One of my favourite features of Fedora 9 is NetworkManager's new support for wireless 3G modems. I just recently got a Novatel Ovation U727 EVDO Rev A USB Modem for Sprint's network because this modem explicitly supports Linux. Sprint provides instructions for using the U727 on Linux from its Web site. But, since Fedora 9 makes this process much easier, here is how to do it:
- Have your laptop always load the proper drivers for the modem by adding the following lines to /etc/rc.local:
#load driver for Sprint Novatel u727 wireless modem
modprobe -v usbserial vendor=0x1410 product=0x4100
- Insert your U727 into your laptop.
- The U727 has built-in flash storage for which Fedora will mount on your machine, launch a file browser, and show a link on your desktop. Close the file browser, and right-click the link to your flash storage and select to eject the device (note that unless you eject the flash storage, your modem won't work).
- Right-click on NetworkManager and select Edit Connections.
- Click on the Add button to create a new connection for your U727.
- Fill in the new dialog box with the name of your modem's connection and the number to dial. In my case, I named the connection Sprint Novatel U727. Type in #777 for the number to dial.
- Hit OK and then close the dialog box
- Now, click on NetworkManager, and you should see your new USB modem connection show up as a connection option.
- Select your new connection, and you'll be online!
- Insert your U727 into your laptop
- Eject the mounted flash storage device in your modem (unless you eject the flash storage, your modem won't work)
- Go to NetworkManager to select your U727 connection
I'm currently writing this post while online with my Sprint U727 modem. As a side-note, I selected Sprint's 3G service for mobile broadband even though I don't use Sprint for my cell phone service because Sprint has truly unlimited data usage (Verizon and AT&T cap at 5GB/month) with good terms of service (Verizon restricts things like streaming media), and its EVDO rev A network is fairly fast. Here are the results of a speed test that I just ran:
Sprint is updating its Terms of Service to cap data usage at 5GB/month too. Given that, I will likely switch from Sprint to Verizon, which I prefer for cell phone service. Verizon also sells a U727 modem, so these instructions will work for Verizon too