Mini-howto on How to get the onboard UMTS card (Wireless 5530 HSDPA Minicard) of a Dell E6500 running on (K)Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty)

June 18, 2009

I got this week my new company notebook, a Dell E6500 with an internal UMTS card. As you know me I did at once a dual boot install on it. And the Linux in this case is Kubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty). The installation of the 64bit version (as the notebook has 4GB of RAM) went smooth. So I put an UMTS SIM card into it and went on a trip, as I thought it is easy to setup on the fly. Guess? I was wrong. Surely I got an /dev/ttyACM0 device and I was able to set the PIN but as soon as I send the ATZ command I got an “ERROR” returned.

What you will also recognize is that the UMTS LED (right to the bluetooth LED) stays dark even after sending the PIN. So we’re missing here something. The solution is AT+CFUN=1 which turns the RF Circuit Power on (and lets the LED light 😉 ). I got it running before I went home from the trip, to be exactly I’m on the trip and writing this howto.

Following is the full solution for the problem.

  1. wvdial install: I use wvdial to get into the internet via UMTS. Install the package wvdial like this apt-get install wvdial
  2. wvdial config: Put following into /etc/wvdial.conf and change the APN (“A1.net” in my example) ,PIN (1234), username and password. My example is for the Austrian Provider A1 which I use.

    [Dialer Defaults]
    New PPPD = yes
    Stupid Mode = 1

    [Dialer pin]
    Modem = /dev/ttyACM0
    Init1 = AT+CPIN="1234"

    [Dialer On]
    Modem = /dev/ttyACM0
    Init1 = AT+CFUN=1

    [Dialer Off]
    Modem = /dev/ttyACM0
    Init1 = AT+CFUN=4

    [Dialer a1]
    Init1 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
    Init2 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","A1.net"
    Modem = /dev/ttyACM0
    Baud = 460800
    ISDN = 0
    Phone = *99***1#
    Password = www
    Username = [email protected]
  3. PIN: Run wvdial pin to unlock the SIM card with the PIN.
  4. Power: Run wvdial on to activate the power and if you’re finished call wvdial off to save battery life.
  5. get online: Wait some seconds after you switched the power on so the card has time to find a base station to connect to. Now type wvdial a1 (replace a1 with your provider name (it needs to the same one as in the config file). If everthing worked and you’re online you get following:

    --> Carrier detected. Starting PPP immediately.
    --> Starting pppd at Thu Jun 18 21:03:46 2009
    --> Pid of pppd: 3993
    --> Using interface ppp0
    --> local IP address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
    --> remote IP address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
    --> primary DNS address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
    --> secondary DNS address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

    If you want disconnect just press CRTL-C.

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