The first thing you need to do is check with your cell phone service provider to see if your current phone is capable of being used as a data modem. Just because it can download ringtones and Web pages does not mean your phone has the horsepower to provide full Internet access to your laptop.
Once you have a data-capable phone, you need to add a data plan to your voice service. Prices for data plans range from $10 per month for minimal access to $80 for unlimited, all-you-can-eat data transfer. After signing up for a data plan, your mobile phone service provider also becomes your wireless ISP and will probably assign you a username, password, and Access Point Name (APN). I show you what to do with this information later in this chapter.