Linux with UMTS HSUPA ExpressCard

2007-09-20 by Administrator, tagged as hardware, linux

On my laptop (HP Compaq nx6325) I run Kubuntu Feisty Fawn and I am very satisfied. Especially the built-in support for UMTS modems perfectly fits my needs since I am sort of a stroller.

E-Plus UMTS Notebook Card III used to go online with an “old” CardBus PC Card (PCMCIA). On the back of the card it says Option Globetrotter GT 3G Quad and it came with a real UMTS flatrate (50./month) of the German provider E-Plus.
Anyway, E-Plus is the worst provider ever and I can only recommend everyone to never ever demand any of their services. Although I have to admit, their support is nice and friendly and each time I called they gave me a bonus (5. or 20.) to compensate for my bothering. But this is no help if you want to go online and they simply won’t let you half of the time for whatever reason. There were times I almost freaked out.

Since I rely on a good network connection to do my job my employer now ordered a “Vodafone Mobile Connect Card (Express) UMTS Broadband” (wow, what a name) for me and on its back it says: “Option“, “Model: GE0301“, “Qualcomm 3G CDMA“, and on the box “Option Etna Express“.
It supports HSDPA and HSUPA with a bandwidth of up to 7,2 MBit down- and 1,45 MBit upstream. Vodafone Mobile Connect Card (Express) UMTS BroadbandBesides, it is a ExpressCard34 which takes less space in my pocket. This is pretty cool so I could test my ExpressCard slot which works just fine. For those not having such an interface Vodafone encloses a PCMCIA adapter.

Actually, Feisty Fawn comes with all the drivers needed (usbserial). The only problem is that the vendor and product ID of the card are not known to the system, yet. To find out those IDs you issue a

# cat /proc/bus/usb/devices

on the commandline and somewhere in the results it says something like

P: Vendor=0af0 ProdID=7001 Rev= 0.00
S: Manufacturer=Option N.V.
S: Product=Globetrotter HSUPA Modem

The information needed is in the first line. You may add it to a file called /etc/modprobe.conf (which you may have to create) but for Kubuntu I thought /etc/modprobe.d/options would be a good place. For information about the syntax of the file type man modprobe.conf. There I added the line:

options usbserial vendor=0xaf0 product=0x7001

I then rebooted and the next time I inserted the card it got bound to /dev/ttyUSB0, /dev/ttyUSB1, and /dev/ttyUSB2. Almost exactly the behavior of my old card except that I now surf reliably and at a much higher speed. When will you?