I’m connected through the aether! (Well using 1900Mhz — cellular)

Cingular cellular using a Lenovo X200 and Ericcson F3507g built-in cellular modem


Internet connectivity is necessary in this day and age, especially for an engineer at Sun! So, one day at my Father’s house I was playing with his Sierra Wireless USB dongle and not succeeding at figuring out what to do without internet (this might help for those with one), but I remembered my work Lenovo X200 had a Cingular capable WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network) card.

Basic Solaris Implementation

So, I pulled the battery on the Lenovo and stuck the SIM card in from the Sierra Wireless dongle. From this point I fired up the Solaris Device Driver Utility (Applications->System Tools->Device Driver Utility or /usr/bin/python /usr/ddu/ddu.py). The DDU told me that the usbsacm driver was attached (actually twice and why, I’m not sure) which meant Solaris could talk to the card okay. To confirm I fired up tip(1) and typed ATZ which on a modem will usually give OK meaning all’s well and the modem’s ready to accept further commands to setup a data call. The Ericsson didn’t respond OK but instead ERROR, this required some digging…

Modem/PPP Setup

Since, the modem wasn’t in the right state to accept AT commands I looked around for what was up. The Ericsson F3507g has a offline and online mode. The command to bring the modem online is AT+CFUN=1 and sure enough the wireless modem light on the Lenovo lit up green (yes, AT+CFUN=0 turns it off again). This was a good sign!

Next, was setting up the files to run pppd(1). I usually use as a template, the instructions on the page for the OpenSolaris WWAN Project (see the “Configuration” heading). Here was no exception, however, I found that some things were going to be special for the Ericsson modem and Cingular. Thus I would have custom /etc/ppp/peers/evdo and /etc/ppp/evdo-chat files (and as it turns out a custom /etc/ppp/chap-secrets file). Indeed I did, they’re available below (to use also make a symlink for the modem to /dev/evdo — usually pfexec ln -s /dev/term/0 /dev/evdo):

Now all I have to do when I want to use the cellular modem is type pfexec pppd call evdo!


One Comment

  1. Paul Harper
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    This whole wwan/gprs would be a lot easier if Solaris/OpenSolaris had something like wvdial.

    I can use my wvdial.conf on Slackware, Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSuse and Fedora. Only when I come to OpenSolaris do I have to mess around with multiple pppd related files.

    In a similar way that wvdial has entered gnome network-manager I hope something similar can get into OpenSolaris nwam.

    Thanks for your post.

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