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How to configure a ZTE MF636 3G modem on Fedora 11

Optimus is now offering a Kanguru-branded ZTE MF363 3G USB pen to it’s customers which does not work out of the box with a Linux Fedora 11 install.
The steps to get it working are, however, pretty straightforward to apply and this is a quick-and-dirty howto for the process.

Some degree of comfort using the command-line is required and please do bear in mind that these steps work on a Fedora 11 distro but other distros will surely require some adjustments. As usual, YMMV.

The steps to get your shiny new 3G modem working are as follow:

  1. As root do yum install usb_modeswitch

  2. Edit your /etc/usb_modeswitch.conf and add the following section:

    Update: It seems that the current (as of October 2009) distribution already has this section added to it, so you may simply edit the file and uncoment it.

    ########################################################
    # ZTE MF628+ (tested version from Telia / Sweden)
    # ZTE MF626
    # ZTE MF636 (aka "Telstra / BigPond 7.2 Mobile Card")
    #
    # Contributor: Joakim Wennergren
    DefaultVendor= 0x19d2
    DefaultProduct= 0x2000
    TargetVendor= 0x19d2
    TargetProduct= 0x0031
    MessageEndpoint=0x01
    MessageContent="55534243123456782000000080000c85010101180101010101000000000000"
    
  3. Add a new rules file to udev’s conf (something like /etc/udev/rules.d/zte-pen.rules) with the following contents:

    SYSFS{idVendor}=="19d2", SYSFS{idProduct}=="2000", RUN+="/usr/bin/usb_modeswitch"
    
  4. Right-click your NetworkManager applet and select “Edit Connections

  5. Choose the “Mobile Broadband” tab and either create a new connection or edit the existing one as you please

  6. Ensure that the following options are as follow (for everything else you can just leave in the defaults):

    • Number: *99#
    • Username, Password, APN are all empty
    • PIN: your own PIN

From this point on you should be able to simply insert the pen and (after a few seconds for the device to settle) go in to your NetworkManager applet, select the newly found connection under the “Mobile Broadband” section and it should now connect.

If you wish to check it while connecting you can, as usual, tail the /var/log/messages log file, where you should see loads of (un)interesting stuff about the connection that is taking place.

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Originally written on Sep 21, 2009 @ 16:50
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