Here in the UK, 4G is currently being rolled out across major towns and cities by the EE network (previously T-Mobile and Orange). Where I live we’re stuck with 3G, but I do have a 4G SIM to take advantage of high-speed mobile Internet when travelling.
This always comes in useful, particularly if local Wi-Fi networks aren’t doing their job properly. For instance, a few days ago I was in Manchester where the café I was based in had a very poor wireless Internet signal. Rather than complain, I put my Lumia 920 online, setup tethering and within seconds I’d grabbed the information I needed.
The Nokia Lumia 920 is equipped with a range of connectivity options – particularly useful if you need to go online, check emails and social networks, download apps and stream data or even tether your device.
(Although it should be considered a connectivity option, Bluetooth is much more than this, something that will be addressed in a future tutorial.)
Mobile Internet Connectivity
Managing how your Nokia Lumia 920 connects to the Internet will enable you to deal with the difference between a strong connection and a poor one.
The Windows Phone 8 operating system offers the option to switch between 3G and 4G, while disabling the data connection will enable you to keep a cap on data transfers and perhaps manage your battery at the same time.
To make changes, open Settings > Mobile network and use the Data connection switch to toggle on and off. Highest connection speed will have two options, 3G and 4G. Note that you can also add new Internet and MMS APNs, assuming you have the correct information.
Barely a phone is sold these days that doesn’t have Wi-Fi capability, and on any Windows Phone device this is particularly useful for downloading games and streaming video. Indeed, requests to download videogame apps in the Windows Phone Store will be refused unless you have opened an Internet connection.
Enabling wireless networking is possible via Settings > WiFi, where you can tap your preferred connection to proceed, add passcode strings, etc.
Note also the advanced options, where you can specify whether you want to be notified of new wireless networks as well as toggling the option to automatically connect to hotspots. This page also lists all known networks that you have connected to in the past.
Additional connectivity is enabled by the presence of GPS in the Nokia Lumia 920, offering users various localization options. The Bing search tool can tailor results based on your location while the Here suite of City Lens, Maps and Drive+ will also display data based on this information.
Further details about location services and their effect – as well as full details on how to disable this feature – can be found in The Secret To Disabling Mobile Phone Localization.
Internet Connection Sharing/Wireless Tethering
As referred to above, I made good use of the wireless tethering feature on my Nokia Lumia 920, a feature that wasn’t even included in the original release of Windows Phone.
Sadly there is no USB tethering available, only the ability to setup your phone as a wireless hotspot. This is done by activating mobile Internet as described above, then using Settings > Internet sharing to setup the wireless hub.
You should then be able to detect your Windows Phone 8 device and connect to it from your PC or tablet.
Maximising Connectivity with Shortcut Tiles
All of the connectivity tools mentioned here are available by opening the Settings menu and finding the appropriate option. If this seems long-winded, it is. Rather than spend too much time messing around with menus, my advice would be to install a tile shortcut tool. While the tile itself won’t toggle your chosen connection Android-style, it will at least give you a shortcut direct to the chosen menu where the mobile Internet, Wi-Fi or other option can be easily switched on and off.
A couple of solutions are available but the best at this time is the simply-titled Connection Tiles.
The various connectivity options on Windows Phone 8 are designed to make it as easy as possible to get online and interact via email, social networking or any other tool as quickly and effortlessly as possible.
4G support in modern devices such as the Nokia Lumia 920 underline this, and wireless tethering is a particularly welcome feature despite the lack of good old fashioned USB tethering.
If you’re going to take anything away from this, however, make sure you check out the Shortcut Tiles app.