Using Plug and play devices on Linux is probably not the best experience one can have. Usually it involves installing drivers, editing configuration files and reading online forums to find fixes. So i was pleasantly surprised when I signed up for a Idea Cellular 3g Broadband access, and it just worked.
It must be the popularity of Linux distributions on laptops, that had prompted Idea (And the maker of the device HUAWEI) to provide drivers on the device, that can be used for the installation. Even though their printed installation instructions (Included with the USB package) say nothing about installing on Linux, i was able to get it installed and working with no issues.
It made me so happy that it worked out of the box, that i had to blog about it and let the world know.
My laptop runs 64 bit Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahrir.
Make sure that Idea has enabled your SIM for use in their network (This is a process that can take upto 48 hours after you have bought the device and signed up for their service).
In my case i signed up for a pre-paid connection that gives me 3Gb of usage in a month. (Atleast that is my understanding at present).
Take the SIM card provided in the box, and insert it into the USB device. Ensure that you push the SIM card all the way in (Or else it will say SIM card not detected as you try the install).
Now insert the USB device to a USB port on your laptop.
Start a terminal and login as root
sudo su -
cd to the usb device (You may have to replace the path below with your correct path name, to the usb device for your laptop)
cd /media/rramdas/Idea\ Net\ Setter/
Run the installer
It will prompt you for the location to install the software. Accept the default location /usr/local/Idea_Net_Setter
It completes the install and configuration and then asks you to register
Click on register now, and enter your e-mail ID and Mobile phone#, they will text you a password, enter that.
Once you have registered you will see the following screen.
Click Connect and it connects you to the mobile broadband. Clean and simple.
From hereon every time you reboot your laptop and re-insert the USB device, the o/s will automatically detect that the usb device is a netsetter broadband modem, and prompt you with the screen to connect.
You can bring up the Idea connection manager screen by invoking search and just typing in “Idea”. This application shows you a wealth of information including your current utilization, and the upload and download speeds you are getting. Pretty awesome if you ask me.