Australian CDMA Mobile Phones and Linux

Superseded

The information here is only of historical interest in the Australian context as the CDMA networks have been turned off and replaced by 3G technology.

Capability

Australian CDMA mobile phones can in principle make ISDN connections and can thus subserve internet connections via conventional Information Service Providers (ISP) or send and receive faxes.

Hardware requirements

To use a phone as a modem together with a computer (generally a laptop) a connecting cable is needed. These devices are not really modems, as the phone is not doing audio modulation/demodulation, but they are generally called modems nonetheless.

Compatibility

The Australian networks will not service CDMA phones visiting from overseas, including New Zealand, nor will they be registered for use within Australia, i.e. they will not be given an Australian phone number.

Software requirements

Mobile phone modems generally come with software packages, mostly designed for MS-Windows, and information on the Web usually states MS-Windows compatibility. Finding out whether a phone/modem will be usable with Linux is not easy. Retailers will usually state categorically that no phone/modem can be used with Linux, suppliers will sometimes say the same, or if pushed will admit they do not actually know. Manufacturers in my experience will rarely answer the question, though sometimes you can get responses to questions about serial interfaces and AT commands.

My purchase of a CDMA phone was driven by inadequate GSM coverage near my home and the installation of new CDMA transponders. It appears extension of mobile coverage in rural areas only with CDMA is common. As was the case with my Linux GSM modem experience my purchase was a bit of a gamble based on limited information. In practice the Kyocera phone I purchased together with a serial data kit responded to standard AT commands. In other words, any Linux software designed to work with ordinary land-line modems will work.

Kyocera models known to work

The following have been used by me or reported by others to operate:
Phone Modem by
QCP 3035 Serial cable (speed must be set to 19200) Dave Davey
3245 TXDTA10032 USB data cable Eagle Engineering
KOY TXDTA10032 USB data cable Eagle Engineering

Nokia models known to work

The following have been reported by others to operate:
Phone Modem by
Nokia 6385 Serial cable (DLR-3P)
or
IrDA
Shannon Trew
 
Michael Carmody

Hyundai models known to work

The following have been reported by others to operate:
Phone Modem by
Hyundai HGC-610E Serial cable (HDK-12N) (speed must be set to 19200) Shannon Trew

Maxon models known to work

The following have been reported by others to operate:
Phone Modem by
Maxon MM-5100 (works with 1xRRT) USB cable James Cameron
Consult James' excellent web page for information on how to use this high speed, and the costs.

Restrictions

Please help improve this information

If you have experience with Linux and Australian CDMA-phone-modems other than the ones mentioned here, please let me know by e-mail.

New Zealand CDMA mobile phones and Linux

Information is available here.
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Maintained by Dave Davey daved@physiol.usyd.edu.au

Last updated 25 February 2006

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