Using Sprint PCS internet (PPP) via Samsung SPH-A680 w/ USB cable

If you use Sprint PCS and you have a Samsung SPH-A680 handset, you can likely use your phone to dialin to the Internet from anywhere you receive a reasonable (2-4 bars) Sprint PCS signal. Depending on your account, your usage may be unmetered (ie: vision plan) or may consume minutes as if the connection were any other phone call. I can receive SMS (text) messages while I am dialed into the Internet through my handset, but I cannot make calls or send SMS messages. You only need to install the necessary driver and dial into the Sprint PCS PPP phone number (see below).

First, you will need to purchase a compatible USB cable (generic) at your local Radio Shack for $10-20. When you connect the phone to your system, Windows XP will fail to locate a compatible driver. I managed to find a driver (9x,NT,2k,XP) that works with the Samsung SPH-A680. Download and extract samsung-sph-a680-usb-drivers.zip, then point the hardware detection wizard toward the extracted files. Windows XP users may receive a warning that their driver is not signed. This is normal and can be ignored.

You do not need to install a proprietary dialer. Once the phone is recognized by Windows as a USB modem, create a new PPP dialup internet connection that uses this modem and dial into “#777” (#ppp) with any username and password. This Sprint PCS dialup number does not seem to require authentication.

While connected to the internet through my Sprint PCS phone, I experienced 300-400ms ping times to google.com. Although I did not run any type of bandwidth tests, my max throughput seemed to range from 32-64k (seemed comparable to 33.6k – 56k dialup).

2006/06/26 – Jason Klein

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