Monday, June 28, 2010

Enabling Mobile Broadband Service on Linux

In case you have bought or are planning to buy a plug n play mobile Internet/broadband connection like Tata Photon/Photon Plus/ Reliance Netconnect/ Virgin Mobile or any other data card services offered by Airtel/Vodafone/Idea and need to make it work on a linux installation, you may need to do a couple of workarounds. In my case I got a Tata Photon plus and the person who came to set it up had no idea of Linux. Luckily I had VMware running and he did the initial configuration on the Windows XP I was running the virtual machine. The steps needed to make the connection work are generic to installing a modem on Linux with minor differences depending on the modem. Below I have listed the things needed to make the Photon plus connection work on Ubuntu 9.10.

1) Check if you have wvdial installed on your system by opening the terminal (Applications->Accessories->Terminal or in System) and typing wvdial at the prompt. If it says that you need to install it then you need to install it, else directly go to step 3.

2) You will need to download wvdial from here and run the installation. In my case I had to also download and install libxplc0.3.13,
libuniconf4.4 in that order as dependency packages. The links point to i386 architecture systems, you can find equivalent ones for AMD and other architectures.

3) Install the usb modem and see that it is detected properly. It should be visible in the system similar to a pen drive or any other usb device does. Right click on it and say eject.

4)Now you are ready to configure the modem. Type 'sudo wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf' at the terminal and it will detect the modem as a /dev/ttyX... device. The device name is now /dev/ttyX... where X... will depend on your system.

5) Type 'sudo gedit/etc/wvdial.conf' and remove the semi colon from the last three lines in the file that opens.

6)Enter Phone no ‘#777’, Username ‘internet’ and password ‘internet’ without the colons.In the end, add 2 extra lines in the configuration file.

Init3 = AT+CRM=1
Stupid Mode = 1

Save the file.

7)Open Terminal and type wvdial. It should detect the modem and connect automatically. Open the browser and surf @ 3.1 Mbps :)

In case there is a problem do : 'sudo cp /etc/ppp/resolv.conf /etc/' at the terminal

To end the Internet connection, you would have to a ctrl+c at the terminal or just exit it. Every time you want the Internet connection on, you need to repeat this step 7.

Hope that helps!

Pratik Mandrekar

1 comment:

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