Sunday, June 27, 2010

Using The Cricket A600 Wireless Broadband Internet Device In Ubuntu

NOTE: This entry is deprecated with the release of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. It now autodetects the device and all you have to do in the Network Manager is tell it that its a Cricket Device. None of the steps below are needed if you use Ubuntu 10.10

None of the material here is mine except a few comments here and there. What I did do was glean the various posts and comments to bring it all together into a comprehensive and complete tutorial for the Cricket A600

The Cricket A600 is an extremely powerful mobile CDMA modem device that provides affordable, high-speed mobile broadband Internet service. This USB modem is a versatile device to take advantage of Cricket's unlimited broadband access plan whether online at home or around town. The problem, Cricket doesn't support Linux and in general will try and dissuade Linux users from purchasing any of their broadband access devices. The other issue, getting it to work. You must provision the device on a Windows or Macintosh computer before it will work in Linux. Believe it or not, one of the Local Cricket stores here in Houston did that for me since I did not have access to a Windows system that I could provision it on.

The usual disclaimer and notices:

This Tutorial is based on how others and myself got this device working and accessible in Ubuntu. I am running this in Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) with no issues and am very happy with the results. I can even watch streaming video. With that said I make no guarantee on your results. All things NOT being equal in Wireless Broadband access there is no way to determine the results you will get but I have the following as tested by

Download: 1.74 Mb/s
Upload: 0.42 Mb/s
Ping: 120 ms

A 5 MB MP3 takes 24 sec Average
A 35 MB Video Clip 3 Min Average
A 800 MB Movie 61 Min Average

Before you purchase this device make sure you are in Cricket's coverage area. They have recently expanded their service and cover a great deal more than before but they still don't cover everywhere. So before you attempt to follow this document make sure you can actually make use of the device

This tutorial will explain how to setup the Cricket Wireless A600 3g Modem for Ubuntu

Credits for this article go here; and here;

You will need to get the drivers and software required for the A600 device.

Download the source file.
Download the data file.

Extract the contents to your preferred directory using the following command:

tar xzvf usb-modeswitch-1.1.2.tar.bz2 and then cd into the directory of the extracted files.

32 bit Users – Install usb_modeswitch with the following command:

sudo make install

64 bit Users need to recompile modeswitch to work on the 64bit platform. Run the following commands in a terminal to do so:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

sudo apt-get install libusb-dev

rm usb_modeswitch


sudo make install

Now add the data files by going back to the directory ou downloaded them to and run:

tar xzvf usb-modeswitch-data-20100707.tar.bz2

Then cd into that directory and run:

sudo make install

Lucid Lynx users can also get the usb-modeswitch and usb-modeswitch-data files from the repository and I suggest you do, so that when updates become available you will get them. However, you will still need, so here is the complete text of that file.

sleep 10
usb_modeswitch -v 0x1f28 -p 0x0020 -R 1

You may need to make executable by running the following command:

chmod +x

Now plug in the A600 to an open USB port, wait a moment for it to be detected and for usb-modeswitch to do it's magic. Your device should now show up in network-manager. You may need to restart your computer for it to work.

You will now be able to select "Cricket Communications connection" in the Network Manager. It takes about 30 seconds to connect when you select it. Also bear in mind a strong signal doesn't necessarily relate to a strong connection. Like any cell phone device there are a great number of factors that can cause issues with your signal.

If you experience issues getting connected open in your favorite text editor and adjust the sleep time from 10 to 20, or even 30 some systems need a longer time.

This tutorial was updated to coincide with a newer version of USB mode-switch.