Setting up Reliance/TataIndicom Wireless Internet in Ubuntu

It is very easy to setup a wireless internet connection using your Reliance or Tata Indicom DataCard on your Ubuntu running PC. I’ve myself faced a lot of problems and finally here I am with a well-researched solution. I’ll try to simplify it as much as I can but it is not an easy job. Its going to be a little scary, but don’t lose hope and try finishing steps 1 to 6. Now start following the steps :

Step 1 : (Optional) I’ll strongly recommend you to upgrade your Ubuntu to latest Ubuntu 9.10. If you have not done it yet, I assure you that this will make your life much easier.

Step 2: Download the package ‘wvdial’. If you have an internet connection (may be DSL on ubuntu),  execute the following command :

sudo apt-get install wvdial

However, if you can’t connect your Ubuntu PC to internet for some reason then you’d have to install wvdial manually. This may take some of your time, patience and skill. Refer this article.

After you’ve downloaded and installed wvdial, tighten your seat-belts because its going to be a hell of a ride now!

Step 3 (Don’t Panic!): Now, plug in your Reliance or Tata Indicom data card into one of your USB slots.

TARGET : Determine the name of the port you connected it to. Seems easy, doesn’t it? You’ll see …

There are 3 ways to do that – (a),(b) and (c). Start with (a) and go to the next one only if the previous one fails.

(a) First one is quite easy and it should work. Execute the following command :


If it says “wvdialconf” not found, then install it by executing the following command :

sudo apt-get install wvdialconf

Now, open your /etc/wvdial.conf file and edit the field Username and Password (Set it to your data card’s phone number – that should be your username and password. If its not, find out from whom you bought it ). You can use gedit to do this :

sudo gedit /etc/wvdial.conf

Now just execute the following command and your internet should be connected :

sudo wvdial

If you’re done, read the last paragraph of this post (just before the toubleshooting). However, If it doesn’t help, Try out the second way :

(b) Unplug your data card and plug it again, don’t connect anything else to any other USB port and type on the terminal :

sudo dmesg

This will take you to the last few lines of the huge list of your computer activities. In those last few lines, you should look for the device name something like /dev/ttyUSB0 . It may not be always USB0, it can be USB1, USB2, ACM0 etc.. depending on where you plugged the data card. If you see multiple different device names, then pick the one which has your Data Card’s vendor name in its description. Note the device name. If you’re successful, good job! The hardest part is over now :). Jump to next step (Step 4) and if it fails, come back here and try out the next method, (c) :

(c) Ok, so if you’re reading this means even the 2nd method failed for you. Poor luck you’ve got I must say. But don’t lose hope, I think I have a solution for it too. There are few models which fail to even get detected by dmesg. So here’s the trick – Open your terminal and execute :

sudo lsusb

This will list all the USB devices connected to your laptop, like your mouse, touchpad, pendrive, etc. And you should look for some “unusual” device name (like ZTW, Huawai, etc ) , this should most probably be your modem. The unusual name of the device depends on the vendor who supplied it, and it is NOT Reliance as  Reliance only imports it from China,Korea,etc. All these modems are actually made outside India. So if you find that “unusual” name in some line, that entire line should look something like the following :

Bus 005 Device 009: ID 12d1:140b Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Note the numbers “12d1” and “140b”. These are your vendor’s id and product id respectively.

NOTE : These numbers WILL NOT be exactly same for you. The above is just a sample. Note whatever numbers are there in your case and use your numbers in the following command inplace of the sample numbers. Now execute the following :

sudo modprobe usbserial vendor=0×12d1 product=0×140b

Don’t forget to replace the “12d1” and “140b” with whatever you got when you did “lsusb”, as I mentioned above.

Now, just repeat Step 3 (a). If it works, CONGRATS (and skip to the last paragraph of this post) )! If it doesn’t, keep reading ….

So agreed, yours is really a disaster case. Now this is the last weapon I’ve got, If even this one fails, then may your Ubuntu Wireless Internet dreams R.I.P. !

Execute the following :

sudo mknod /dev/ttyUSB0 c 188 0
sudo mknod /dev/ttyUSB1 c 188 1

Now goto Step 4 (the next step) and use either /dev/USB0 or /dev/USB1 in the Modem field. Yes, these are the port names you’ve been looking for. It is actually one of them, so try with both of them, one of them should work. If it doesn’t, then I’m unable to help you further.

Step 4: (a) If you have a Reliance modem, copy paste the following code into your wvdial.conf file (Remove all my comments within the brackets (..) ) :

[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
Stupid Mode = 1
Modem Type = USB Modem
ISDN = 0
Phone = #777
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0 (Write here the actual device address you found in previous step)
Username = 9xxxxxxxxxx (Your Username, should be your data card’s number aka MDN Number)
Password = 9xxxxxxxxxx (Your password , should be the same as username)
CBaud = 460800

Step 4 : (b) In case you have Tata Indicom, copy paste the following code (Remove all my comments within the brackets (..) ):

[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0 (Write here the actual device address you found in step 4)
Init1 = ATZ
Phone = #777
Username = 9xxxxxxxxxx (Your Username, should be your data card’s number aka MDN Number)
Password = 9xxxxxxxxxx (Your password , should be the same as username)
New PPPD = yes
Stupid Mode = 1

Step 5: Open terminal and execute :

sudo wvdial

You should see a long list of arbit codes followed by some IPs. If you see the IPs then you are connected! Don’t close the terminal, or else you’ll get disconnected. To manually disconnect, just go to the terminal and press Ctrl+C.

I know what most of you are thinking at this stage- “Do I have to do this all over again everytime I want to connect ? “. Answer is “NO”. Next time you want to connect, just directly do the Step 5 i.e. execute “sudo wvdial” and its done! 🙂

Note : If you are using firefox, make sure that the “Offline Mode” option in Firefox File’s Menu is not selected. Otherwise, you can’t browse using firefox because firefox will still think you are offline.

Troubleshooting : If during any step, you got any kind of error (or you got nothing at all!), you can always drop by  a comment or an email and I’ll reply as soon as I can. By the way, if you got help from my post, consider subscribing to my blog.


4 comments on “Setting up Reliance/TataIndicom Wireless Internet in Ubuntu

  1. Can’t you do the connecting via wireless using NetworkManager. I guess using the applet (Completely GUI) will help those who don’t want to use the terminal.

    • Yes I know Network Manager can be used to do that. But I’ve heard of instances (including myself), when certain models of Reliance netconnect were not getting detected by it. Thats why I think its more reliable to go for terminal, although its little difficult.

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