Connectivity: 3G Modem

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3G Modem

  • PixiePro has a built-in service to automatically start the 3G Modem. In order to activate the service, issue the following command:
$ sudo systemctl start pixie-modem-enable

In order to enable the service at boot, issue the following command:

$ sudo systemctl enable pixie-modem-enable

If you want to disable the service, issue the following command:

$ sudo systemctl disable pixiepro-modem-enable

Inserting a Nano SIM card into PixiePro

To be able to use 3G Modem and all of its features, you will need a Nano SIM card.

In order to connect it to PixiePro, carefully slide the Nano SIM card into the slot. Be sure to connect it according to the following image:

Nano SIM card installation.png

Note: Make sure the card’s gold contacts face the device. If the SIM card is not inserted correctly, PixiePro will not detect it.

Connecting to a 3G Network


The Network Manager applet provides a tool and a panel applet used to configure wired and wireless network connections through GUI. It's designed for use with any desktop environment that uses GTK+ like Xfce and LXDE.

  • If you haven't already installed nm-applet, you can install it with the following command:
    $ sudo pacman -S network-manager-applet

Once Network Manager applet is running, you can create a new Mobile BroadBand connection according to your network provider.

In order to proceed with the following tutorial, you must have a working Nano-SIM inserted

1. Open the nm-applet icon tray on your desktop panel

2. Select the option "New Mobile Broadband connection..."


3. Select your country from the provided list


4. Select your network provider from the list


5. Apply the changes and save the connection

6. Connect to the newly created network


CLI (Advanced)

nmcli is a command-line tool for controlling NetworkManager and getting its status.

  • In order to create and connect to the 3G Modem, execute the following command:
    $ sudo nmcli con add type gsm ifname cdc-wdm0 con-name <connection_name> apn <apn> user <username> password <password> --> For authenticating a network with credentials
    $ sudo nmcli con add type gsm ifname cdc-wdm0 con-name <connection_name> apn <apn> --> For authenticating a network without credentials


  • <connection_name> is the desired name to identify the network
  • <apn> Access Point Name of the provider
  • <username> Username for the APN settings
  • <password> Password for the APN settings

Sending SMS with PixiePro

Modem Manager GUI is frontend for ModemManager daemon able to control specific modem functions such as sending SMS.

1. First open the Modem Manager GUI Application from the desktop menu

2. Go to the SMS Tab to write and read SMS messages as shown below:


3. Select the "New" button in order to compose a new SMS message. Type in the destination number, the body of the message:


4. Click the "Send" button in order to send the SMS

Share your 3G connection effortlessly

PixiePro has the ability to use the configured 3G cellular service as an access point for other devices. There are two ways of sharing a 3G connection.

Note that you must have a working 3G Internet configuration before doing following steps. For more information check the following section Connecting to a 3G Network

  • Method 1 (Easiest):

Using the Out of the Box Experience Setup (OoBES)

  • Method 2 ( Using the CLI):
  • First add a virtual interface called 'uap0':
iw phy phy0 interface add uap0 type __ap
  • Create the access point for Internet Sharing, where SSID is the name of the access point and <password> is the password you want to give to the access point.
$ sudo create_ap -m nat uap0 wwan0 <SSID> <password> --no-virt &
For example:
$ sudo create_ap -m nat uap0 wwan0 Pixie pixietest --no-virt &