Ubuntu - Install Tata Photon + on Natty Narwhal 11.04


Tata Photon Plus

This article will explain how to fully setup and configure a CDMA USB key Huwei EC156 provided with a Tata Photon + subscription on a Ubuntu 11.04 laptop.

Just imagine : You are staying or travelling in India, you are checking your mails or surfing the web while in a taxi, in the train or waiting in an airport ... That is nowadays quite easy, you just need a nation wide wireless internet access.

Tata Photon + is there to suit your needs. For a reasonible amount (1500 INR, equivalent to 20 €, at the time of this article) you will get a Huwei EC156 USB key and a 3 Gb limit, valid for one month.

But the only trouble is that the Huwei EC156 is too new to be handled directly by your Ubuntu 11.04 laptop.

As most of the time with Linux, every problem is having a solution. So here are the steps to :

  • recognize the Photon + USB key
  • configure network manager for the Photon + access

So, lets start ...

This article has been done on a Ubuntu Natty Narwhal 11.04.
It should work on Ubuntu 11.10, but nothing is granted for older releases ...
If it works for you on older release, just let me know to add it in the article.

1. Installation

First step is to recover the latest packages needed to recognize the Huwei EC156 USB Key.

You will to download two specific .deb packages from later Ubuntu versions :

  • usb-modeswitch from Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric repository (you will get version 1.1.9)
  • usb-modeswitch-data from Ubuntu 12.04 Precise repository (you will get latest USB keys database

Once you have downloaded the two .deb packages :

  1. launch a terminal
  2. cd to the directory where you've downloaded the packages
  3. install the packages in the following order :

# sudo dpkg -i usb-modeswitch_*_amd64.deb
# sudo dpkg -i usb-modeswitch-data_*_all.deb


2. Configuration

You now need to create a broadband network connexion.

So, start the Network Connections manager and click on the Mobile Broadband tab.

 wideband connexion

Click on the Add button and follow these steps :

  1. Select Next
  2. Choose India
  3. Choose Tata Indicom (Photon+)
  4. Select Apply

Then, you need to setup the basic parameters :

  • phone number
  • username
  • password

Set these parameters as follow (it's in french, sorry) :


Save the parameters by clicking on Apply.

3. Connect the key !

You can now connect your Tata Photon + key to your laptop.

Everything should be handled automatically.

After few seconds ... you should be connected on the Internet thru the CDMA network from almost any connected city in India !

Hope it helps.

Signature Technoblog

This article is published "as is", without any warranty that it will work for your specific need.
If you think this article needs some complement, or simply if you think it saved you lots of time & trouble,
just let me know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Cheers !

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