[nSLUG] rogers mobile high speed with ubuntu intrepid

Daniel Morrison draker at gmail.com
Wed Jan 7 23:02:16 AST 2009

2009/1/7 Stephen Gregory <nslug at kernelpanic.ca>:
> I recently tested a Rogers Mobile High Speed usb device with Ubuntu
> Intrepid.

Hey, nifty, isn't it?

I set one of these (with Aliant) at my work, for a system located
outside the range of broadband.

> from what little debug info I was able to gather most are completely
> wrong for Rogers. Even the howto I read specifically about Rogers is
> wrong.

My device is the Novatel U720. Aliant were completely unhelpful with
Linux, but I didn't expect or ask them to be, and I found they were
pleasant about letting me do things my way.  I had a rep come by and I
tested on my laptop with his personal device, to be sure I could make
it work before purchasing one. Got it going in 15 minutes.

I had already found this guide from Sprint/Nextel in the States, which
I found astoundingly good:


The title is: Wireless Mobile Broadband Setup Guide for Linux OS
and it has RedHat, Suse, Fedora, Knoppix, and Ubuntu logos on it.

> After performing a simple trick...
> I was able to connect to the Internet.

The guide also describes a trick (forcing the usbserial driver to
claim the vendor and product IDs of the 'unknown' device) but I found
my CentOS box already recognized it fine.  No CDROM built into this

> The speed from Ottawa to a site in Toronto was 2100 kbit/s down and 350
> kbit/s up. There was a high latency of 140ms. (In contrast my DSL
> connection to the same site has a latency of 25ms.)

That sounds pretty good!

I haven't tested the speed -- we're MB-limited so I can't play much.
It was certainly adequate for remote cmd-line administration.  The
fact that I can't say anything more positive is likely 'cause it's
Aliant, and everything else I'm connected to is Eastlink, so talking
to it takes me on a trip to Montreal and back. :(

> The only caveat I know of is activating the Rogers SIM card. I don't
> think you can do this in Linux.

The Sprint help guide says:

- Wireless modem that has been activated on a Windows machine.

Certainly I spent only a moment checking it out on Linux before
activating it on a Windows laptop I had around (Pentium II, so not
really adequate for web surfing and testing speed) and then switched
right back to the Linux system with no trouble.

Thanks for sharing your experiences; I've been interested in what
other people though of these services ever since I was involved with
one. It's cool enough that I'd want one for myself, but the fees (at
least with Aliant) would make it an unreasonable expense.


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