Features/MoreNetworkManagerMobileBroadband

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(User Experience)
(User Experience)
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Revision as of 01:37, 23 June 2009

Contents

NetworkManager Mobile Broadband Improvements

Summary

Extended support of mobile broadband cards in NetworkManager, including display of signal strength when connected, network scanning, network selection, etc.

Owner

  • Name: Dan Williams

Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 12
  • Last updated: 2009-06-22
  • Percentage of completion: 50%

Detailed Description

NetworkManager has basic mobile broadband card support (including mobile phones when connected via wired serial), but lacks some more useful functionality:

  • scanning for available cellular networks (GSM only)
  • selection of a cellular network (GSM only)
  • show signal strength of currently connected cellular network

The support for setting up mobile broadband connections is also somewhat rudimentary. Dan has recently written about the improvements in this area, see his post Mobile Broadband Assistant makes it Easy.

Benefit to Fedora

These features are quite useful to users and sometimes necessary for easier roaming support when outside of your home country.

Scope

Work with hardware vendors (Novatel, Sierra, others) to release the specifications for the command protocol while the cards are connected. Also work with other projects like VMC to centralize all quirks in one place.

Most of the functionality in this feature is enabled by using ModemManager to do the hard work of talking to all kinds of modems. This requires changes to udev.

Test Plan

Get wide testing from the NetworkManager community of these features with as wide a hardware sample as we can find.

User Experience

Instead of a static icon while connected to a cellular network, the applet should show a signal strength meter. The applet should also allow the user to choose the GSM network that a specific connection should apply to, to facilitate easier roaming control.

The initial setup of a mobile broadband connection is made easier by an assistant which has a database of known providers, plans, etc.

When you first insert your card, it shows up in the applet like this: Hotplug.png

When you click that, you’ll get the Assistant’s intro page, which explains what information you will need: Intro.png

The next pages asks for your country: Country.png

Your provider: Provider.png

And your plan: Plan.png

The final page summarizes what information you've entered: Summary.png

Dependencies

Possibly VMC or other projects to drive the cards over D-Bus instead of manually as NM does right now.

Contingency Plan

Ship without signal strength while connected; scanning and network selection don't block on external parties.

Documentation

Release Notes