I recently got myself a FONIC account for mobile Internet. This (German) prepaid-provider offers a "daily flatrate" for 2.50€ per day. After the 10th day of usage (i.e., 25€) you don't pay any more. This means, even if you need mobile Internet access 31 days a month, you only pay for 10 days. After 500MB/day or 5GB/month you're throttled down to GPRS speed (but you can still connect, and you don't pay more).
$ apt-get install usb-modeswitch wvdial
Recent versions of usb_modeswitch (and matching udev entries) already support the Huawei E1750 out of the box, a few seconds after attaching the device it's automatically switched into modem mode. After this has been done you should have three new serial devices, usually /dev/ttyUSB0, /dev/ttyUSB1, and /dev/ttyUSB2. You'll need /dev/ttyUSB0 for talking to the device using AT commands. The lsusb output should look like this (see here for full lsusb -vvv):
$ lsusb Bus 001 Device 045: ID 12d1:1436 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
(before usb_modeswitch was run, the USB IDs were 12d1:1446)
The required settings for connecting are documented at fonic.de, specifically the APN (pinternet.interkom.de). A username and/or password is not required. You need to provide your FONIC PIN though. Dialing is done using the *99# number and using the ATDT command.
I'm using the following wvdial config file:
$ cat /etc/wvdial.conf [Dialer Defaults] Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0 Baud = 460800 [Dialer pin] Init1 = AT+CPIN=1234 [Dialer fonic] Phone = *99# Username = foo Password = foo Stupid Mode = 1 Dial Command = ATDT Init2 = ATZ Init3 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","pinternet.interkom.de"
For mobile Internet access you would do the following:
$ wvdial pin --> WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.61 --> Initializing modem. --> Sending: AT+CPIN=1234 AT+CPIN=1234 OK --> Modem initialized. --> Configuration does not specify a valid phone number. --> Configuration does not specify a valid login name. --> Configuration does not specify a valid password.
$ wvdial fonic --> WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.61 --> Initializing modem. --> Sending: ATZ ATZ OK --> Sending: ATZ ATZ OK --> Sending: AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","pinternet.interkom.de" AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","pinternet.interkom.de" OK --> Modem initialized. --> Sending: ATDT*99# --> Waiting for carrier. ATDT*99# CONNECT --> Carrier detected. Starting PPP immediately. --> Starting pppd at Mon Aug 1 xx:xx:xx 2011 --> Pid of pppd: 18672 --> Using interface ppp0 --> local IP address xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx --> remote IP address yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy --> primary DNS address 18.104.22.168 --> secondary DNS address 22.214.171.124
If everything worked fine you should now have connected successfully.
There are other alternatives for achieving the same result, including umtsmon (Qt3 in the last release from 2009, looks a bit unmaintained), kppp, the GNOME NetworkManager, and others, but wvdial worked OK for me.
For more details about the Huawei E1750 device (e.g. lsusb -vvv and more photos), see my wiki page at
Update 2011-08-03: My measured download speed for a Debian ISO (over HTTP via wget, at night, roughly 22:00 o'clock) is 350-470 KB/s in case anyone is interested. During this download the blue LED on the stick was enabled, which denotes a UMTS connection (green == GPRS/EDGE, turquoise == HSDPA).