I live next to nowhere in Kenya, so Internet access is pretty limited. I am able to access it at work, but it’s slow and only available during the day. Luckily Safaricom, one of the local cell phone companies, just rolled out 3G technology across Kenya. My cell phone isn’t very fancy so I picked up the USB modem instead. When the Safaricom employee asked if I had brought my laptop for them to configure I replied, “Um… no. I’ll do it myself…” So this is the culmination of my ensuing research.
Using a Huawei e220 With Safaricom Under Linux
The Huawei e220 is a USB HSDPA modem capable of some crazy speeds like 7.2 megabits per second, though Safaricom advertises the max on its network as being around 3.6. If you look around on the internet you’ll find a dearth of information about using the Huawei e220 under Linux, as lots of mobile phone companies all over the world have been providing these units for a few years. The software required to use these under Linux has changed a lot of the years, and it’s actually pretty easy to get working once you piece together the information from several blogs, forums, and man pages. If you also live in Kenya, use Linux, and have one of these modems, keep reading.