NetworkManager Mobile Broadband Improvements
Extended support of mobile broadband cards in NetworkManager, including display of signal strength when connected, network scanning, network selection, etc.
- Name: Dan Williams
- Targeted release: Fedora 12
- Last updated: 2009-06-22
- Percentage of completion: 50%
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.
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.
Get wide testing from the NetworkManager community of these features with as wide a hardware sample as we can find.
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.
Possibly VMC or other projects to drive the cards over D-Bus instead of manually as NM does right now.
Ship without signal strength while connected; scanning and network selection don't block on external parties.
Fedora 12 includes NetworkManager 0.8, which brings improved support for mobile broadband connections with an easy setup wizard.