Using mobile broadband with Linux in Kenya just keeps getting easier and easier. The days of manually editing text files and dialing with wvdial on the command line seem to be over. For some time now—in Ubuntu at least—it’s been sufficient enough to just plug in your modem or phone then setup your “mobile broadband connection” from the network menu. In related news, as of Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” you can finally connect easily to Orange Internet:

Mobile providers in Maverick Meerkat's Network Manager
Mobile providers in Maverick Meerkat’s Network Manager

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Miscellaneous, Rants

Safaricom's Huawei E160 USB modem
Safaricom’s Huawei E160 USB modem

I use a Safaricom-branded Huawei E160 USB modem to connect to the Internet over 3G from my apartment in Westlands. It works great but Safaricom has locked the device so it only works on their network—an anti-consumer move they probably learned from the likes of AT&T. We have four different mobile providers in Kenya, each one of which sells their own custom-branded Huawei modems. The other providers are small fries compared to Safaricom, but they love to play catch up so they’ve locked their modems too. Wanna browse on Zain? Buy a Zain modem! Thanks for nothing…

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