Adding support for Huawei E173U-2

  • I am currently helping a colleague to setup pfSense using 3G connections. He have a Hauwei E173U-2 dongle and the website support E173 + E173U-1 but I don't see E173U-2.

    Is it possible to this modem on pfSense? I tried to use it but the system logs for the PPP connection keeps saying the Modem did not respond.


  • Anyone?

  • Netgate Administrator

    How far through the setup did you get?
    Is the modem recognised at all?
    More details please!  ;)


  • I want to report that Huawei E137u-2 works just fine and should be added to the list of known working 3G USB modems. E173u-2 is the same as E173u-1, it just supports additional UMTS frequency band of 900 MHz. Tested in pfSense-LiveCD-2.1.3-RELEASE-amd64-20140501-1552.

  • Hi Harumph!

    Thank you for your reply. I will try again with the same Dongle. I got this problem in Turkmenistan and 2 prior versions this dongle was not supported yet.


  • Hi, Dawie_Kabouter,

    E173 has two versions, both with two subversions each (1 and 2). One version is "u", the other is "s". These two versions have totally different hardware, thus needing different drivers. There is no marking on the outside, you have to take off the cover to see which version and subversion you got. Differences between subversions are supported UMTS frequencies and external anntena plug.

    Another thing, some reported that ISP-locked units tend to make problems, even with proper drivers. Unlock your modem before proceeding, if it's not already done.

    Also, pfSense will detect your modem if you choose correct /dev/cuaU* from the list. Usually, it's the first one, but not necessarily. A sure sign of proper choice is when pfSense offers country listing on PPPs interface settings page.

    Hope I helped. Cheers.

  • Hi Harumph!

    Yes thank you. I will have to check this again when I go to Turkmenistan again. Probably in about 3 weeks I will be back to try and see if we can increase the internet connectivity by using teh 3G cards.

    I had a lot of issues with the 3G cards available in TM so I will take extra with me and test them too.


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