Ok, I promised you that I’d explain how to get mobile broadband with the 3 network working in Australia. There some information out there about how to do this, but it’s a bit hard to find, and what’s there can be obtuse. Geeks really need to learn how to communicate.
Here’s the lowdown: Ubuntu 8.10 is awesome in many ways. NetworkManager 0.7.0 is one of those ways. It already knows how to set up a mobile broadband connection for you, which is almost excellent. The only thing lacking in the ‘druid’ or ‘wizard’ or whatever they’re calling it these days is that it doesn’t do 3 mobile broadband if you’re using prepaid, which I am.
You only need one setting: the correct APN, which is: 3services
To save you the hassle of looking up the appropriate posts over at Whirlpool, or whever you get your aussie broadband info from, here’s how to use it.
Step 1: Install Ubuntu 8.10. Failing that, install NetworkManager 0.7.0. If you’re using some other distro, sorry, I can’t help you.
Step 2: Insert your 3 mobile broadband USB dongle thingy. The kernel will recognise it (I’m running 2.6.27-11-generic, if that helps), and NetworkManager will likely load up a druid to help you configure it. If you’ve already played around with the dongle (and who doesn’t like playing with a new dongle?), it may not automatically pull up the edit. That’s ok, you can do it manually.
Right click on the NetworkManager icon, and select ‘Edit connections…’. Select the ‘Mobile Broadband’ tab, and follow the prompts. Select the ‘Three’ network, and just let it set up the network how it wants.
Step 3: Fix the APN the druid got wrong. The APN set by the druid is the standard 3 mobile broadband; for some reason they use a different APN for prepaid acounts. The APN you need is the aforementioned ‘3services’. No quotes. Whack that in, and it’ll work a treat. Simple.
I have no idea how you get access to the SMS capabilities of the dongle under linux, so for now you’ll need access to a Windows or OSX machine to set up your My3 account so you can recharge things. For some insane reason, they send you your initial registration password via SMS to the dongle, not via email like every other ‘I forgot my password’ thing on the internet. To get the SMS, you have to install their custom app, which only works under Windows or OSX, of course.
Apart from that, it works nicely. I hope you can now enjoy mobile broadband via 3 in Australia.
Oh, for people using other networks, check the APN with someone with the same service. The connection does a weird PPP/IPCP negotiation failure thing when you get the APN wrong that can throw you off diagnosing the problem. If you get lines like this:
Jan 28 15:08:40 daggit pppd: sent [CHAP Response id=0x1 <0423d12c2de1cb1c2ff958a6d098720d>, name = "3ne taccess"] Jan 28 15:08:40 daggit pppd: rcvd [CHAP Success id=0x1 ""] Jan 28 15:08:40 daggit pppd: CHAP authentication succeeded Jan 28 15:08:40 daggit pppd: CHAP authentication succeeded Jan 28 15:08:40 daggit pppd: sent [CCP ConfReq id=0x1 <deflate 15> <deflate(old#) 15> <bsd v1 15>] Jan 28 15:08:40 daggit pppd: sent [IPCP ConfReq id=0x1 <compress VJ 0f 01> <addr 0.0.0.0> <ms-dns1 0.0.0.0> <ms-dns2 0.0.0.0>] Jan 28 15:08:40 daggit pppd: rcvd [LCP ProtRej id=0x2f 80 fd 01 01 00 0f 1a 04 78 00 18 04 78 00 15 03 2f] Jan 28 15:08:40 daggit pppd: Protocol-Reject for 'Compression Control Protocol' (0x80fd) received Jan 28 15:08:41 daggit pppd: rcvd [IPCP ConfNak id=0x1 <ms-dns1 10.11.12.13> <ms-dns2 10.11.12.14> <ms-wins 10.11.12.13> <ms-wins 10.11.12.14>] Jan 28 15:08:41 daggit pppd: sent [IPCP ConfReq id=0x2 <compress VJ 0f 01> <addr 0.0.0.0> <ms-dns1 10.11.12.13> <ms-dns2 10.11.12.14> <ms-wins 10.11.12.13> <ms-wins 10.11.12.14>] Jan 28 15:08:42 daggit pppd: Hangup (SIGHUP) Jan 28 15:08:42 daggit pppd: Modem hangup
then you’ve probably got the APN wrong. I know it doens’t look like it, but there you go. Get the APN right, and it all works a treat.
Hope this helps you. Enjoy!