HSDPA on the PC over Bluetooth v1.2 and v2.0
Before we got into USB connection sharing, we tried a Bluetooth personal area network (PAN) first. While it worked completely flawlessly under Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit (we didn't even need to install any drivers and it made an active and working connection in about 10 seconds flat!), we soon discovered Bluetooth was not the best method of connectivity.
With one of the Bluetooth hardware devices we were using (Gigabyte GN-BTD02 USB Bluetooth version 1.2 receiver), we were limited to a 723KBits/s (about 90Kb/s) maximum connection speed, which is perfectly fine if you intend on using a slower mobile phone network data connection such as GPRS or EDGE, but for 3.5G it just won't cut the cheese and hence should not be seriously considered - especially since literally all computers have USB ports these days.
Due to the inherit connection issues with Bluetooth 1.2, we only managed a maximum of 360KBits/s (about 44KB/s) through our Chunghwa Telecom SIM HSDPA data connection - and that was with the phone and Bluetooth receiver so close together that they were basically touching each other. If you were to pick up the phone and walk around in the vicinity making a call, the connection speed will degrade, as we tested.
For some further testing, we paired the 503G phone up to an ASUS notebook using Windows XP SP2 and a Bluetooth version 2.0 receiver. The connection speed under the newly created local area network was 3Mbps, which while not perfectly ideal, is a better option than the previous for what we are covering here today. We saw inside office download speeds of almost 600Kbit/s (75KB/s) in the late afternoon, which is indeed much better. It does show that if you intend on using Bluetooth for this setup, you should try and opt for a Bluetooth receiver device which is at least version 2.0 or 2.1. Keep in mind though that the UBiQUiO 503G phone only supports Bluetooth 1.2, but as we saw in our testing the faster connection still makes a difference to overall download speeds nonetheless.
As far as online gaming goes (or wherever latency is important), the results were not too bad, but nothing at all impressive. Pinging the same server as our speed tester, we saw the latency ranging from 110ms all the way up to 350ms, with the typical latency being around 260 - 270ms... and that is to a local server. From that we can conclude, online gaming is out as the lag would be too high. We pinged some servers in the USA (including our very own) and the latency was around 750ms.
Since I have an inquisitive mind, I went about trying to find out whether or not you could have two devices (in our case - 1 x PC and 1 x notebook) sharing the single Bluetooth HSDPA internet connection from the 503G. After pairing up both devices and trying to make them both connect at the same time, we quickly discovered that you can only have one computer sharing the connection at a time. The error message is above. This could be a limitation of the Internet Sharing application in WM6 or a limitation of Bluetooth technology; we are not 100% sure on that at this stage. Write in to us if you know the answer!
USB connection results follow on the next page.