Ubuntu Updates Fix 3G Issue

December 20, 2008

in Linux,Tech

In my previous Ubuntu post, I mentioned that the reason that mobile broadband support was not my favorite new feature.  I had been unable to get my 3G card to work properly.  I could only get it to connect every once in a while and when it did, the speed was very slow.  Well this week when I went to  apply the latest Ubuntu updates that had been released, I noticed one that specifically mentioned fixes for Sierra Wireless 3G cards and AT&T.  As soon as I got home that night I grabbed my 3G card and booted up my laptop to see if this resolved the problem.   I deleted the previous network connection I had created for my 3G card and went through the setup again.  As soon as I applied my changes I got a message saying I was connected!  I ran through some tests to see what my connection speed was and determined I was getting right around the speeds I get with Windows XP.  After a few days of playing with my new ability to use 3G directly within Ubuntu, I am surprised to say this is still not my favorite update.  There is still room for improvement.  I get a weak 3G signal at my house and if I do not force the card to connect to 3G it will step down to Edge speeds.  The NetworkManager Applet in Ubuntu 8.1o has no way of forcing the card to a particular network, nor does it provide any indication signal strength.  So I am left blindly roaming around trying to find the best location to surf the web.  Granted things are better than they were (I can connect), but I am still not happy.  I need to be able  to force the card to 3G and get some type of feedback on signal strength.  If you have had some of these same issues and found workarounds or fixes please let us know about them.

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