Modem USB 3.5G Novatel Ovation MC950D in Ubuntu/Linux

Modem USB 3.5G Novatel Ovation MC950D MovistarContinuing with the posts describing every step that I’m taking with my future Ubuntu laptop/server/media center/etc, I’m going to try to summarize how I have configured my Modem USB 3.5G Novatel Ovation MC950D using Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) for Movistar (for other operators the steps are the same, but the configuration options vary).

To configure this modem, I have used this Sprint tutorial as the starting point.

This particular device can work as a USB memory as well as a modem. When you insert the device in Ubuntu, it will be recognized as a USB memory stick therefore, we need to do the following:

sudo modprobe -r usbserial
sudo umount  /media/Movistar/
sudo modprobe usbserial vendor=0x1410 product=0x4400

This commands will load the adequate usbserial module, as well as unmounting the drive from the system. In Sprint’s manual you can see a table with all the corresponding vendor_id and product_id for the different types of 3G modems. For the MC950D, the vendor_id is 1410 and the product_id is 4400 (as in the example above). You can always find out these ids by issuing the following command:

sudo lsusb -v

And then looking for something like this in the output:

Bus 003 Device 005: ID 1410:4400
Device Descriptor:
  bLength                18
  bDescriptorType         1
  bcdUSB               1.10
  bDeviceClass            0 (Defined at Interface level)
  bDeviceSubClass         0
  bDeviceProtocol         0
  bMaxPacketSize0        64
  idVendor           0x1410
  idProduct          0x4400
  bcdDevice            0.00
  iManufacturer           1 Novatel Wireless
  iProduct                2 Novatel Wireless HSUPA Modem
  iSerial                 4 356846010814731

Or, if we prefer the GUI, we can also find it out by using a program called usbview. This program requires that you have the usbdevfs filesystem mounted, as explained here.

Once we have loaded the modules correctly, we can see that the devices have now been created with:

sudo dmesg | grep -i ttyUSB

and we should see something like this:

[  189.360000] usb 5-1: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB0
[  189.360000] usb 5-1: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB1
[  189.360000] usb 5-1: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB2
[  189.360000] usb 5-1: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB3

The next step is to configure the conection parameters. The simplest way, although not so user friendly, is by using wvdial. For this, we have to put the following in the /etc/wvdial.conf file:

[Dialer Defaults]
Phone = *99***1#
Username = MOVISTAR
Password = MOVISTAR
Dial Command = ATDT
Stupid Mode = 1

[Dialer reset]
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Init1 = AT

[Dialer movistar]
Phone = *99***1#
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Baud = 460800
Init2 = ATZ
Init3 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
ISDN = 0
Modem Type = USB Modem
Init5 =AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","movistar.es";

The contents of this file will vary depending on the operator that we have. In my case, this is the one thats works for me with Movistar in Spain.

Once we have this, we can connect by simply issuing the following command:

sudo wvdial movistar

We should see an output similar to this:

WvDial<*1>: WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.56
WvModem<*1>: Cannot get information for serial port.
WvDial<*1>: Initializing modem.
WvDial<*1>: Sending: ATZ
WvDial Modem<*1>: ATZ
WvDial Modem<*1>: OK
WvDial<*1>: Sending: ATZ
WvDial Modem<*1>: ATZ
WvDial Modem<*1>: OK
WvDial<*1>: Sending: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
WvDial Modem<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
WvDial Modem<*1>: OK
WvDial<*1>: Sending: AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","movistar.es";
WvDial Modem<*1>: AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","movistar.es";
WvDial Modem<*1>: OK
WvDial<*1>: Modem initialized.
WvDial<*1>: Sending: ATDT*99***1#
WvDial<*1>: Waiting for carrier.
WvDial Modem<*1>: ATDT*99***1#
WvDial Modem<*1>: CONNECT HSDPA 7.2
WvDial<*1>: Carrier detected.  Starting PPP immediately.
WvDial<Notice>: Starting pppd at Mon Jan 21 23:06:58 2008
WvDial<Notice>: Pid of pppd: 6575
WvDial<*1>: Using interface ppp0
WvDial<*1>: local  IP address 88.29.36.182
WvDial<*1>: remote IP address 10.64.64.64
WvDial<*1>: primary   DNS address 194.179.1.100
WvDial<*1>: secondary DNS address 194.179.1.101

and we can disconnect just by pressing Ctrl-C.

Some people have automated all this steps using a script that they have to run manually each time they plug the USB modem. In my case, I have tried that this process is as transparent as possible, and also as similar as it would be for a Windows user (like my wife ;-). For that purpose, I have used two utilities: udev y gnome-ppp.

Thanks to this manual explaining “how to create udev rules“, I could automate the first part of the process. I created the file /etc/udev/rules.d/10-local.rules with the following content:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idProduct}=="4400", ATTR{idVendor}=="1410", SYMLINK+="35Gmodem", RUN+="/usr/bin/start_usb_modem.sh"

This way, each time that somebody inserts the device identified with the product_id 4400 and the vendor_id 1410, the system will create a specific alias called /dev/35Gmodem and will execute the instructions of the following script (contained in the file /usr/bin/start_usb_modem.sh):

 #!/bin/sh

modprobe -r usbserial
umount /media/Movistar/
modprobe usbserial vendor=0x1410 product=0x4400

NOTE: Once we create the file, we should give it execution rights:

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/start_usb_modem.sh

With all this, we won’t need to run any special script once we plug the usb modem. And all we need to do is to install and configure gnome-ppp with the same conection parameters as the ones for wvdial. Below you can see the screenshots with the configuration options:

Setup gnome-ppp movistar 3G

In the configuration options, we should set up the following:

Setup options gnome-ppp movistar 3G

Setup options gnome-ppp movistar 3G

Setup options gnome-ppp movistar 3G

In this way, we just have to plug the usb modem and start the gnome-ppp application to be able to connect to the Internet.

I have also tried to connect using the Ubuntu version for the “escritorio movistar” (movistar desktop), but so far it doesn’t work. If anyone can make it work for Ubuntu 7.10, please let me know.
I hope that this helps more people that wants to use the usb 3.5G Novatel OvationMC950D modem with Movistar or other operator. In my case, it wasn’t easy for me to find the information required.

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17 comments so far

  1. David Meireles on

    Hi. Thank you very much, this worked just out of the box, althrough you have to use a diferent script to work with Gnome PPP (since this one doesn-t read the file the same way pure wvdial does). And also, using this file, you don’t have to change your udev rules ;) Here it goes:

    [Dialer Defaults]
    Modem = /dev/noz0
    ISDN = off
    Modem Type = Analog Modem
    Baud = 460800
    Init = ATZ
    Init2 = ATZ
    Init3 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
    Init4 =
    Init5 = AT+CGDCONT=1,”IP”,”movistar.es”
    Init6 =
    Init7 =
    Init8 =
    Init9 =
    Phone = *99***1#
    Phone1 =
    Phone2 =
    Phone3 =
    Phone4 =
    Dial Prefix =
    Dial Attempts = 1
    Dial Command = ATM1L3DT
    Ask Password = off
    Password = MOVISTAR
    Username = MOVISTAR
    Auto Reconnect = off
    Abort on Busy = off
    Carrier Check = on
    Check Def Route = on
    Abort on No Dialtone = on
    Stupid Mode = on
    Idle Seconds = 0
    Auto DNS = on
    ;Minimize = off
    ;Dock = on
    ;Do NOT edit this file by hand!

  2. Jaime on

    Hola,

    He seguido todos los pasos para el modem sierra interno del thinkpad T60, con tarjeta movistar. Todo es igual salvo que el vendor=0x1199 y el product=0x6804

    Me ha parecido necesario añadir una linea Init0=AT+CPIN=XXXX para que marque mi pin, pero por lo demas lo he dejado practicamente igual.

    El resultado es que me sigue la misma traza pero al final el modem cuelga con el siguiente mensaje:

    WvDial: Terminate Request (Message: “No network protocols running” )
    WvDial: pppd: H�����[06][08]��[06][08]
    WvDial: Terminate Request (Message: “No network protocols running” )
    WvDial: pppd: H�����[06][08]��[06][08]
    WvDial: pppd: H�����[06][08]��[06][08]
    WvDial: pppd: H�����[06][08]��[06][08]
    WvDial: Disconnecting at Tue Feb 26 19:35:58 2008
    WvDial: The PPP daemon has died: A modem hung up the phone (exit code = 16)

    ¿Alguna pista?
    Gracias

  3. Pau on

    I’ve followed your steps an I have a problem with:

    $ sudo wvdial movistar

    WvDial: WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.56
    WvModem: Cannot get information for serial port.
    WvDial: Initializing modem.
    WvDial: Sending: ATZ
    WvDial Modem: ATZ
    WvDial Modem: ERROR
    WvDial: Bad init string.
    WvModem: Cannot get information for serial port.
    WvDial: Initializing modem.
    WvDial: Sending: ATZ
    WvDial Modem: ATZ
    WvDial Modem: ERROR
    WvDial: Bad init string.
    WvModem: Cannot get information for serial port.
    WvDial: Initializing modem.
    WvDial: Sending: ATZ
    WvDial Modem: ATZ
    WvDial Modem: ERROR
    WvDial: Bad init string.

    Do you know something about it?

    Thank you.

  4. rofranco on

    Pau,

    Check that your /etc/wvdial.conf file is exactly as what I’ve written here in this post.

    It seems that you have an erroneous init string.

    Good luck!!

  5. Pau on

    Perfect, also with gnome-ppp.

    Thank you.

  6. rofranco on

    I’m glad that I could help you!!

  7. rGuy on

    Hi,

    Trying to use your post to help me get an ASUS wl500Gp (wireless router) working, so that I can share the USB modem (also a MC950D from Movistar) between 2 machines in the house. I believe the ASUS runs linux, so think your work should be relevant.

    I’m not having much luck so far. If I’m using windows or my MacBook, then I am always prompted for a PIN code before the USB modem is recognized. Do you not need to define the PIN or do you avoid that by mounting the device yourself?

    Have you tried to get the Movistar modem working with a linux router?

    I’m using the following link as a guide, but they use the Vodafone modem, perhaps one which is easier to get workign than the MC950D.

    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies-archive.cfm/880784.html

    regards
    Guy

  8. rofranco on

    Hi rGuy,

    I don’t have such a router to make the tests, but from looking quickly at this post:
    http://wl500g.info/showpost.php?p=68649&postcount=28

    It seems that it could be possible to follow the instructions mentioned but being careful to use the parameters that I mention in this tutorial (like the product_id and vendor_id, etc.)

    Good luck!!

  9. [...] Now I also wanted to use my UMTS modem when working with Ubuntu. The first (semi successful)  attempt I made was by following the description in this blog post. [...]

  10. azam-personal on

    Regard
    I say thank personalbisnis.com from that post in your blog to my information.
    Good luck

  11. Alex on

    Use ubuntu network remix, it has usbserial already compiled into the kernel, u just execute
    # eject sr0
    and system automatically launches connection manager and lists all available ISPs according to your location, to apply auto configs.
    Very comfortable.

  12. Alex on

    *netbook remix, sorry, typo

  13. FaseWeapaks on

    Looks like you are a true expert. Did ya study about the subject? lol

  14. manolito on

    Hola,

    En primer lugar gracias!

    Ubuntu 10.10 reconoce el 950D y al cabo de algunos segundos pide en PIN. Una vez introducido lanzamos el wvdial y todo OK al 100%.

    Thanks a lot!

  15. Sohbet on

    I’ll bookmark this one. thanks!

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