Use EVDO in Linux for the best user experience

Tux EVDOThe post title may sound bit weird, but it’s pretty true. Using any internet connection in linux is a bliss. You will sure love the stabilty of network connection it offers and the speeds that you gain. There are few people who are using EVDO in windows and are facing many issues like frequent disconnections and low speeds. So using EVDO in linux is a great alternate solution for frustrated windows EVDO users.

If you are a kind of internet user who often use Internet just to check mails, read articles and do other online activities like watching youtube video, blogging or social networking, you will feel a great difference when you start using internet in linux. You won’t miss most of the applications that you use in windows. Linux has got loads and loads of software packages available and all for free. Also you won’t miss the windows, because you can install linux in another partition and have multi-boot with GRUB.

You may feel difficult to get started with using linux, but the massive online community is ready to solve all your problems and will help you to get started. If you are new to linux, I will recommend you to get started with Ubuntu Linux, which is free and very user-friendly. And also setting up EVDO in it takes no more than 10 minutes. Read this thread to know how to configure EVDO in Ubuntu linux and few others. I’m not forcing you to switch to linux, but just suggesting you to do it for the good reason. You will also have a proud feeling of using a free opensource and supporting the community.

The reason for writing up this article is because of my personal experience with BSNL EVDO with the EVDO network (not CDMA 1x) in ubuntu. I am having great time browsing and downloading with good speeds. In windows my download speeds used to be 40 – 60 KB/s but in ubuntu its 60 – 80 KB/s sometimes it even crosses the 100 KB/s mark. It’s so good and constant, that I upgraded my Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.10 yesterday using Network Upgrade method. The download size was around 760 MB and it was all done under 3 hours! Now that really an appreciatable speed for BSNL EVDO. If you already getting good speeds in windows, be suprised to see even more better speeds in linux.

If you are laughing about how linux can get us more speed, I want to clarify you that linux won’t boost the signal or increase the speed, but it offers the true speeds what the EVDO hardware is capable of. But in windows, there are so many restrictions for the hardware to interact with the core OS files properly.

Quote:BSNL has launched EV-DO based wireless broadband all over India and become the first EVDO service provider in India.

I have successfully connected GNU/Linux system to Internet using this service. The system used is a laptop Acer Aspire 5573 with Fedora core-8. The procedure is described below. The procedure given is very brief, I will expand it once time permits.

1. Ensure your EVDO connection is activated by BSNL. You will be provided with a user name of 10 integer size and a password of 4 integer size.

2. Connect the EVDO data-card to one of the USB port of your system. You can ensure the device availability by the command

$ lsusb

The EV-DO USB data card provided by BSNL is manufactured by ZTE Corporation. However when this device is probed using lsusb command, the device vendor will be shown as Qualcomm.

3. The device file of this card will be ttyUSB0. It this device is not created automatically, you can create it with following command with root privilege .

$ modprobe usbserial vendor=0x05c6 product=0x6000

4. You can verify the success of the operation using

$ dmesg

If device is detected properly, the output message will contain some thing like following line
usbserial_generic 2-2:1.0: generic converter detected

usb 2-2: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB0

usbserial_generic 2-2:1.1: generic converter detected

usb 2-2: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB1

usbserial_generic 2-2:1.2: generic converter detected

usb 2-2: generic converter now attached to ttyUSB2

5. Now you EVDO set-up ready. You can connect to Internet by setting up a ppp dial up connection with following details. (I have used kppp)

Modem device : /dev/ttyUSB0
Connection baud rate : Up to 921600
Dail to : #777
Username and password : As provided by BSNL.

6. To automate the device detection add a new udev rule to your system.

Open a file ‘70_bsnl_evdo’ in /etc/udev/rules.d directory and add following content in single line.
ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="05c6", ATTRS{idProduct}=="6000" RUN+="/sbin/modprobe usbserial vendor=0x05c6 product=0x6000"