Airtel 3G and Fedora-16

This weekend I got myself a shiny new Airtel 3G USB modem. It is a Huawei E1731 model of the data card that supports speeds up to 7.2Mbps and also has some storage capacity. Though it says up to 7.2Mbps, I did not expect it to go anywhere beyond 100Kbps. Needless to say, I was absolutely shocked & thrilled at the same time when I saw this: Airtel 3G

I was like – WOW! 🙂

It took me some time to make it work with the F16 machine; for the install scripts had numerous bugs of unresolved paths and compilation failures. The install script comes with a NDIS kernel driver and other library modules. So after fixing installtion, I started wvdial(1), which of-course failed saying: “COMMAND NOT SUPPORTED”.

There was no way to know which command not supported. First I thought it was because the NDIS driver failed to load, but even after compiling that driver myself and inserting it with insmod(8), the dongle refused to work. After searching a little and some trial and error I finally settled for the following wvdial(1) configuration.

# cat wvdial.conf
[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2
Init3 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP",""

ISDN = 0
Modem Type = Analog Modem

Phone = *99#
Username = www
Password = www

Baud = 9600
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0

This is automatically generated by the wvdialconf(1) program. Except the Init3 string which is shown in bold above. That is the string which helps in initialising the device.[1]

The solid(un-blinking) cyan light on the device says: connected to the 3G+ network. I hope it only gets better from here. 🙂