SDB:Connect to the internet via an UMTS connection

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UMTS is fast mobile broadband. It is faster than GSM, GPRS, EDGE and almost as fast as HSDPA. For more information on what it is, see wikipedia's article.

This describes an example how to surf via UMTS under Linux. The example has been done on 2011-08-12 in Germany with the otelo SurfStick in the Vodaphone network on openSUSE 11.4.. It may work same or similar with another hardware, distribution, phone network or country. Here are the steps I took after buying:


To find out if you have a UMTS modem and your kernel recognizes it, use the command

hwinfo --modem --short

Activate it

Due to Vodaphone requirements I had to hand out my ID card to the shop assistant and she activated the surf stick for me.


  • log in to SUSE using Gnome
  • Install Networkmanager
yast -i NetworkManager
  • start NetworkManager
  • click on NetworkManager -> New GSM connection -> Germany -> my provider is not listed here -> APN is
  • log out and back in again using Gnome
  • attach your USB device Surf Stick
  • when required, enter your pin
  • click on NetworkManager -> otelo connection
  • start firefox, surf to
  • you are redirected to a page where you can choose which plan you want to use (e.g. 4 days internet for 9.99 €)
  • select a plan

Test it

  • you are now connected to the internet:
duffman:~ # ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from ( icmp_req=1 ttl=244 time=381 ms
64 bytes from ( icmp_req=2 ttl=244 time=300 ms
--- ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 2 received, 33% packet loss, time 2000ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 300.410/340.827/381.245/40.421 ms
duffman:~ # ip a s
1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 16436 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN 
    link/loopback 00:00:00:00:00:00 brd 00:00:00:00:00:00
    inet brd scope host lo
    inet brd scope host secondary lo
    inet6 ::1/128 scope host 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
2: eth0: <NO-CARRIER,BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state DOWN qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:22:19:f7:3c:bb brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
3: wlan1: <NO-CARRIER,BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP> mtu 1500 qdisc mq state DOWN qlen 1000
    link/ether 00:22:fb:89:57:06 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
5: ppp0: <POINTOPOINT,MULTICAST,NOARP,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UNKNOWN qlen 3
    inet peer scope global ppp0
duffman:~ # route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface UH    0      0        0 ppp0       U     0      0        0 lo         UG    0      0        0 ppp0
duffman:~ # 


You can now use

  • GSM
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • UMTS


List of APNs

When using the software umtsmon to connect, or if your provider is not a choice under Networkmanager, you will need to know your provider's APN. Find them below. An example how to enter them can be found here.


  • D1:
  • D2, otelo/Vodaphone:
  • E2, Fonic/O2:

See also