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Getting connected with your mobile

This page is intended to provide help, advice and links for people having trouble getting their mobile phone, smartphone or PDA to make a connection to WAP, Web, email or MMS services.

This is intended as a beginner's troubleshooting guide. If you're looking for settings and configuration help for specific devices, see the links on the left. For general help and suggestions, read on...

Can't connect?

The majority of the messages we get to this site are from handset users who are having problems connecting to online services from their device. Assuming that you've checked the obvious (such as making sure your phone is getting a signal, and if connecting with a PDA, Bluetooth or IR are in range and turned on), it's almost always one of the following three things that's to blame. Try to work through the following to narrow down the problem:

1. Service not enabled

It could be that you're trying to use a service that your Network Operator (e.g. o2 or Vodafone) hasn't enabled for you. Check the following:

  • Is your SIM card 'data enabled'?
  • If connecting using GPRS, has GPRS been enabled on your account?
  • For picture messaging: Is MMS enabled?
  • For email and web: You'll need to have full Internet service enabled. (o2 help)

To get a service enabled, you need to contact your network operator's Customer Services team. Hint: Don't take their word that a service is actually enabled. Sometimes the 'enabled' signal takes a while to make it through, or they enable the wrong service... Check again!

2. You're using the wrong settings

Some of the settings are quite complex, and a tiny slip or typo is all it takes for the whole thing to break. On this site, we list settings for the main UK operators, and offer step-by-step walkthroughs for a selection handsets (see the links on the left), but we can't hope to even cover a small selection of the available UK phones. Hopefully the settings we've provided will be of use: GPRS | WAP | MMS

Many network operators and handset manufacturers offer a service to send the settings direct to your mobile - Where possible, this is the best option for making sure nothing gets wrongly typed. Try the Nokia Configurator.

3. You're using the wrong type of service

Another common problem is there you're trying to do something that you're not able to do. When you connect to a mobile phone data service, you'll connect in one of two ways: using a dialup account (with a telephone number), or more commonly, using a GPRS APN (APN stands for Access Point Name). As an example: If your handset is set up to use a WAP APN (such as , you'll get errors if you try to access your email or access non-WAP pages - in this case, you'd need to use Internet settings, not WAP settings. Check which type of service you're connecting to, and make sure it's the right one for the job (see the notes below).


Still having problems?

You may need some trial-and-error to eliminate some of the potential problems - here are some things to try:

  • Keep it simple: Try something easier - If you're having problems with something like trying to access your email from your PDA using Bluetooth and GPRS... start simply, and just try to get your phone to connect to WAP. If that doesn't work, anything more complex never will.

  • Test the SIM card: Check that your account is correctly enabled by using your SIM in another mobile (perhaps an older handset, or a friend's phone) - this allows you to test that the SIM is data enabled and the remote service is working. This will help to narrow down the problem to a "settings" or "service" problem.
  • Test the phone: Try using a different SIM in your phone - Find a friend who has the service you're after working on their phone, then insert their SIM into your phone and enter their settings - this tests whether your handset is able to connect to that service, and further helps to narrow down the problem to a "settings" or "service" problem.

  • Start again: Go into the connectivity/connection settings area of your device and delete the troublesome access settings completely - this accomplishes two things - firstly, if the settings happen to have become corrupt, recreating them from scratch will solve the problem, secondly, it's sometimes easier to start again, rather than trying to diagnose existing settings.

  • Check for restrictions: Double-check that there are no issues preventing you from accessing the services you're after - if on Pay As You Go - have you got enough credit? Are you getting a good enough stable signal to get a solid data service? Does your handset support the service you're after? Is your handset "unlocked" for use on the network you're trying to use? If travelling overseas, is your phone allowed to 'roam' on the network you're using?

  • Try another account: For email or web access - try to make use of a different way of connecting - If trying to use GPRS, try using a dialup account to see if you can connect that way. Connecting via a dialup service is often the simplest way to connect. Try setting up a free dialup account with BT Yahoo to see if that works. We provide a step-by-step guide on setting up BT Yahoo for most PDAs and Symbian smartphones, to help with error-free setup. If a BT Yahoo account works, but an email account for another provider doesn't, it proves that it's not a problem with your hardware or Internet connection, but a problem with the settings or service you're trying to connect to.


Need more help?

If you still need help, rather than emailing us, the best bet is to post a message in our help forum - mention which phone you have, which operator you're with, what service you're trying to connect with, what settings you're trying to use, what's working (e.g. WAP but not web), and what error messages you're seeing. Visit our help forum


Types of connection

A quick summary of the different connectivity types you may be able to use from your mobile:

  • WAP allows for access to cut-down Internet content designed for viewing on a mobile phone. Content is normally basic with no graphics, animation or video. You connect using either a dial-up telephone number (billed by the second) or via a GPRS access point (billed by the amount of kilobytes of data you use) . To access WAP, you need to connect via a special Gateway, and if you get the gateway settings wrong, it won't work. Also note, that when using a gateway, non-WAP services can't get through... so downloading email to your Inbox won't work if you're connected using WAP settings. For more on WAP, and for the UK WAP settings, see our WAP page

  • GPRS is one of the methods used to send data over the mobile phone network. It's generally faster than connecting using a dial-up connection, and it's referred to as "always on" (like Broadband). It's also commonly billed by the amount of content send and received (and not by the amount of time you're connected).
    On its own, GPRS doesn't do anything. You need think of it as WAP-over-GPRS, or picture-messaging-over-GPRS. Again - you can't mix, so don't try browsing WAP pages on a connection set up for sending MMS picture messages. For more on GPRS, and for UK settings, see our GPRS page

  • MMS (Multimedia Messaging) is the next step on from text messages, and use pictures and sound as well as text. Connection is always ''over GPRS" and you need to have the settings of the MMS Service Centre run by your Network Operator. For more, see our MMS page. See also our specific MMS help notes.

  • Email - If you have a Smartphone, it's likely that your device has an email program built-in. As long as you're not trying to connect to your work email system, or using Hotmail / AOL, chances are, you use a POP or IMAP email service, which means you can set up your handset for access to your mail. You'll need to connect either using your ISP's dialup service, or preferably use a 'full Internet' GPRS connection.
    See below for help fixing specialist email issues. We recommend BT Yahoo as an ISP that's easy to set up on a mobile. We have setup instructions for Nokia Series 60, P800 and P900 handsets, plus Pocket PC, Palm and Psions.

A few extra snippets...

A collection of useful information we've gathered along the way:

Hotmail and AOL access?

Hotmail and AOL use proprietary email systems, as opposed to the more common POP email systems - this makes it tricky to access mail on a mobile device. For email on the move, consider using a standard POP3 provider such as BT Yahoo (see setup details) that offers free email accounts that can be configured on mobile phone email programs.

If you want to access your Hotmail or AOL email, there are several options:

  • General: Try using a web browser on your phone (such as the Opera browser) to access Hotmail / AOL's service via their webmail interface.
  • Hotmail: Use the built-in WAP browser and from 'Services', enter the URL , and you'll be able to access your Hotmail mail via WAP. There are some complications with this option, which we've detailed on our WAP page
  • AOL: We've also been directed to an AOL Mail FAQ that suggests that a suitable email program can be configured to get email access via IMAP (as opposed to POP3). Many smartphones and PDAs support IMAP (check in the email section). For devices that don't support IMAP, you can download one from Handango
  • AOL: A posting in our forum suggests another option: Open AOL. Go to AOL Keyword. Type 'AOL Mobile' . Open AOL on your Mobile. Under Get Started, Open 'Sign up now'.
Gmail access

It's possible to access your Gmail account from many mobile devices. You need to log into your Gmail account from a web browser and enable the "POP3" option. Once this has been done, configure your mobile device as per a standard POP account - although note that SSL security is required. Here are the settings:

  • Username: Your gmail email address
  • Incoming server:
  • Outgoing server:
  • SMTP Authentication: On
  • POP3 SSL: On
  • SMTP SSL: On
  • SMTP Username / password: As per Gmail username / password

Gmail on a Nokia 6600Some specific information for certain devices:

  • Nokia 9500 / Nokia 9300: Note that you need to go to the account's 'Advanced' tab and set "incoming secure connection" to 'SSL'.
  • Series 60 phones (Nokia 6600, 7610, 3650, etc): Note that the built-in email application doesn't support SSL, and so it's not possible to get at your Gmail using Messaging. However, ProfiMail from , is available, and does support Gmail access (as per the screenshot)
  • Pocket PC 2002 / Windows Mobile 2003: No reported issues
Problems web surfing over GPRS This is a common question. If your handset has a web browser, you may find that you can't surf web pages, even though the handset shows that you're connected. On a Pocket PC, this may show up as "page not found". On a Symbian OS smartphone, you may see this as "GPRS: Invalid GPRS access point".

This is almost certainly because you are using the wrong GPRS Access point. Most GPRS handsets are set with access to the network operator's WAP gateway, and this will only allow you to browse dedicated WAP content, and not standard Internet web pages. You'll need to set up your handset for Internet-over-GPRS, using the network operator's Internet APN, not the WAP APN. You'll also need to ask your Network Operator to enable this service for you.
I can receive but not send emails

If you get an error such as "Problem sending message", you may be trying to send an email via one Internet Service Provider while you're connected to a different Internet Provider.

When sending email, you'll need to have specified an outgoing email server address (known as an SMTP server address). Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) only allow you to use their SMTP server to send emails if you've established a connection to them using their Internet connection. That way, they know who's sending emails through their service, and can control spam attacks. If you're having a problem sending emails, you need to take a look at the SMTP address that you've used.

Mobile? If you're trying to send email from your mobile phone handset using GPRS, you'll need to use your network operator's SMTP server address, and not your email provider's SMTP server address. See our GPRS page for UK GPRS settings. As an example, if you use BT Internet as your email account provider, and you are connecting to the Internet via o2 (as your network operator), you won't be able to send email using the SMTP address of, you'd need to use o2's SMTP address of

Can connect, but can't log on to email

If, when attempting to log in, you're constantly prompted for your password, even though you know you're typing in the right password, there are two possible causes. If you're already logged in (via a web browser or a PC program like Outlook, then you're often not allowed to log on via a second device. Make sure you're not already connected to your email provider on another machine. The other thing to check is that you're account hasn't been temporarily locked as you may have made repeated attempts to log on incorrectly. Many ISPs allow you to check your mail via a web service... it may be worth trying this to make sure your account is working properly and there are no problems at your ISP.

One useful way of checking that access to your email POP mailbox is working, is to try to connect using

Problems with MMS?
  • Make sure that your phone supports MMS. Only fairly recent models have MMS
  • Make sure that you have configured MMS correctly. Check our MMS settings page. Many network operators offer a service to push settings direct to your mobile via their website.
  • Make sure that your network operator has enabled MMS on your mobile phone account. They have to switch the service on, and it may take up to 48 hours for your SIM Card to receive the command to enable the service. Double-check that the service has definitely been enabled
  • MMS messages are more expensive than text messages. Ensure that you have enough credit or have not exceeded your MMS allowance.
  • Ensure that you're using the right GPRS Access Point, and that the data bearer is set to GPRS. MMS uses a different APN to WAP, so if WAP works and MMS doesn't you could be trying to send MMS via your WAP gateway.
Web browsing on a 7650 / 3650 This site on a 3650The Nokia 7650 and 3650 come with a Wap browser that is capable of viewing web content designed for use over the Mobile Internet. If you're looking for HTML web access, take a look at Doris Browser. This is a small Java application that can be evaluated for free for ten days. Once installed, you can find it from the Tools | Apps icon. The browser supports image rendering, access to secure sites as well as viewing Word and PDF documents - and it all fits in under 50k.

As an alternative, the fully-featured Opera browser is available for the Series 60 and can be downloaded from here.
'System error" If attempting to retrieve email on a Series 60 handset and see a "General: System error", make sure you have "Gateway IP address" set to (Tools | Settings | Connection | Access points)
This message also appears if you are trying to connect to an email account over a WAP connection (e.g. trying to connect to BT Yahoo's mailbox while dialed up over o2's WAP service).
See our Series 60 connectivity page
GPRS symbols

Curious about the little 'G' symbol when you're surfing? Here's what we've learnt about the little 'G' icon on our Nokia 6600 Series 60 handset...

  • GPRS iconFlashing 'G' - Trying to connect. You'll get this for a few seconds when you start a GPRS connection. If this is all you get (and it never connects), it's likely that your network hasn't enabled GPRS on your account, or you're using the wrong GPRS settings
  • Solid 'G' - Connected established but not authenticated. You normally get this very briefly just before the connection happens. If you don't get beyond this, your username and password might need looking at, or you're trying to connect to the wrong network (i.e. Voda with an o2 SIM)
  • 'G' with a box around it - Connected and authenticated (i.e. working!)
  • 'G' with a line through it - Connection suspended - (voice call in progress / no signal)


o2 users

We have a little extra information that may be of use to o2 customers...

Internet and Email on o2

To surf the Internet, access email or use any services that require "full" Internet access, you'll need to use o2's "Mobile Web" service. You'll need to contact customer services to get this service enabled for you. You can find the o2 Mobile Web GPRS settings here: o2 Mobile Internet Settings

Mobile Web on o2 PAYG?

o2 Mobile Web is not available on the o2 Pay-as-you-go tariff, only for customers on a pay-monthly tariff.

According to various emails we've seen, this is o2's policy as opposed to any kind of technical limitation.

o2 GPRS issues If you experience a "GPRS: Invalid GPRS access point" error when attempting to connect to, say, BT Yahoo, over o2 via their APN, this is likely to be for one of two reasons - either you have not entered the correct o2 Mobile Web APN settings, or o2 has not enabled "Mobile Web" on your account (in which case, contact o2).

For general information on o2's data services, see our o2 information and o2 WAP pages.
o2 WAP issues

Under some cases, we've seen "Page not found" messages when trying to connect to the address. We've been able to resolve this by using a slightly different address, wsp:// of you're having problems this could be worth a try.

Also, please note that there are two dialup access numbers for o2. The shortcode number of 915000 and the full number 07712927927. If you can't connect, try the alternative number. If you're connecting in from outside the UK, don't forget the international prefix, i.e. +447712927927

Still need help? Ask in our online forum
It would be helpful to report the error message(s) you're seeing, the device you're trying to connect with, which operator you're with, and the settings you're using.

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