Huawei E1550 3G modem

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This article describes how to configure Huawei E1550 3G modems.

This modem is generic modem device, but there are two kludges:

  • you need to switch it into modem mode
  • you need to load proper driver (usbserial)

Prepare device

Switch into modem mode

By default kernel recongnizes it as usb-storage device (SCSI CD-ROM). It is true, because of this modem contains MicroSD card (up to 4Gb) reader and internal flash.

To switch modem on you shoud run

$ /lib/udev/usb_modeswitch --vendor 0x12d1 --product 0x1446 --type option-zerocd


See also usb_modeswitch package in [community], which you may need in future since in udev-157 modem-modeswitch has been renamed and changed as described in the commit. This package does not need any modifications, just install it.

Also you can create udev's config: /etc/udev/rules.d/15-huawei-e1550.rules

ACTION=="add", SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="12d1", ATTRS{idProduct}=="1446", RUN+="/lib/udev/usb_modeswitch --vendor 0x12d1 --product 0x1446 --type option-zerocd"

After that, modem changes its USB IDs to 12d1:140c and /proc/bus/usb/devices shows new USB endpoints.

Driver loading

usbserial is proper driver for this modem, but probably it does not recognize it, so you shold force it, passing USB IDs.

 # modprobe usbserial vendor=0x12d1 product=0x140c

or put options into /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf

 options usbserial vendor=0x12d1 product=0x140c

(do not forget to 'rmmod usbserial' if it is already loaded before)

Optional: device naming

You can generate symlinks to the ttyUSB* ports for a more human readable configuration with udev rules.

For a Huawei device which identifies with the USB ID 12D1:1001 after modeswitching and has 3 serial ports:

 SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{modalias}=="usb:v12D1p1001*", KERNEL=="ttyUSB*", ATTRS{bInterfaceNumber}=="00", ATTRS{bInterfaceProtocol}=="ff", SYMLINK+="ttyUSB_utps_modem"
 SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{modalias}=="usb:v12D1p1001*", KERNEL=="ttyUSB*", ATTRS{bInterfaceNumber}=="01", ATTRS{bInterfaceProtocol}=="ff", SYMLINK+="ttyUSB_utps_diag"
 SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{modalias}=="usb:v12D1p1001*", KERNEL=="ttyUSB*", ATTRS{bInterfaceNumber}=="02", ATTRS{bInterfaceProtocol}=="ff", SYMLINK+="ttyUSB_utps_pcui"

For a Huawei device which identifies with the USB ID 12D1:1003 after modeswitching and has 2 serial ports:

 SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{modalias}=="usb:v12D1p1003*", KERNEL=="ttyUSB*", ATTRS{bInterfaceNumber}=="00", ATTRS{bInterfaceProtocol}=="ff", SYMLINK+="ttyUSB_utps_modem"
 SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTRS{modalias}=="usb:v12D1p1003*", KERNEL=="ttyUSB*", ATTRS{bInterfaceNumber}=="01", ATTRS{bInterfaceProtocol}=="ff", SYMLINK+="ttyUSB_utps_pcui"

Connecting internet

Now you have new 2 or 3 /dev/ttyUSB* devices.Most likely first of them (ttyUSB0 if you had not such devices before) is PPP compatible modem. Use it as usual with pppd, kppp, gnome-ppp, network-manager, etc.

Note: If you want to use your 3G modem with NetworkManager, you have to install the package modemmanager and then restart the NetworkManager.service. Now you can 'Enable Mobile Broadband' in the networkmanager applet.

AT commands

There are some useful commands:

  • AT^U2DIAG=0 - the device is only Modem
  • AT^U2DIAG=1 - device is in modem mode + CD ROM
  • AT^U2DIAG=255 - the device in modem mode + CD ROM + Card Reader
  • AT^U2DIAG=256 - the device in modem mode + Card Reader
  • AT+CPIN=<PIN-CODE> - enter PIN-code
  • AT+CUSD=1,<PDU-encoded-USSD-code>,15 - USSD request, result can be found (probably) in /dev/ttyUSB2.

Encode "*100#" to PDU format:

 perl -e '@a=split(//,unpack("b*","*100#")); for ($i=7; $i < $#a; $i+=8) { $a[$i]="" } print uc(unpack("H*", pack("b*", join("", @a))))."\n"'

Decode "AA180C3602" from PDU format:

 perl -e '@a=split(//,unpack("b*", pack("H*","AA180C3602"))); for ($i=6; $i < $#a; $i+=7) {$a[$i].="0" } print pack("b*", join("", @a)).""'

Answer decoding (this example is balance response: 151.25):

 perl -e 'print pack("H*", "003100350031002C003200350020044004430431002E0020");'

Some operators return USSD result in PDU encoding, so you should check proper decoding method.

  • AT+CSQ - get signal quality (AT+CSQ=?)
  • AT+GMI - get manufacturer
  • AT+GMM - get model
  • AT+GMR - get revision
  • AT+GMN - get IMEI
  • AT+COPS? - get operator info
  • AT^CARDLOCK="NCK-code" - unlock modem. NCK-code should be calculated by IMEI. After that modem can work with any GSM-provider.
  • AT^SYSCFG=mode, order, band, roaming, domain - System Config


  • 2 Automatic search
  • 13 2G ONLY
  • 14 3G ONLY
  • 16 No change


  • 0 Automatic search
  • 1 2G first, then 3G
  • 2 3G first, then 2G
  • 3 No change


  • 80 GSM DCS systems
  • 100 Extended GSM 900
  • 200 Primary GSM 900
  • 200000 GSM PCS
  • 400000 WCDMA IMT 2000
  • 3FFFFFFF Any band
  • 40000000 No change of band


  • 0 Not supported
  • 1 Roaming is supported
  • 2 No change


  • 0 CS_ONLY
  • 1 PS_ONLY
  • 2 CS_PS
  • 3 ANY
  • 4 No change

Sending SMS

You can use gammu.

Edit ~/.gammurc

 name=huawei e1550

The run command:

 gammu sendsms TEXT +7123456789 -text qwe

USSD Requests

Use huawei-ussdAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] package. Or use ussd.php tool.

Success Stories

2010-August-03: I didn't do anything, I just installed usb_modeswitch-1.1.3-2 and my kernel is 2.6.33. In the syslog (/var/log/messages.log) the usb_modeswitch can automatically configure the modem correctly but I still cannot connect to the internet using gnome network manager applet, then I installed the modemmanager package and restart the networkmanager service. Everything is working properly now.