connection, Destinations, Internet, Telstra Internet, which shows connection name “Telstra Internet”.
    Also tried “telstra.internet” from Packet Data details.
    Initially, the message I saw was “modem negotiating” followed by “connection unsuccessful. ip address=null”.
    After rebooting the phone (and later the tablet as well) I now get “Fail to connect to Nokia E72-2: read faield, socket might closed or timeout, read ret:-1”

    Any ideas?

  5. Why has my query on australian Nokia E72 disappeared?
    It was waiting for moderation yesterday and now it’s gone?
    Was it something I said? Puzzled.

  6. Fantastic you have made my evening. E72 and Lenovo S6000. Had to rename my BT, re-pair and reboot the phone but it worked in the end. For Orange I set authentication to none.

  7. Great post and great comments. Really helped me tether new nexus 72 2 2013 to my nokia e5. Thank you so much.

  8. For those who ran in to Friedrich’s problem like me, changing the DUN service channel from 0 to 2 worked. I’m pairing an IdeaTab A1000 to a Nokia E71.

  9. It’s working fine with my E72 today in the late December 2015. BlueVPN version 2.6 is functioning well on the latest Android 6.0 on my Nexus 7 2013.

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