Vodafone USB 3G modem driver from mbed

Wow, that’s a really simple hardware setup to supply your device with a 3G Internet connection. Better yet, the software side is just as simple thanks to the Vodafone USB Modem library for mbed. It will work for any of the cell data plans offered by Vodafone. The only problem you may have is not living in one of the 30 countries serviced by the telco.

The dongle seen at the right is sold by Vodafone and is meant to be used for Internet data, so you won’t be doing anything that might get your SIM banned. Connecting to the network is a one-liner thanks to the previously mentioned library. From there, gets and posts can be done with your favorite package. The  Hello World example uses HTTPClient. And since the mbed is simply an ARM platform it shouldn’t be hard to use the library with the ARM chip of your choice.


  1. Coda says:

    If the modem is just a USB serial port then I suspect you could use this with V-USB albeit at a lower data rate.

  2. pete says:

    tip: there are unlockers available for some of the models provided by vodafone.
    Great info. I have two of them : )

  3. danielcasner says:

    For those of us in the USA, there is also a library to support Sprint USB cell modems. They were demonstrating this at the ARM technology conference the last two days by driving around a iRobot Create using an mBed hooked to it and serving up a webpage over cellular.

  4. randomdude says:

    awesome stuff

    here where I live one of the mobile phone network operator was required to offer totally free umts at roughly 256kb/s or so

    not much sure… but is be more than enough for 99.9% of projects

  5. Bacchus says:

    In the UK Three sometimes offer 3G modems for free.

    I don’t know how it works, but they sometimes send a letter asking if you would like a new one. I wonder if anyone ever refuses…

    • EccentricElectron says:

      You accept the new one on the condition of entering into a new (12-24 month) contract.

      • Bacchus says:

        No – They just wrote and asked if I would like another one, and would I accept a couple of PAYG sims – give one to a friend.

        It’s happened twice so far. I kept one standard and unlocked the other one so I could use it when travelling overseas.

  6. neatbasis says:

    There were some Vodaphone developers at Droidcon UK last week presenting this and some applications they came up with using the library. There was a printer you could send a text to, a door you could open by sending a text and some other stuff. The Vodaphone developer I talked with was pretty happy developing mbed stuff on the cloud. Nevertheless, I do like my Arduino.

  7. enochered says:

    I have a dongle. It works very well, however I am allowed 5g per month. If I spend too much time looking at YouTube clips, you can use that up in no time. At the end of the 5g the dongle still works but it is much slower, how can I over-ride the limit?

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