Mobile broadband from the command line in Ubuntu

For people who want to use their HSDPA connection from the command line in Ubuntu – Perhaps you have a server you want to use it on, or perhaps you want to do it from the command line for the craic – This is for you.

There are 3 files involved “/etc/ppp/peers/provider”, “/etc/chatscripts/pap” and “/etc/ppp/chap-secrets”.

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Boost your mobile broadband, get a HSDPA modem that supports an external antenna.

You are probably at this page because you aren’t getting decent bandwidth and response from your mobile broadband connection. It’s worth noting that even if you use the most expensive ways of boosting the signal you may still receive poor bandwidth and response. This is because there is only so much data that can be carried on the frequencies available, so at times of heavy usage (particularly when there is also heavy phone usage as 3G shares the same radio waves) it doesn’t matter what you do, mobile broadband (or midband as it should really be referred to) will not work well.

Now I have dropped that bombshell I will list the ways of boosting the signal:-

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Using a Novatel XUA-1 and X950D in Ubuntu

I read an article recently that suggested using a saucepan as a mobile broadband booster and it peeked my interest enough to give it a try. In case I needed to use my Novatel X950D express card with another machine I had already purchased a Novatel XUA-1 USB to Express Card 36 adapter. This, therefore, gave me a way of placing the modem in the middle of a saucepan, which would be nigh on impossible were the modem in it’s rightful express card slot in the laptop.

Unfortunately, however, due to a production issue at the plant my XUA-1 came wired as “bus powered”, which effectively means it tells the operating system it only has 100ma of power available even though that isn’t true. Subsequently the OS – be it Windows or Linux – won’t then allow the X950D to work in conjunction with the XUA-1.

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