Verizon 1xEV-DO WWAN

From ThinkWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Note: NEW T500's ship with "Qualcomm HS-USB Modem 9202" Not the Sierra Wireless modems for Verizon WWAN option.

From the TABOOK.PDF reference (Lenovo Training Solutions, Personal Systems Reference, November 2005 Number 299):

Some models: Wireless WAN Sierra Wireless 1xEV-DO Network Adapter, Mini PCIe Adapter, EV-DO/1xRTT, WWAN antenna on display, service contract reqd with Verizon® Wireless.

WWAN: Requires service contract with Verizon; monthly service charges and airtime charges will apply. Roaming charges may also apply. Service not available in all areas. Verizon, not Lenovo, is solely responsible for the Verizon Wireless service. Visit the following Web site for more information:

"Lenovo Widens Small Business Portfolio with Industry’s Thinnest and Lightest 14-inch Widescreen Notebook" press announcement:

First Notebook to Integrate High Speed EV-DO Wireless WAN (9/19/2005) The Z60m and Z60t are the first standard notebooks ever to integrate a high-speed, Evolution Data Optimized (EV-DO)(5) wireless wide area network (WWAN) antenna for Verizon Wireless Broadband Access. The built-in WWAN antenna helps avoid many of the pitfalls associated with PC cards, including hardware incompatibility and fragile, easily damaged antennas protruding from the computer. Verizon Wireless’ network features one of the fastest connection rates in the U.S. with average speeds between 400-700 kilobytes per second (kbps). It also provides another layer of data security and protection, as it isn't susceptible to the same vulnerabilities as a shared hot spot connection, such as data theft.

Several innovative multimedia features — including hot keys to control application functions and ports to easily upload digital images and video — make the Z Series optimal for business or home use, including presentations, multimedia and DVD movies.

"One of the trends we're seeing in small businesses is that the line between work and home is blurring," said Chuck Sharp, vice president, Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance (ITSPA). "It's not efficient to spend money on separate pieces of technology for all aspects of your life. Time is at such a premium, that small businesses are looking for technology that not only improves their productivity at work, but also allows them to maximize their personal time — at home and when traveling."

Also of interest:

ThinkPad notebooks with Verizon Wireless BroadbandAccess

Linux Support

T60p model works fine under Linux (SuSE 10.1) if you can get it activated and powered on, and apply various hotplug scripts and PPPD scripts.

Initial service activation was done under Windows -- not sure if this is necessary.

Generally it works under Linux. Occasionally after a fresh boot, it will not connect with an apparent failure to power on the device. The only solution seems to be to reboot into Windows, connect from there, reboot into linux, switch the wireless power switch off and on again, then connect. Then it works fine again. (There must be a better way!)

Z60 model was report to work always (without the Windows shenanigans).

X60s seems to work ok.

In my T60 is not needed to boot Linux to power on the device. The device is a USB serial, and the proceeding to work is:


Great Articles on setting up EVDO and the Sierra Wireless card, it requires an upgrade of the sierra.c driver. If you are stuck this article will certainly help you out. Scroll to the one of the last entries and follow the steps..

(I am Debian user, but instructions are applicable for any distribution)

  • Insert to SIM Slot (under the battery) a SIM Card
    • The UMTS modem is sim-locked by Lenovo (Spain and Germany are Vodafone only); you can request an unlock code from IBM (Unlocking the Modem)
  • Switch on the Wireless switch. Antenna LED will light. If it is not lighting, press Fn+F5 until it lights (usually not needed)
  • If you type lsusb it will appear:
  Other devices...
  Bus 002 Device 004: ID 1199:6804 Sierra Wireless, Inc. 
  Other devices...
  • Then, load the Sierra module:
  modprobe sierra
  • (PROBABLY UNNECESSARY) In system log, you will have some messages with 3 (usually) new USB Serial ports. You only need the first one (/dev/ttyUSB0). If you don't have /dev/ttyUSB0, ttyUSB1, etc. you can create using:
  cd /dev
  mknod ttyUSB0 c 188 0
  mknod ttyUSB1 c 188 1
  mknod ttyUSB2 c 188 2
  • Easy way to say hello to your modem:
 cat /dev/ttyUSB0 &
 echo AT > /dev/ttyUSB0 (you should expect "OK")
 echo AT+CPIN? > /dev/ttyUSB0 (you should expect ready, if you don't need to enter PIN)

  • After it, you can use /dev/ttyUSB0 as GPRS+UMTS modem. You can use wvdial or pppd directly. Remember that you may need to insert PIN number.

  • How to collect your hex formatted ESN in software for service activiation (useful for internal EVDO cards):

Open a terminal as root. Run:

 cat /dev/ttyUSB0 &
 echo AT+GSN > /dev/ttyUSB0

You should see the AT command and an ESN in hex followed by an OK. Give the hex number to the person activating your service. An example is provided below:




Here a list of some useful AT-Commands:

  • at+cfun=0 - Set card to low power output. For being a friend to your battery.
  • at+cfun=1 - Set card to full power output. If card is in low power mode, the card will reset, and you have to unload and than load the serial module.
  • at+cgreg? - Show the state of network searching.
    • If it displays +CGREG: 0,2 this means, the card is searching for a network.
    • If it displays +CGREG: 0,1,XXXX,YYYY this means, that you are logged in your HOME-Net
    • If it displays +CGREG: 0,5,XXXX,YYYY this means, that you are logged in a Roaming-Net

A link:

Turning the device off and on via software

As root, issue the following commands (tested on an IBM T61 running Kubuntu 8):

tail -f /dev/ttyUSB0 & 

Lets you tail the modem responses for each command.

echo disabled > /proc/acpi/ibm/wan
echo enabled > /proc/acpi/ibm/wan
echo 'at!pcstate=1' > /dev/ttyUSB0

These commands:

turn the device off.
turn the device on in powersave mode.
takes the device out of powersave mode, you should now be able to dial with it.

Example pppd dialup scripts

  • Create this file as /etc/ppp/peers/vzwconnect, and set it executable:
connect "/usr/sbin/chat -v -f /etc/ppp/peers/vzw_chat"
  • Create this chat script file as /etc/ppp/peers/vzw_chat
' ' 'ATZ'
'OK' 'ATDT*99#'

  • Connect to Verizon

Run this command as root to establish the connection using pppd:

pppd call vzwconnect

Unlocking the Modem

You can request an unlock code from Lenovo by calling the IBM support and requesting this code. You have to agree that you won't get any support related to UMTS and Vodafone anymore. The Modem in X61(s) is not locked anymore. It accepts SIM cards other than Vodafone without entering a code. You can enter the unlock code like this:

cat /dev/ttyUSB0 &
echo 'AT+CLCK="PN",0,"12345678"' > /dev/ttyUSB0

If you see OK, everything went fine. (NB: the windows manual provided by IBM is a LOT larger and even more difficult.)


The card (on the X60s anyway) is not supported by the sierra module in the vanilla 2.6.18 kernel in Etch. (I worked round this by dist-upgrading to Sid; however this could also be doable by building your own kernel / using a kernel of a later version; I will test both these with Etch again when I have a chance to).

Stuff missing

  • Someone should write a small ruby script that provides a nice dialog for unlocking the device
  • How do I find out whether a device IS locked (by checking with the modem, not try and error) (i've found the AT+CLCK="PN",2 will return :1 if locked, :0 if unlocked)

Models featuring this Technology