[Gllug] GPRS / 3G PCMCIA info

Christopher Hunter chrisehunter at blueyonder.co.uk
Thu Jul 27 04:45:38 UTC 2006

On Wednesday 26 Jul 2006 23:19, Dylan wrote:
> Hi All,
> I'm looking at taking out a mobile phone data account with a PC-Card for my
> laptop. Does anyone have any experience in this area? How complicated is it
> likely to be to get a connection working under Linux?

I have to use one for work.  The laptops we use are bizarre, ruggedised things 
made by Steatite, which include the guts of a mobile phone (rather than a 
separate card) and a SIM-card socket beneath the battery!  We use Orange 
GPRS, and service can range from about as good as a 28K telephone modem (back 
in the good old days) down to virtually non-existant.

The telephone part of the laptop appears as a "standard external modem" on 
eth3, and as long as you get the dialled number, user name and password 
correctly provided to you by the service provider (Orange were pretty 
clueless) it's trivially easy to set up in Linux.  Mandriva (in my case) 
found the hardware OK, and the rest was easy.

If you're using an external card (PCMCIA or whatever), that just appears as an 
external modem too, so is easily set up.

In London, Vodafone appear best for mobile data services, but outside London, 
your guess is as good as mine!  Coverage is quite patchy.

No matter who you choose to connect with (they're all as inept as each other, 
in my experience), the "service" is ridiculously expensive!


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