While looking for ways to connect to the internet while on the move, i remembered that i had an old 3G dongle i bought some time ago. It was for the O2 network in the UK. When plugged in, the dongle has logic within it to self-install the driver and connection manager needed by my Apple MacBook. This setup my system to be able to handle any connect that can be gained from the dongle.
Part two of the problem is that the dongle will only ‘talk’ on certain frequencies and at different speeds, or rates of transmissions. OK, that means this dongle will only talk to some networks and not others. Still, the dongle is technically able to converse with a variety of networks. It is down to the dongle providers as to which networks the dongle will ‘talk’ to. My dongle is sold by the O2 network and as you would expect, it will only converse with that network. This is a form of vendor lock-in where the vendor can fleece you for extra dosh at rates that may/maynot be the lowest. So this part of the problem is down to the hardware and something that’s set at the factory and which we cannot change. Buy another dongle if you want to use different networks. BUT there is a SIM card inside the dongle that governs which networks can be seen. You can ‘break’ out of this straight-jacket by ‘unlocking’ your SIM card in the same way we do for some mobile phones. Look at http://www.unlocked-dongle.co.uk/Unlock-O2-3G-Modems-and-Dongles.html and their other pages to see which networks you can escape from.
Part three of the problem, assuming you have loaded the connection manager, the hardware driver and you know the dongle is working, is to gain access to the network your dongle talks to. This means you need to buy a plan from the network provider. For a payment to them, they will allow your dongle to send data up to their satellite and bring data down to your dongle from their satellite connection. Speeds vary and there is a noticable delay when using the 3G dongle as each email, mouse-click or browse on your system requires the request to go up to the satellite, down to their base station, into the internet backbone, to the destination, and any reply would arrive in your system via the same route. All this too-ing and fro-ing takes time, hence the slower speeds of service.
Newer 3G dongles have transmission rates approaching 20MB/second. This rate is possible but may bankrupt your account rather quickly unless you have an unlimited plan.
My thanks to Sam Moffatt at : http://pasamio.com/2011/07/22/getting-your-huawei-modem-working-with-mac-os-x-lion/. If you go to the bother, you will be able to see folders like this :
Following his directions, i was able to setup my Macbook to use my old O2 dongle. As i am in France, i will need to visit the local Orange France Telecom office to buy a plan. More anon.
To get around problems with this WordPress blog, i have uploaded the zip file you need here but i had to change the end of the file name to add .JPG at the end of it. If you choose to download this zip file, you must remove the .jpg from the end of the filename so that the file will be seen as a typical .ZIP file and can be opened/installed as normal.
Also if you have an Apple, here is a great link to understanding mac apps, packages and bundles : http://www.mactipsandtricks.com/articles/Wiley_HT_appBundles.lasso