Using Airtel Edge/GPRS Micromax MMX 610U USB device to surf the internet from Linux

This has been a major headache for me to reboot to Windows just to surf my net, and to update my Linux machine I had to forward the internet connection from a Windows computer to my Linux machine. None-the-less I eventually managed to make it work to day. 🙂

Note that I managed to make it work, and I provide no guarantee that it will work on your computer, but I will share my computer’s configuration so that it may help you.

So, first my computer’s configuration. I have Kubuntu Hardy Heron installed (8.04). My current kernel is 2.6.24-19-generic (installed from the official Ubuntu server). Mine is a 32-bit system. The USB modem I have is Micromax MMX 610U.

Now the steps to setup your USB modem:-

  1. Plug-in your USB modem. A green light will start blinking. If the light is blue then you have PIN set and I have no idea how to enter PIN code from Linux. In that case, reboot to Windows and from the provided Airtel’s software enter the PIN code and reboot to Linux or disable the PIN altogether.
  2. Now run the command lsusb in the console the output will be like as below.Bus 005 Device 003: ID 0d49:7410 Maxtor
    Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 003 Device 002: ID 046d:c016 Logitech, Inc. M-UV69a Optical Wheel Mouse
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 001 Device 004: ID 12d1:1001 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. E620 USB Modem
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

    An Important Note:-
    As I have found out that hot plugging of this USB modem doesn’t work. The modem will be detected by the kernel but for some reason wvdial won’t be able to locate the modem, hence, when you insert the modem into your USB drive then reboot your computer (or plug it in before turning on your computer).

    Note the bolded text above. That’s your modem.

  3. Now run sudo wvdialconf. This will create the file /etc/wvdial.conf with some of the necessary values.
  4. Now whatever values the file /etc/wvdial.conf keep that as such except for the ones shown below. If any settings shown below already existed then replace that with the ones below, if they didn’t exist then just add them to the file, but they must appear below the line [Dialer Defaults]. Note that will need to open the file /etc/wvdial.conf as a root. Try using sudo nano /etc/wvdial.conf.Init1 = AT+CGDCONT=1,”IP”,”airtelgprs.com”,””,0,0
    Baud = 460800
    stupid mode = 1
    Phone = *99#
    Password = a
    ;No need to change this to anything else. This is immaterial, and note that no semicolon before Password =.
    Username = a ;No need to change this to anything else. This is immaterial, and note that no semicolon before Username =.
  5. Now create a file connAir in your home directory. Copy and paste the following code into it and give it execute permission.
    #!/bin/bash
    # BY AppleGrew @ http://blog.applegrew.com (All rigths
    # reserved)
    
    pid=`pgrep wvdial`
    if [ -z $pid ]
    then
    
     sudo route del default
     echo "CONNECTING TO Airtel..."
     wvdial &
    
     sleep 10s
    
     IP=`ifconfig ppp0|grep -o  'inet addr:\([.0-9]*\)'`
     IP=`echo $IP|sed  's/inet addr:\([.0-9]*\)/\1/g'`
     echo "YOUR CURRENT IP IS '$IP'".
     if [ -z $IP ]
     then
     echo "CONNECTION TO Airtel TIMED-OUT........ : ("
     else
     echo "CONNECTED TO Airtel. : )"
     fi
     sudo route add default gw $IP
    
    else
     echo "A CONNECTION IS ALREADY IN PROGRESS."
    fi
  6. Now create another file disconnAir in your home directory. Copy and paste the following code into it and give it execute permission.

    #!/bin/bash
    # BY AppleGrew @ http://blog.applegrew.com (All rigths
    # reserved)
    
    pid=`pgrep wvdial`
    if [ -z $pid ]
    then
     echo "NO CONNECTION IN PROGRESS."
    else
     echo "DISCONECTTING FROM Airtel..."
     kill -INT $pid
    
     sleep 6s
     pid=`pgrep wvdial`
     if [ -z $pid ]
     then
     echo "DISCONNECTED."
     else
     echo "DISCONNECTION MAY HAVE FAILED."
     fi
    fi

Connecting to Airtel:-

  1. Open console and type ./connAir.

Disconnecting from Airtel:-

  1. Open console and type ./disconnAir.

Hope this helps.

Comments
47 Responses to “Using Airtel Edge/GPRS Micromax MMX 610U USB device to surf the internet from Linux”
  1. Apple Grew says:

    @justin

    Yes. This is the modem.

  2. Justin says:

    Thanks for your write-up. I’m heading over to India for three weeks and am taking my Asus eee 901 to manage work remotely and am trying to decide between:

    – grabbing an airtel usb modem once I get there, and attempting to set it up via your instructions (thanks!)

    – using my unlocked blackberry curve and grabbing an airtel SIM card w/unlimited data and using that to tether to the laptop (as well as retrieve emails, etc.)

    How’s your experience been with the modem?

    Thanks again —

    Justin

  3. Apple Grew says:

    Hi justin,

    The for this Airtel modem that I am using you need to get an Airtel SIM too. This modem is just a pen drive shaped adapter for the SIM. U can do that very thing by putting the SIM in ur phone and hooking it to ur laptop, but using such SIMs will be costlier to make phone calls, hence if u use them with the phone then u will need to switch the SIMs frequently, …. very inconvinient.

    My Airtel Tariff is Rs.999 per month with unlimited data transfer. Speed is 15-20 kBps (i.e. 120-160 kbps).

  4. Harshal @ Snehapadma says:

    Great post.

    I’ll try this out.

  5. Thirupathy says:

    hi grew

    what is the max speed u got in airtel usb modem in windows & linux (ubuntu).

  6. Thirupathy says:

    hi grew

    what is the max speed u got in airtel usb modem in windows & linux (ubuntu).

  7. Apple Grew says:

    @Thirupathy
    Hi,
    I get a speed of max 15-16KBps. This is very less compared to that we get on Windows (where we get 28KBps). I believe the Linux driver is to be blamed for this.

  8. Dr.Sanjiv Kumar says:

    Hi Buddy,

    Can you add a email subscriber to your blog, I would like to subscribe to your blog. I just couldn’t find the link for the same.

    Good work

    I’m a doc with interest in Computers.

  9. Apple Grew says:

    @Sanjiv

    Hi, as per ur request I have now added the box for email subscription. Welcome aboard. 🙂

    And my apolozies to all readers as there was typo (typing mistake) in this post, where I asked you to run the command sudo wvdial.conf instead of sudo wvdialconf. Anybody who would have tried the misspelled command would had got an error. Some of you could had figured it out and rest could have been perplexed. Anyway I have fixed it now.

  10. Ankit says:

    Can you please tell me if i can use vodafone sim on this data card. I could do so on the older airtel data cards.

  11. Apple Grew says:

    @Ankit
    This should very well work with your Vodafone sim. Here computer communicates with the USB hardware and not the SIM, and I guess the hardware is capable to handle any SIM. Give it a try and lemme know if it works or not.

  12. Ankit says:

    Thanks for the reply. I tried but it gave me the following message on my vodafone sim “Enter PIN to Unlock Data Card” 10 tries remaining. The pin required was definately not 4 digit. Also in the back of the aitrel usb modem packaging was written that it was sim locked. Any ideas.

  13. Apple Grew says:

    @Ankit
    Oh. Ur SIM card is locked. Log into Windows and from there Choose remove PIN code. U will need the PIN code to remove it. Once removed it won’t cause for PIN anymore.

  14. Ankit says:

    I tried but this data card is operator locked.So i am using an airtel sim now. Do you know if this works on mac?

  15. Apple Grew says:

    @Ankit
    If anything works in Linux then it should work in Mac as at core it is a Linux system. Anyway the Airtel people said that someone has made their USB device work on Mac.

  16. Mokarram says:

    I have a data card model MMX 610U USB divice its use air tail sim, some time i want use Idea sim, as i insert idea sim and pluck USB port the data card ask a unlock code but i have no nay unlock code kinldy give the possible way for the same.

    • Riyaj Shah says:

      Hello Mokarram

      You just follow the steps given below for Unlocking Microimax MMX 610U Datacard from Airtel.

      1. Remove the Airtel SIM from Modem then insert any other Operators Sim Card.
      2. Visit http://a-zgsm.com/huawei.php and enter Your Microimax MMX 610U IMEI number (written on the Card itself). Enter the Security code then press Calculate, You will get 2 Codes Unlock Code and Flash Code.
      3. Now connect your Modem to PC, a Screen will be put up to enter the Unlock code, Enter theUnlock Code generated above and you are Done. Your Card is Unlocked.

      If it’s not working please forward a mail to: riyajshahmba@gmail.com

  17. Ritwik Patra says:

    Hi Apple Grew….

    Thanks for a such a simple solution to a complex problem. Please change the mistake on wvdialconf in the main text of the blog. That would save a lot of time for novices like me.

    Thanks again.

    Ritwik

  18. Ritwik Patra says:

    Hey Apple Grew,

    Help me in something else. I did a mistake and without doing any research bought iBall webcam. Now realized that a Logitech one would have been better for me to install on my Unbuntu Box. Could u please help on this???

    Waiting….

    Ritwik

  19. Apple Grew says:

    Hi Ritwik,
    I think the wvdialconf typo u r referring to has been fixed.

    And about the iBall thing,…hmmm… u need to google it out. For a heads up try using the command lsusb after attaching ur webcam. See if it gets listed in the output. Now use that chip to model no. there and google out how to make that work in linux. I did a similar thing to make my Intex TV Tuner card work in Linux.

  20. Raxi says:

    Dude i had a Airtel usb dongle. i need to unlock it plzzzz help
    reply will be appriciated
    email id : rakeshx15@yahoo.com

  21. Raxi says:

    Dude i had a Airtel usb dongle. i need to unlock it plzzzz help
    reply will be appriciated
    email id : rakeshx15@yahoo.com

    plzz

  22. Apple Grew says:

    @Raxi
    If u have forgotten ur password then u will need the PUK code from ur service provider.

  23. Anwar says:

    bro Apple Grew I want to unlock my data card MMX 610U which is network locked. When I insert another sim it is asking for unlock code the data card is locked not sim…..so i please u to help me out and i’ve tried much to unlock it and found a prog to unlock it but i’ve to purchase it that i don’t wnt to do. I’ll give u the link so plz check it out http://www.dc-unlocker.com…..here is the prog pic http://i39.tinypic.com/12160jl.jpg

  24. sabari says:

    Hi,

    Do anyone have AT command set for this Airtel Data card “MMX 610U” model? If yes, can u post that link here…

    Regards,
    Sabari.

  25. sreenath says:

    hi all
    myself sreeath from bangalore
    thankyou for giving valuable information
    i am using airtemodem(Microma610U)
    i want to change my etwork from airtel when i insert other network sim into modem that will ask for unlock code
    please help me on unlock code
    sreenatha84@gmai.com

  26. Numa says:

    Thanks for the write up, but the micromax modem is being detected as Prolific Technologies Inc. See the output of lsusb
    Bus 007 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 006 Device 002: ID 045e:0084 Microsoft Corp. Basic Optical Mouse
    Bus 006 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 005 Device 002: ID 067b:0612 Prolific Technology, Inc.
    Bus 005 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 004 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 003 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 001 Device 002: ID 05a9:2640 OmniVision Technologies, Inc. OV2640 Webcam
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

    Will u be able to help me to configure?
    Any help is appreciated.

  27. p. sanyal says:

    Dear Mr Applegrew,
    when i tried out the steps indicated, and finally ran connAir, I got the following error:

    SIOCDELRT: No such process
    CONNECTING TO Airtel…
    –> WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.60
    –> Cannot get information for serial port.
    –> Initializing modem.
    –> Sending: AT+CGDCONT=1,”IP”,”airtelgprs.com”,””,0,0
    AT+CGDCONT=1,b [1d]IPb [1d],b [1d]airtelgprs.comb [1d],b [1d]”,0,0
    ERROR
    –> Bad init string.
    –> Cannot get information for serial port.
    –> Initializing modem.
    –> Sending: AT+CGDCONT=1,”IP”,”airtelgprs.com”,””,0,0
    AT+CGDCONT=1,b [1d]IPb [1d],b [1d]airtelgprs.comb [1d],b [1d]”,0,0
    ERROR
    –> Bad init string.
    –> Cannot get information for serial port.
    –> Initializing modem.
    –> Sending: AT+CGDCONT=1,”IP”,”airtelgprs.com”,””,0,0
    AT+CGDCONT=1,b [1d]IPb [1d],b [1d]airtelgprs.comb [1d],b [1d]”,0,0
    ERROR
    –> Bad init string.
    ppp0: error fetching interface information: Device not found
    YOUR CURRENT IP IS ”.
    CONNECTION TO Airtel TIMED-OUT……..
    Usage: inet_route [-vF] del {-host|-net} Target[/prefix] [gw Gw] [metric M] [[dev] If]
    inet_route [-vF] add {-host|-net} Target[/prefix] [gw Gw] [metric M]
    [netmask N] [mss Mss] [window W] [irtt I]
    [mod] [dyn] [reinstate] [[dev] If]
    inet_route [-vF] add {-host|-net} Target[/prefix] [metric M] reject
    inet_route [-FC] flush NOT supported

    Can you help?

  28. applegrew says:

    Hi sanyal,
    First make sure that u have ran the ‘sudo wvdialconf’. If yes, next make sure that use ‘sudo ./connAir’ to connect instead of simply running as ‘./connAir’.

  29. Ishu says:

    I have lost my driver CD of my usb with wire Data Card micromax mm 610u (for airtel) how can i get this. and if another alternate is available then let me know plz.

  30. Apple Grew says:

    @Ishu,
    Unfortunately I don’t have the CD anymore, so I don’t have the drivers. U can try googling it out. BTW to run this in Linux u don’t need the drivers.

  31. SHEHZAD says:

    Hi,my name is SHEHZAD

    I have a Airtel USB MICROMAX Data card model MMX 610U IMEI nO. 353474021874805. I want to use other sim cards like Aircel. Kindly help me to unlock it.

    Thanking you.
    contact me on- shehzad_roy@ymail.com or +919773635591 frm MuMbAi…

  32. Apple Grew says:

    Sorry SHEHZAD I haven’t tried with another SIM and have no idea as to how to unlock the data card.

  33. pawan says:

    still my modem is not detected after rebooting what to do

  34. sylvia says:

    hei grew,
    I’m sylvia, i’m using airtel micromax mmx610u EDGE GPRS. and i got habituated to tht modem to browse with a very low cost. it was given by a friend,and naw he is asking me fo tht and he said it is an imported device. so haw and where can i get the same device here in india.or else plz suggest me if any other better device for me at a low cost whch works like ths modem. plz send me a reply, i’m waiting.

  35. sivakumar says:

    hai apple grew and thanks to for this valuable information….

    my question is i just now brought new huawei e1731 airtel 3G modem ..whether it is possible to work with linux (ubuntu)….. if passible what are all things i need to concentrate …
    or that following steps are enough…..

    thank you in advance ………….

  36. sivakumar says:

    hai grew

    whether it is necessary to use ./connectionair and ./disconnectair

    or directly i can use $ sudo wvdial after the edition of wvdial.conf page.

    • Apple Grew says:

      Well my script does some more stuffs like configuring the system to the Airtel connection. I am not sure if all these will work now, but it should. Just give it a try.

  37. vinit says:

    hello friens can u tell me how to unlock this modem to use different sim card.

  38. PS says:

    Dear Applegrew,
    When I ran wvdial 3g at the end, it gave the following error:
    –> Timed out while dialing. Trying again.
    –> Sending: ATDT*99#
    –> Waiting for carrier.

    –> Modem initialized.
    –> Sending: ATDT*99#
    –> Waiting for carrier.
    ATDT*99#
    CONNECT
    –> Carrier detected. Starting PPP immediately.
    –> Unable to run /usr/sbin/pppd.
    –> Check permissions, or specify a “PPPD Path” option in wvdial.conf.

  39. Sneha says:

    Hi,

    Can I use any SIM (I mean Airtel/Vodafone) in micromax device or is it service provider specific?

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