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This page describes how to use a cell phone and a USB cable to connect your pc to the internet. For this example I used:

  • Ubuntu Breezy
  • a Nokia 6021 cell phone
  • a CA-42 cable
  • an Italian Vodafone provider

The instructions should be valid with minimal modifications also for a Bluetooth or infrared connection and for other providers.

I used the packages wvdial and netenv, which can be installed by

sudo apt-get install wvdial
sudo apt-get install netenv

1. Configuring the cell phone

The cell phone is configured by chosing

  • Menù -> Impostazioni -> Connettività -> GPRS -> Impostazioni modem gprs

  • "Punto di accesso attivo": VO GPRS
  • "Punto di accesso gprs": web.omnitel.it

(may be this is is not really necessary, but it was suggested by the Vodafone customer care and I have not tried without it).

2. Connecting the cell phone to the pc

The cell phone is connected to the pc by the cable and a USB port. Observing the file /var/log/syslog we see that a file /dev/ttyACM0 is created. It will be used to communicate with the cell phone:

$ tail -F /var/log/syslog
Apr 15 12:00:28 localhost kernel: [4299673.731000] usb 3-1: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 2
Apr 15 12:00:29 localhost kernel: [4299674.411000] drivers/usb/class/cdc-acm.c: This device cannot do calls on its own. It is no modem.
Apr 15 12:00:29 localhost kernel: [4299674.411000] cdc_acm 3-1:1.0: ttyACM0: USB  ACM device
Apr 15 12:00:29 localhost kernel: [4299674.415000] usbcore: registered new drive r cdc_acm
Apr 15 12:00:29 localhost kernel: [4299674.415000] drivers/usb/class/cdc-acm.c: v0.23:USB Abstract Control Model driver for USB modems and ISDN adapters
Apr 15 12:00:29 localhost usb.agent[17575]:      cdc-acm: loaded successfully

3. Finding the modem parameters

Using the command wvdialconf the cell phone modem is recognized and the relevant parameters are written in /etc/wvdial.conf:

$ sudo wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf
Password:
Scanning your serial ports for a modem.

Port Scan<*1>: S0   S1   S2   S3   S4   S5   S6   S7
Port Scan<*1>: S8   S9   S10  S11  S12  S13  S14  S15
Port Scan<*1>: S16  S17  S18  S19  S20  S21  S22  S23
Port Scan<*1>: S24  S25  S26  S27  S28  S29  S30  S31
Port Scan<*1>: S32  S33  S34  S35  S36  S37  S38  S39
Port Scan<*1>: S40  S41  S42  S43  S44  S45  S46  S47
Port Scan<*1>: S48  S49  S50  S51  S52  S53
WvModem<*1>: Cannot get information for serial port.
ttyACM0<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 Z -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0 -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: Modem Identifier: ATI -- Nokia
ttyACM0<*1>: Speed 4800: AT -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: Speed 9600: AT -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: Speed 19200: AT -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: Speed 38400: AT -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: Speed 57600: AT -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: Speed 115200: AT -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: Speed 230400: AT -- OK
ttyACM0<*1>: Speed 460800: AT -- 
ttyACM0<*1>: Speed 460800: AT -- 
ttyACM0<*1>: Speed 460800: AT -- 
ttyACM0<*1>: Max speed is 230400; that should be safe.
ttyACM0<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0 -- OK

Found an USB modem on /dev/ttyACM0.
Modem configuration written to /etc/wvdial.conf.
ttyACM0<Info>: Speed 230400; init "ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0"

4. Modifying the configuration file

The file /etc/wvdial.conf has to be manually modified to add the row with the initialization string Init3, the Vodafone phone number (*99#) and the empty string for Username and Password:

$ sudo cat /etc/wvdial.conf

[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/ttyACM0
Baud = 230400
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
Init3 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","web.omnitel.it"
ISDN = 0
Modem Type = USB Modem
Phone = *99#
Username = ''

5. Modifying /etc/network/interfaces

The files /etc/network/interfaces and /etc/resolv.conf should be modified as follows:

$ cat /etc/network/interfaces
# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
# The primary network interface
auto ppp0
iface ppp0 inet wvdial

$ cat /etc/resolv.conf
nameserver 83.224.66.134
nameserver 83.224.65.134

(modifying /etc/resolv.conf is probably unnecessary but I have not tried without it)

6. Connecting

Connect using the command wvdial. The correct establishment of the connection can be verified by observing the file /var/log/syslog. At the moment of the connection the Nokia 6021 screen shows that a GPRS connection is being established. All recent Vodafone cell phone cards in Italy have GPRS modem connection enabled by default, just call the number 190 to know the cost.

$ sudo wvdial
--> WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.54.0
--> Cannot get information for serial port.
--> Initializing modem.
--> Sending: ATZ
ATZ
OK
--> Sending: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
OK
--> Sending: AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","web.omnitel.it"
AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","web.omnitel.it"
OK
--> Modem initialized.
--> Sending: ATDT*99#
--> Waiting for carrier.
ATDT*99#
CONNECT
~[7f]}#@!}!} } }2}#}$@#}!}$}%\}"}&} }*} } g}%~
--> Carrier detected.  Waiting for prompt.
~[7f]}#@!}!} } }2}#}$@#}!}$}%\}"}&} }*} } g}%~
--> PPP negotiation detected.
--> Starting pppd at Sat Apr 15 12:02:02 2006
--> pid of pppd: 18018
--> Using interface ppp0
--> local  IP address 83.225.55.243
--> remote IP address 10.6.6.6
--> primary   DNS address 83.224.66.134
--> secondary DNS address 83.224.65.134

$ tail -F /var/log/syslog
Apr 15 12:02:02 localhost kernel: [4299768.004000] CSLIP: code copyright 1989 Regents of the University of California
Apr 15 12:02:02 localhost kernel: [4299768.017000] PPP generic driver version 2. 4.2
Apr 15 12:02:02 localhost pppd[18018]: pppd 2.4.3 started by root, uid 0
Apr 15 12:02:02 localhost pppd[18018]: Using interface ppp0
Apr 15 12:02:02 localhost pppd[18018]: Connect: ppp0 <--> /dev/ttyACM0
Apr 15 12:02:08 localhost pppd[18018]: PAP authentication succeeded
Apr 15 12:02:08 localhost kernel: [4299773.958000] PPP BSD Compression module registered
Apr 15 12:02:08 localhost kernel: [4299774.038000] PPP Deflate Compression module registered
Apr 15 12:02:10 localhost pppd[18018]: Cannot determine ethernet address for proxy ARP
Apr 15 12:02:10 localhost pppd[18018]: local  IP address 83.225.55.243
Apr 15 12:02:10 localhost pppd[18018]: remote IP address 10.6.6.6
Apr 15 12:02:10 localhost pppd[18018]: primary   DNS address 83.224.66.134
Apr 15 12:02:10 localhost pppd[18018]: secondary DNS address 83.224.65.134

7. Interrupting the connection

The connection can be interrupted by a Ctrl-C. The result is shown in /var/log/syslog:

Caught signal #2!  Attempting to exit gracefully...
--> Terminating on signal 15
--> Connect time 0.3 minutes.
--> Disconnecting at Sat Apr 15 12:02:28 2006

$ tail -F /var/log/syslog
Apr 15 12:02:27 localhost pppd[18018]: Terminating on signal 15
Apr 15 12:02:27 localhost pppd[18018]: Connect time 0.3 minutes.
Apr 15 12:02:27 localhost pppd[18018]: Sent 0 bytes, received 0 bytes.
Apr 15 12:02:27 localhost pppd[18018]: Connection terminated.

8. Connecting using /etc/init.d/networking

The connection can be established and interrupted also by the following commands (if point 5 has been followed):

$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking start
 * Configuring network interfaces...                                     [ ok ]
$ sudo /etc/init.d/networking stop
 * Deconfiguring network interfaces...                                   [ ok ]

9. Connecting using netenv

The netenv package can be used to select different laptop network configurations. Just copy /etc/network/interfaces and /etc/resolv.conf to /etc/netenv/interfaces.netenv-ppp and /etc/netenv/resolv.conf.netenv-ppp, and create /etc/netenv/setup-ppp, /etc/netenv/<localhost>-ppp in such a way that the ppp connection can be established by the command sudo netenv. Substitute <localhost> with the name of the machine you are using. (The following example is Debian specific, see netenv documentation).

$ cat setup-ppp
#!/bin/sh
if [ -r /etc/netenv/interfaces.netenv-ppp ]; then
  mv /etc/network/interfaces /etc/network/interfaces.netenv-old
  ln -s /etc/netenv/interfaces.netenv-ppp /etc/network/interfaces
fi
if [ -r /etc/netenv/resolv.conf.netenv-ppp ]; then
  mv /etc/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf.netenv-old
  ln -s /etc/netenv/resolv.conf.netenv-ppp /etc/resolv.conf
fi

$ cat <localhost>-ppp
netenv_id=ppp

Nokia 5500 Sport in Dapper Drake with USB

Getting it up and running was quite easy:

  1. plug in your phone with the USB cable
  2. select "PC Suite Mode" from you phone
  3. the phone is autodetected
  4. run the following commands:

# sudo apt-get install wvdial
# sudo wvdial
# sudo nano /etc/wvdial.conf

Note lines with

  • Init3 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","internet"

  • Phone = *99#
  • Username =

The name of the connection may vary according to your GPRS provider. I use DNA Finland. For Elisa in Finland the username should be 'rl'.

[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
Init3 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","internet"
Modem Type = USB Modem
#Baud = 460800
Baud = 230400
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/ttyACM0
ISDN = 0
Phone = *99#
Username = ''
Password = ''

# sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces

auto ppp0
iface ppp0 inet wvdial

# sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

Check that your connection works with ping www.ubuntu.fi

CableDialup (last edited 2013-12-10 03:28:22 by cprofitt)