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Re: Sony Ericsson GC79 802.11g/GPRS modem pcmcia card

David A. Patterson wrote:

Sorry, the second part of the question: The card's been relabled by
T-Mobile as Sony Ericsson GC79 (it's a recent purchase)

# cardctl ident
Socket 0:
 product info: "Broadcom", "802.11g/GPRS CardBus", "1.0"
 manfid: 0x02d0, 0x0432

The card can't be put into mode Monitor or Master with iwconfig, but
Ad-Hoc, channel switching, mode Auto, etc. work OK.  Good for my needs,
but airsnort won't work with it -
The modem side is auto tri-band, so I can use it with my Bangkok mobile
service when I get home...
I just purchased one of these cards and service from T-Mobile in the U.S. for $29/month. It works fine with ndiswrapper for the 802.11b and serial_cs for the GPRS "modem". While like with all things from Broadcom, I wish they'd get over themselves and release real specs so a proper Linux driver could be made for the 802.11b chipset, at least it can be made to work.

Testing last night while my wife drove, travelling about 80 miles in and around the Denver Metro area and north to Greeley, Colorado at speeds ranging from 0 to 75 MPH yielded no dropped service and continuous data activity. 56K is slow, but workable for many things. Pretty neat. I never really saw it fall below 56K speeds, but did see some slight delays during cell-site handoffs.

I just wanted to say thanks, David. Your modified pppconfig scripts work beautifully. Thank you for sharing them.

I also noticed that in the Windows software I have the "VPN" service which appears to bypass the proxy's and compression and get a real IP address. I haven't completed testing this under Windows, and the documentation you referenced from the guy at O'Riley and Associates says that changing to "internet3.voicestream.net" should allow connections this way under Linux, however the call attempt fails whenever I try this here. I'm assuming this means that the Windows software is sending something different nowadays to the modem, but I am not sure how to "see" what it's doing under Windows when talking to the card. If anyone knows of any interesting ways to do this, I'll try them and post my findings.

Now I need to hack together some scripts to auto-switch between the two whenever I'm out of range of 802.11b... one of those projects that will probably "never get done", but nonetheless, it's on the "list".

A friend has the AT&T GPRS EDGE card he uses under Windows and it operates at about 3x-4x the speed of the T-Mobile card, but at a price of about 3x also. $29/month is as close to "reasonable" as I could find for an "always-on anywhere" type data service. Good stuff.

Nate Duehr, nate@natetech.com

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