Mobile Broadband : 2G/3G preference

Having just acquired a 3G Mobile Broadband USB modem, I'm running into a problem I didn't even know existed.

The device will work on 2G and 3G networks, and prefers a 3G connection when available. However, the 3G signal can be patchy and it will fall back to 2G if it's too weak. But when it does this switch it disconnects, and requires manual use of the NM applet to re-connect.

I was in a situation where the 3G signal was not reilable, but the 2G signal was good and steady, and I just wanted to stay connected on 2G. The problem was that from time to time the modem would decide the 3G signal was strong enough, drop the 2G connection and wait to be connected on 3G. This wouldn't last long and I'd loose the connection, and have to re-connect on 2G again. And so on ...

The proprietary connection gadget for Windows that comes with the modem allows you to select a preference - 2G, 3G, or neither, so the modem can be programmed to do this (I believe it's done with a standard AT command). I assume the same applies to most if not all 3G modems, and it would be extremely nice (not to say essential) to be able to do this in NM.

Using "connect automatically" in the connection config helps with re-connects, but doesn't stop unnecessary breaks.

(Something else the Windows gadget does is support sending and receiving SMS, which is quite cool. Is it possible for another app to access the modem to do this even while it's being managed by NM? - it's obviously not really within the scope of NM itself)

Any thoughts?

Rick Jones

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