Using NetworkManager with your 3G WWAN modem
Starting with Gnome NetworkManager version 0.7.0 there is even more support for 3G WWAN modems. In particular NetworkManager now supports most of the Option devices that use the HSO module.
This How-To shows you how to get your modem working in easy steps...
Check your NetworkManager version
To check which version of NetworkManager you have; right-click on the NetworkManager applet icon and select the "About" menu item.
For support of hso enabled devices you want to see the version number is equal to or greater than this:
Checking your hso module status
Before you can use NetworkManager with these devices you need to check if the the hso module is installed by using this command:
On my system this was output:
so I can see that the module is provided in by my Linux distribution. If the driver is missing or you need to use the latest version of hso.ko then follow the information here.
If your modem is an embedded module then you can ignore the following section.
If you have a USB stick or datacard then it may have a virtual CD ROM called ZeroCD that must be disabled before the modem function is possible.
In this situation you need to install ozerocdoff which in combinations with udev rules will automatically disable the ZeroCD whenever you plug the device in.
Now you can plug in your device
Check if the hso module is loaded
hso 45868 0
rfkill 17176 5 hso,thinkpad_acpi,iwl3945
usbcore 148848 6 libusual,hso,usbhid,ehci_hcd,uhci_hcd
You can see that hso is listed amongst other kernel modules - this looks good!
Check the ports have been created:
/dev/ttyHS0 /dev/ttyHS1 /dev/ttyHS2 /dev/ttyHS3
You can see that for my device there are 4 ports listed ttyHS0...ttyHS3
If the modem is equipped with ZeroCD then you do not see the above ports until ozerocdoff is installed.
Now we are ready to use NetworkManager!
Create a Mobile Broadband connection
Right click on the NetworkManager icon and click "Edit Connections..."
Select the "Mobile Broadband" tab and if you are lucky a connection profile will already be listed. If no profile is listed then click "+Add"
You will then be guided by a connection Wizard to select a predefined connection profile. If your SIM provider is not listed then select a predefined profile and edit it to match your SIM providers connection details.
You will need to enter the APN and possibly the user name and password. You can get this information from your SIM provider or you can do an Internet Search for "Your-Operator-Name APN"
This is also where you enter the PIN if it is required.
Click "OK" when you are finished.
Connecting to the Internet
Now the profile is defined you can just select it as a connection by left clicking on the NetworkManager icon:
With the version of NetworkManager I was using (0.7.0) I had to click twice. This was because I had a PIN enabled. The first click sends the PIN to the modem. The second click makes the Internet connection.
You click the "Disconnect" entry that now appears on the menu to Disconnect from the Internet.
Easy isn't it!
You can add the netspeed applet to the Gnome panel to show you some useful transfer statistics. (Use your package manager to install netspeed and then right click on the Gnome panel to add it.)
Full marks to the NetworkManager team they have achieved much and I know the WWAN support is only part of it. This has made getting on to the Internet very simple for the mobile user and I shall be using it again. For most users what is provide today will be just fine as long as the signal strength is good!
In the long term more features will be required to support the travelling user, hopefully these can be integrated in to NetworkManager or via helper applets.