Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to Configure the 3G Wireless HWIC (HWIC-3G-GSM)

The 3G/GSM/HSPDA etc etc market has really opened my life up to many many equipment vendors. One of the most popular terminals is the Huawei E220 (I found an interesting write up on its Linux drivers here, but if that doesn't work for you please give me a shout; I can help you get your internet up and running on natively un-supported OS's) and then you of course have Sarian systems. Both of them have excellent local support and don't have as many quirks as the rest of them - the rest of them could be any other terminal you can think of....

Anyway of late Cisco (though vendor support highly depends on how you came across the equipment ie if you bought it in Dubai through some back channel then you might be on your own:-) and maybe me:--)) have been making some headway with their Third-Generation Wireless WAN High-Speed WAN Interface Cards . Its mainly sold by cisco at least from their website as a backup solution, but with proper coverage you can get to do a lot more than backup solution. Infact Im yet to find someone using it as a backup solution in this part of the world.

My friend got one of those modules off ebay and wanted a basic configuration to get it to work without anything fancy on the router, promised I'd post it and here goes:

Please note this is config is made and tested on the safaricom network;
It would also be wise to confirm the firmware you're running before setting off. Cisco might also say that this is a 3G/gsm modem but on gprs/edge the performance on this router is a bit dicey, but its better than nothing if used as a backup..

Basic configuration to get you browsing quick with NAT:
!Create a profile, upto 16 profiles can be created:
cellular gsm profile create 1 safaricom chap saf saf

ip cef

chat-script safaricom "" "ATDT*99***1#" TIMEOUT 60 "CONNECT"
!Defines the ATDT commands when the dialer is initiated. This one dials Safaricom.

interface Cellular0/0/0
ip address negotiated
!The IP address for a particular interface is obtained via PPP address negotiation.

ip nat outside
!You may or may not require NAT

encapsulation ppp
!Specifies PPP encapsulation for an interface configured for dedicated asynchronous mode or !dial-on-demand routing (DDR).

dialer in-band
!Enables DDR and configures the specified serial interface to use in-band dialing.

ip nat outside
dialer string safaricom
!Specifies the number or string to dial.

dialer-group 1
!Specifies the number of the dialer access group to which the specific interface belongs. This is !visible further down referenced by access-list 1
async mode interactive
ppp chap hostname saf
ppp chap password 0 saf
ppp ipcp dns request

access-list 1 permit any
dialer-list 1 protocol ip list 1

ip route Cellular0/0/0

ip dhcp pool jg

int f0/0
ip address
ip nat inside
no shut

line 0/0/0
exec-timeout 0 0
script dialer safaricom
modem InOut
no exec

ip nat inside source list 10 interface Cellular0/0/0 overload
!create access list 10
access-list 10 permit ip

Tunnel over Cellular Interface Configuration - This is also proving to be a very popular configuration. Basically to get this working:

!DataCenter side connected via some leased line, a cellular interface would also work but I don't !recommend it:

interface Tunnel1
description Client_1
ip unnumbered FastEthernet0/0
keepalive 10 3
tunnel source FastEthernet0/0
tunnel destination 172.2x.x.1
!this will be the address assigned to the cellular interface on the other end.

ip route tunnel 1 name Client_1

client_ end
interface Tunnel1
description Client_1
ip unnumbered FastEthernet0/0
keepalive 10 3
!--leave this in - it happens sometimes that a cellular interface goes down but the tunnel !remains on
tunnel source Cellular0/0/0
tunnel destination 196.x.x.x
!This will be the address the HQ site's interface or the cellular interface.

other applications like NAT with IPSEC, backup services can also be done with this module.
You can upgrade your firmware with instructions and firmware found here:
Modem Firmware Upgrade.

The full configuration guide can be found here:
Configuring the 3G Wireless High-Speed WAN Interface Card

Happy holidays....

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