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Mobile broadband dongles

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,644
Thanks: 66
Fixes: 2
Registered: 17-06-2007

Mobile broadband dongles

I'm getting tired of having to use a LG mobile phone as mobile modem when I'm on the boat so I'm looking round at Mobile broadband dongles.
Now I know that some don't play well with Linux so I was hoping people might be able to tell me which dongles (and from which Mobile phone company) work with Ubuntu.
2 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,772
Thanks: 847
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Mobile broadband dongles

Quote
Now I know that some don't play well with Linux so I was hoping people might be able to tell me which dongles (and from which Mobile phone company) work with Ubuntu.

That depends on which version of Ubuntu, up to 9.04 most of the Huawei dongles seemed to work ok, 9.10 broke quite a few of them but I think the latest kernel updates have them working again. I've got a ZTE MF627 from '3' and that works pretty well with 9.04 and actually comes with some Linux UI software which allows for SMS sending/receiving, although in order to use it you need to stop Network Manager claiming the modem. A colleague has a Vodafone PAYG K3520 and that works ok with 9.04 also and again you can download Vodafone Mobile Connect if you don't wish to use Network Manager.
If you've googled a little ( which judging by your post I guess you have ) you will know that these dongles initially appear as a CD and have to be 'switched' out of this mode under Linux, by ejecting the CD drive or 'modeswitch'. With my MF627 I discovered that you can disable the CD semi permanently by sending it an AT command, of course you need to do this initially on a Windows box where it is seen as a modem. Once this is done then its a doddle in Linux because its seen immediately as a modem and therefore needs no 'ejecting'.
Hope that helps for a start. Post back with any more questions and I'll try to help.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,644
Thanks: 66
Fixes: 2
Registered: 17-06-2007

Re: Mobile broadband dongles

Well I did more reading and the Huawei modems seemed to be the ones to go for, and I found this article : http://www.watkissonline.co.uk/wordpress/?p=1853
So I decided to try O2 who seem to have a signal in most of the places I'd want to go.
My local Sainsbury's sells the O2 PAYG dongle for £19 so I picked one up with the shopping. As my laptop dual boots into Vista I set it up in Vista first and made sure it all worked. Then I booted into Ubuntu (Karmic) and plugged the dongle in. It appeared on the desktop but didn't auto detect. So I went to the network options and chose to add a new mobile network. It detected the modem and I used the settings in that post and it worked perfectly.
It also works on the eepc too (which is on 9.04).
You don't get the Wfii Hotspot support - thats only available under Windows but apart from that it seems to be good.