Getting Movistar Peru ZTE MF193 work in Debian GNU/Linux

After so many attempts to have my shiny Movistar Peru (Internet Móvil) 3G ZTE MF193 modem to work out-of-the-box in Debian jessie (unstable) with NetworkManager, the word frustration was hitting on my head. Even trying to do the right thing, led me to craziness. I gave up on fanzines and decided to take the old-school route. Release wvdial and friends!

Trying different combinations for wvdial.conf was no heaven for sure, but I’ve found this wonderful guide from Christian Amsüss from Vienna, Austria! that really made a difference. Of course he’s talking about the model MF180 but you get the idea. So I’m sharing what was different for the MF193.

Basically, I’ve done the eject and disable CD-ROM thing already, but still no progress. I’ve also tried using wvdial to send AT commands to the evasive /dev/ttyUSBX device. Starting from scratch confirmed that I’ve done such things properly indeed. I was amused by the fact that I could use screen to talk to the modem! (yo, all the time wasted trying to have minicom and friends play nice)

So, let’s get to the point. After following this procedure, you should be able to use NetworkManager to connect to the Interwebs using the 3G data service from Movistar Peru.

  1. Step 1 – follow the guide
  2. Step 2 – Here I had to use /dev/ttyUSB4
  3. Step 3 – follow the guide
  4. Unplug your USB modem
  5. Plug your USB modem. This time you should see only /dev/ttyUSB{0,1,2} and /dev/gsmmodem should be missing (not sure if this is a bug). Now /dev/ttyUSB2 is your guy.
  6. Step 4 – use /dev/ttyUSB2
  7. Run wvdial from CLI – it should connect successfully.
  8. Stop wvdial
  9. Select the Network icon on GNOME3, click on the Mobile Broadband configuration you have, if not create one.
  10. Voilá. Happy surfing!

I’m pasting my wvdial.conf, just in case.

[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB2
Username = movistar@datos
Password = movistar
Phone = *99#
Stupid Mode = 1
Init2 = AT+CGDCONT=4,"IP",""