2.5. Establishing a Mobile Broadband Connection

You can use NetworkManager's mobile broadband connection abilities to connect to the following 2G and 3G services:
  • 2G — GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution), or CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access).
  • 3G — UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), or EVDO (EVolution Data-Only).
Your computer must have a mobile broadband device (modem), which the system has discovered and recognized, in order to create the connection. Such a device may be built into your computer (as is the case on many notebooks and netbooks), or may be provided separately as internal or external hardware. Examples include PC card, USB Modem or Dongle, mobile or cellular telephone capable of acting as a modem.

Procedure 2.5. Adding a New Mobile Broadband Connection

You can configure a mobile broadband connection by opening the Network Connections tool and selecting the Mobile Broadband tab.
  1. Press the Super key to enter the Activities Overview, type nm-connection-editor and then press Enter. The Network Connections tool appears.
  2. Click the Add button. The Choose a Connection Type menu opens.
  3. Select the Mobile Broadband menu entry.
  4. Click Create to open the Set up a Mobile Broadband Connection assistant.
  5. Under Create a connection for this mobile broadband device, choose the 2G- or 3G-capable device you want to use with the connection. If the drop-down menu is inactive, this indicates that the system was unable to detect a device capable of mobile broadband. In this case, click Cancel, ensure that you do have a mobile broadband-capable device attached and recognized by the computer and then retry this procedure. Click the Continue button.
  6. Select the country where your service provider is located from the list and click the Continue button.
  7. Select your provider from the list or enter it manually. Click the Continue button.
  8. Select your payment plan from the drop-down menu and confirm the Access Point Name (APN) is correct. Click the Continue button.
  9. Review and confirm the settings and then click the Apply button.
  10. Edit the mobile broadband-specific settings by referring to the section called “Configuring the Mobile Broadband Tab”

Procedure 2.6. Editing an Existing Mobile Broadband Connection

Follow these steps to edit an existing mobile broadband connection.
  1. Press the Super key to enter the Activities Overview, type nm-connection-editor and then press Enter. The Network Connections tool appears.
  2. Select the Mobile Broadband tab.
  3. Select the connection you want to edit and click the Edit button. See Section 2.3.4, “Common Configuration Options in nm-connection-editor” for more information.
  4. Edit the mobile broadband-specific settings by referring to the section called “Configuring the Mobile Broadband Tab”

Saving Your New (or Modified) Connection and Making Further Configurations

Once you have finished editing your mobile broadband connection, click the Apply button to save your customized configuration. If the profile was in use while being edited, power cycle the connection to make NetworkManager apply the changes. If the profile is OFF, set it to ON or select it in the network connection icon's menu. See Section 2.3.1, “Connecting to a Network Using a GUI” for information on using your new or altered connection.
You can further configure an existing connection by selecting it in the Network Connections window and clicking Edit to return to the Editing dialog.
Then, to configure:

Configuring the Mobile Broadband Tab

If you have already added a new mobile broadband connection using the assistant (see Procedure 2.5, “Adding a New Mobile Broadband Connection” for instructions), you can edit the Mobile Broadband tab to disable roaming if home network is not available, assign a network ID, or instruct NetworkManager to prefer a certain technology (such as 3G or 2G) when using the connection.
Number
The number that is dialed to establish a PPP connection with the GSM-based mobile broadband network. This field may be automatically populated during the initial installation of the broadband device. You can usually leave this field blank and enter the APN instead.
Username
Enter the user name used to authenticate with the network. Some providers do not provide a user name, or accept any user name when connecting to the network.
Password
Enter the password used to authenticate with the network. Some providers do not provide a password, or accept any password.
APN
Enter the Access Point Name (APN) used to establish a connection with the GSM-based network. Entering the correct APN for a connection is important because it often determines:
  • how the user is billed for their network usage;
  • whether the user has access to the Internet, an intranet, or a subnetwork.
Network ID
Entering a Network ID causes NetworkManager to force the device to register only to a specific network. This can be used to ensure the connection does not roam when it is not possible to control roaming directly.
Type
Any — The default value of Any leaves the modem to select the fastest network.
3G (UMTS/HSPA) — Force the connection to use only 3G network technologies.
2G (GPRS/EDGE) — Force the connection to use only 2G network technologies.
Prefer 3G (UMTS/HSPA) — First attempt to connect using a 3G technology such as HSPA or UMTS, and fall back to GPRS or EDGE only upon failure.
Prefer 2G (GPRS/EDGE) — First attempt to connect using a 2G technology such as GPRS or EDGE, and fall back to HSPA or UMTS only upon failure.
Allow roaming if home network is not available
Uncheck this box if you want NetworkManager to terminate the connection rather than transition from the home network to a roaming one, thereby avoiding possible roaming charges. If the box is checked, NetworkManager will attempt to maintain a good connection by transitioning from the home network to a roaming one, and vice versa.
PIN
If your device's SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) is locked with a PIN (Personal Identification Number), enter the PIN so that NetworkManager can unlock the device. NetworkManager must unlock the SIM if a PIN is required in order to use the device for any purpose.
CDMA and EVDO have fewer options. They do not have the APN, Network ID, or Type options.