USB Modem with Linux

Graham grahamtodd2 at
Fri Mar 28 14:03:02 UTC 2008

On Fri, 28 Mar 2008 12:52:18 +0000
John Hansen <whitover-1 at> wrote:

> I have been trying to establish whether the USB modem which the
> various mobile phone companies promote will work with Linux. I am
> told by the companies that they will not as there is a problem with
> drivers. Others maintain that they do work straight out of the box.
> Have any of you positive experiences in UK or Europe?
> John

Yes, I've had experience in the UK with Speedtouch modems.

No, I haven't had any positive experience.

If you have one of the silver modems it has a different chipset in it
to the non-silver Speedtouch modems, and hence need different drivers
to make it work.

They were a pig to get working in the days before ndswrapper, and I
haven't had any experience since.  The driver had to be compiled into
the kernel and then, in theory you were ready to go but I spent many
frustrating hours and days trying to get them to work and failing
badly.  In the end, I called up my ISP and obtained a modem that fitted
into the network card port on my PC, and THAT worked "out of the box".
I then connected a router with a hardware firewall between the modem
and the PC and I haven't looked back.

The driver was a proprietary driver so Linux could not use it as is,
but a back-engineered open source driver was written.  Perhaps it
wasn't mature enough then.  If you're contemplating using a Speedtouch
modem, this link might be helpful:

However my advice is to keep well away from the usb modems such as the


Graham Todd

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