Vodafone UK TopUp and Go /Prepay Mobile Broadband USB Dongle on Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition

I’ve just replace Windows 7 with Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition on my Asus EEE PC 1001p which I will probably blog more about later. In short, it’s brilliant and everything worked perfectly from the outset – apart from one thing (there has to be one!) and that was I couldn’t get my pre-pay Vodaphone broadband dongle to connect at all.

It was being recognised by Ubuntu and the tell-tale blue led was blinking on the dongle itself to indicate a mobile signal was present. So I went through the add mobile –broadband network wizard, choosing both the “Prepaid” and “TopUp and Go” packages, but the device would simply not connect.

I whipped the SIM out of my work BlackBerry, went through the add mobile connection and this time chose the “Contract” package (as it is) and this time it connected immediately.

My suspicions were now on the APN settings for the “Prepaid” and “TopUp and Go” presets. Prepaid was using “pp.vodafone.co.uk” for the APN and “TopUp and Go” was using “pp.internet”.

Luckily I had another (grown-up) laptop which had the “Vodaphone Mobile Broadband Lite” software installed. I went into “Advanced” mode, clicked the rounded “mast” button in the top-left corner and then “Diagnostics”. Then, on the “Network” tab I could see that the APN was set to “PPBUNDLE.INTERNET”, the user name was “web” and password “???” (which is also “web”).

I went back to the netbook, went through the add network wizard (again choosing “TopUp and Go”), but on the last screen I entered in the values I got off the laptop.

I tried to connect again and voila! straight in…