Vodafone 3G Datacard & SUSE 9.3 or Gentoo Linux

The following is a terse description of how to install a Vodafone 3G (UMTS and GPRS) or 3G Broadband (HSDPA) datacard on Suse 9.3 or Gentoo Linux.
This article has been re-published at Wikinerds under the GFDL.
For information on how to send SMSs with this card, see Tom Craig's Howto on sending SMSs.

Vodafone Supports Linux!

Incredibly, Vodafone are now linking to Linux drivers for their mobile broadband offerings! See Betavine (Vodafone R&D). This page may still be of use, but the most up-to-date information is likely to be on Betavine.

Drivers for 3G Broadband (HSDPA)

Drivers for 3G (UMTS/GPRS)

Using the modem with pppd


Note 1: Network scans (i.e., to see what networks are available, not just Vodafone ones) take quite a long time, during which you will not be able to connect. The AT command for scanning may time out, and pppd will come back with a connection failed message, but the card will continue to be blocked on scanning. Increasing the timeout in your chat file is useful here (I set mine to 120).

Note 2: If you are trying to log signal strength or networks you are connected to at regular intervals, rather than actually connect to them, you are likely to want to kill the pppd process using a script. If this is done using kill -9, pppd will leave a stale lock on the modem device, and the AT+CSQ command will not give a response. If instead kill -3 is used, this problem does not occur.