1. Introduction

This page is for getting mobile wireless broadband modems working. These modems are typically connected into your PC via USB.

2. Pre-requisites

You need to have already arranged a mobile wireless broadband service with a provider, and have the mobile wireless broadband modem on hand. The modem is often supplied by the mobile wireless broadband service provider, or you might have acquired it separately. If so, ensure the modem is not "locked" to a different providers network. If it is, you will need to "unlock" it first.

3. How-to

Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) automatically recognises many mobile wireless broadband service providers, and common brands and models of mobile wireless broadband hardware devices. All you often need to do is

  • plug the device in, and
  • on the first occasion, tell the Network Manager which mobile wireless broadband service provider you wish to use.

4. Common Troubleshooting

Proceed in the following order:

4.1. USB Modem plugged in, but no desktop icon, and Network Manager cannot find it.

Check whether linux has recognised it as a USB device. In a terminal, run lsusb. You need to see that the device is listed.

4.2. Modem recognised as a USB device, but Network Manager cannot find it.

  1. If there is an icon for the modem on the desktop, unmount it, via the right-button menu action "Eject" or "Safely Remove Drive". See "USB modeswitch" below.
  2. If it is still not found, check that there is a definition for it in /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/10freedesktop/10-modem.fdi or /usr/share/hal/fdi/information/20thirdparty/*. You might need to add one in.

5. USB modeswitch

Many mobile wireless broadband modems have filesystems contain flash disks with filesystems on them, most often formatted NTFS for Windows and and HFS for Mac, with the relevant software on each to install Windows/Mac drivers, installers and desktop utilities. None of these facilities are of any use under linux. Moreover, some modems are not recognised by Network Manager until you unmount the filesystem.

  • You can usually do this by the right-button menu on the modem's desktop icon, which appears when you plug the modem in. Use the action "Eject" or "Safely Remove Drive".
  • For a permanent fix, to have these modems always automatically recognised as USB modems, install the ''usb-modeswitch'' package. See the text description in this package for a similar explanation.

6. iBurst

See Iburst for all the old information that used to be on this page about Iburst.

CategoryHardware CategoryNetworking CategoryWireless

MobileWirelessBroadband (last edited 2010-08-12 07:42:06 by davidtangye)