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Bluetooth problems plague the Nokia 6310i

Flaky software to blame

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Bluetooth compatibility issues with the Nokia 6310i is likely due to flaky software.

That's our conclusion after investigating reports from readers that Bluetooth-enabled Nokia 310i phones will talk only to one special Bluetooth adapter. In other words, the 6310i is not using standards-based Bluetooth connectivity.

Reg reader Dave Lanagan sums up the general frustration.

"I've got a 6310i that I want to synch with my PC. After spending my hard earned on a USB Bluetooth adapter I've found the blasted thing won't work with Nokia data suite," he writes.

"Investigating the problem in the Nokia Forums shows you'll have no joy unless you use their proprietary kit."

A thread on Nokia's developer forum suggesting that only DigiAnswer-compatible adapters will work in connecting a Nokia 6310i with a Sony laptop alongside other Internet discussions suggests the problem is far from isolated.

Reg reader Stephen Venter has had trouble getting a satisfactory response on the issue when he posted to the Nokia Forum. We share his frustration.

Our request to speak to a Nokia rep on February 10 was met three days later by an excerpt from Nokia's Bluetooth FAQ and links to the Nokia Web site. No-one was available to speak to us about the matter until after the 3GSM conference in Cannes this week. At the end of 2002, Nokia employed 51,748 people worldwide.

So we turned instead to Nick Hunn of TDK Systems, a noted Bluetooth expert. He is very familiar with the issue.

"Why doesn't Nokia's PC suite work with Bluetooth?", is number one on TDK Systems support questions list every week, Hunn tells us.

Apparently the root cause of the problem is "flaky software".

Hunn explains: "The answer doesn't appear to be a Bluetooth problem - the 6310i connects over Bluetooth perfectly well, and we have a phone book management software app - TDKMobile which lets you back up and modify phonebook entries and send SMS, so it's not fair to knock Nokia on that one.

"However, the synchronisation software that is supplied by Nokia will only work with one particular Bluetooth product," he adds.

"Nokia has told us that this has been fixed on a new version of phone firmware, but none of the service centres have that version so we can't test it out. To be honest it's pretty flaky over a serial cable or infra-red as well."

Oh dear. ®

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