FAQs

The year 2010 in Zimbabwe has seen more people connecting to the internet via Mobile Broadband due to the introduction of such services by Mobile Phone companies and Internet Service Providers.Consequently,our mailing list has recently been flooded with questions about how to connect to the net using Ubuntu.The following FAQ will hopefully clarify that area to Ubuntu users.

Q:What is Mobile Broadband?
A:Mobile Broadband means any kind of high speed Internet connection which is provided by an external device such as a 3G USB stick or mobile phone with built-in HSPA/UMTS/GPRS data connection. Some laptops have recently been produced with mobile broadband devices already inside them.

Q:Does Ubuntu recognise broadband devices?
A: Most mobile broadband devices should be recognised automatically when you connect them to your computer. Ubuntu will prompt you to configure the
device.(The following steps should take you there)

1.The New Mobile Broadband Connection wizard will open automatically when you connect the device.

2.Click Forward and insert your details,including the country where your Mobile Broadband device was issued,the network provider and type of connection (for example,Contract or pre-pay).

3.Give your connection a name (it is up to you what name you choose) and click Apply.

4.Your connection is now ready to use. To connect, click the Network Manager icon in the top right of the panel and select your new connection.

5.To disconnect, left click the Network Manager icon in the top right of the panel and click Disconnect.

Q:Ubuntu is failing to automatically detect the device.
A:If you are not prompted to configure the device when you connect it, it may still be recognised by Ubuntu. In such cases you can add the connection manually.

1.Right-click the Network Manager icon in the system notification area and click Edit Connections

2.Select the Mobile Broadband tab.

3.Click Add.

4.This should open the New Mobile Broadband Connection wizard. Enter your details as described above

Q:My Ubuntu Network Manager still does not recognise the mobile broadband device.The operating system recognises the device as a CD drive.Is there a problem with my device?
A:There is no problem with your device.To overcome this problem you can download a semi-GUI script called Sakis3G from http://www.sakis3g.org and run it in Ubuntu.The script will identify your modem and should be able to connect you to the net-after you answer a few questions of course-without fail.There are other ways of getting Ubuntu to recognise your broadband device but we found this to be the easiest to novice users.

Q:I still have problems connecting to the internet.
A:You can post your question to the Ubuntu mailing list and help will be given by other Ubuntu Users

Connecting CDMA modems to ubuntu

CDMA USB Modem how-to / FAQ

As the modem will not "autoinstall" any parameters you must first of all get from the internet provider:
1. username
2. password
3. number to dial

You may or may not need the package "usb-modeswitch" installed. This "switches" the usb from appearing as a disk to appearing as a modem. If the modem appears as a disk on insert and it does not help to "eject" it, try installing usb-modeswich.

There are 2 ways (that we are aware of) to get CDMA modems working:
1. NetworkManager, KNetworkManager or KDE Network Manager widget depending on system setup
2. command line wvdial

If you are lucky the usb modem is recognised on insert and shows up in the network manager as a "mobile broadband" device. In that case, simply fill in the necessary parameters (number to dial, username, password) and then connect.

If it does not (can take up to 10 seconds) try these steps:

1. Open a command line console
2. type command "dmesg" and look at the output. It should mention a "GSM-modem" somewhere at then connected to something like /dev/ttyUSB0 or USB1 up to USB3

If NOT try installing the usb-modeswitch package with your favourite package installer. Once that is done reinsert the USB modem

If it now shows up in dmesg as a GSM-modem you are almost there. If not - I suggest you try another one...

You can also look at the output from "lsusb" and see if/what the usb modem is identified as

Once it shows up as a GSM-modem it might then show up as a "mobile broadband" in your network manager.

If NOT install the wvdial package using your favourite package manager
After that from commandline run "sudo wvdialconf"

it should find the modem. Then edit /etc/wvdial.conf to something like below:
[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
Modem Type = Analog Modem
Baud = 460800
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0 (or what wvdial gives here, you might have to try USB0 up to USB2 before it connects)
ISDN = 0
Phone = #777 (replace with number from your provider)
Password = what the provider gave you
Username = what the provider gave you

then to connect run "sudo wvdial" from command line to connect

Prepared by Jeff Chivheya,Credits:O Sinclair