PPP features for 3G/GPRS/HSDPA users

  • Hello Devs,

    A couple of feature suggestions for PPP users of 3G etc modem users.

    1. Users in many countries have pay as you go SIMs with no concept of a "plan" or a "contract". In order to add minutes/money (charge up) these SIMS, users of 3G modems typically have to take the SIM out of the modem (after disconnecting the modem from the PC) and put it into a mobile phone and then dial a long string of numbers. For example, in Thailand I use AIS(1-2 Call) and dial 1203344484822220929# or some such thing. The phone displays a confirmation reply message a few moments later, plus AIS sends me an SMS confirmation too. If I dial *139# the phone displays a message on screen about how many EDGE/GPRS minutes I have left. If I dial *121# it displays a message telling me how much money is in my account. Now, for a serious router implementation, should the router be able to do all this so I don't have to take the SIM out of the modem. I haven't tested if the phone/modem will actually work if ppp dials these character/number sequences. It its possible, will you implement it? It could be as simple as a blank text box in the ui that says "Dial this" I think the link has to be down for it to work. I'm not sure about that though.

    2. My linux implementation of pppd can get the DNS server IPs from the remote host and a nice ip-up script copies these into /etc/resolv.conf when the link comes up, and takes them away when the link goes down. Can we get pfSense to do this too?

    3. I think the default route should be added to the route table by ppp (or mpd).

    4. If possible, dial on demand would be nice, along with idle timeout.
    5. For sure, some time window rules for when the connection should be established would be nice. Dial at time of day x and hangup at time of day y.



  • 1. can be accomplished with the chat script and since it is service provider dependent will always be left as a configuration.
    2/3/4…. will have to be implemented but no timeline can be given...

  • @ermal:

    1. can be accomplished with the chat script and since it is service provider dependent will always be left as a configuration.

    What do you mean exactly by "will always be left as a configuration?" Does that mean that you agree that it would be great to have a web interface for sending these digits to the modem/service provider? You don't have to mess with helping the user figure out what digits to send, just a nice gui to enter them and confirm the response received (which is sometimes "Try again later" in my experience.)

    Otherwise, its lower on the usability scale to muck around in the command line and manually run a script every time you have to recharge the SIM, especially if your running in embedded mode. I'm an occasional *NIX user and it takes me a not trivial amount of time to look up man pages to remind me of the command line switches to change the file system to -rw on the embedded platform so that I can use vi to enter the digit string. It means I can never delegate this to a non-technical person (or slightly technical person) or talk someone through it on the phone.

    I know you can't give a time line and that's okay, I just wanted to make sure that those items were on the radar.

    Oh, I forgot one feature.

    6. Buttons to manually connect and disconnect. :)

    Also, I think 5. should allow multiple time windows in one day.



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