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Nexus 7 - Connect to internet using a CDMA or 3G USB key

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Google Nexus 7 is the real today's travellers tablet, as it's size is perfect to carry it everywhere. But it only offers Wifi connectivity, which can be too limited when you are on the move.

As Google Nexus 7 is providing a fully featured OTG USB port, it can be used to connect a CDMA or 3G key to the tablet. You just need an OTG cable (easily available nowadays) to connect your Mobile Data USB key.

With the help of a fantastic widget called PPP Widget, available from Play Store, you can then create a PPP connexion thru your connected USB key.

This PPP connexion will open a fully working internet connexion.

This guide explains how to configure your Google Nexus 7 tablet to be able to connect it to internet thru a CDMA or 3G USB key.

It has been tested on Jelly Beans 4.1.2 with two different Data Keys :

  • CDMA - Tata Photon Plus (EC156 model)
  • 3G - Huawei Mobile Connect E180

1. Root your Nexus 7

PPP Widget provides PPP daemon and Usb_ModeSwitch (well known in the Linux world) to android devices.

But as it needs to access some system configuration files, it needs root access.

So, as a pre-requisite, your Nexus 7 must be rooted and the superuser application installed.

It can be done easily under Ubuntu using the procedure Nexus 7 - Root your tablet with Ubuntu Linux.

2. Install PPP Widget

Once your tablet is rooted, just install PPP Widget from Google Play Store.

Place the widget on your home screen ... and your are almost ready.

android-ppp-widget

3. Configuration of PPP Widget

3.1. CDMA USB Keys

If you are planning to use a CDMA key, you will need to configure PPP Widget to use Dial Number #777

You also need to setup your provider's username and password.

For example, with a Tata Photon Plus USB Key, you should configure as follow :

  • Dial Number : #777
  • APN : empty
  • Username : internet
  • Password : internet

You can find many indian providers configuration on this page.

3.2. 3G USB Keys

If you are planning to use a 3G key, you will need to configure PPP Widget to use Dial Number *99***1#

It's also better to configure your Sim Card not to use Pin Code (it can be done from any unlocked mobile phone). Latest version of PPP Widget handles Pin Code, but I've not tested it.

You also need to setup your provider's APN, username and password.

For example, with a Huawei Mobile Connect E180 3G key and a Bouygues Telecom simcard, you should configure as follow :

  • Dial Number : *99***1#
  • APN : mmsbouygtel.com
  • Username : empty
  • Password : empty

4. Connect your USB Key

When connecting your USB Mobile Key, it is advisable to connect the OTG cable first, and then to connect the key.

The first time you will connect your key, it should ask twice for root permissions (once with the key in CD mode, once in data mode after mode switch). Just accept it.

You should now be able to click on Connect.

After few seconds, if everything goes fine, you will get a connected state.

You are now connected to internet using your Data Key. Everything should work, including Gmail, Google Play Store, ...

If you don't succeed to connect, a cards compatibility list is available in PPP Widget forum.

5. In case of Problem

As PPP Widget is still a young project, it may hangs sometimes, especially while disconnecting and reconnecting your USB Key.

If you feel that the widget is stuck, just follow this procedure :

  1. disconnect the key
  2. remove the widget from your home screen
  3. replace it on the home screen
  4. reconnect your key

Your key should be recognized again.

 

Hope it helps !

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