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Connect to other networks while using a 3G modem Network
A lot of 3G (or EDGE) external modems (USB or ExpressCard) require special software to build up a connection. My two modems from different providers use GlobeTrotter Connect and E-plus Online Connect (the latter a re-branding by my provider). As I understand it, these applications set up new network interfaces and group them in a new location setting. All existing network interfaces get disabled when a connection is established and the system is switched to this location.

This may be obvious, but it took me a while before I tried it out. One can simply re-add other network interface (i.e. Wifi or Ethernet) to these locations, and then be connected to both the internet via the 3G modem, and to local networks at the same time (eg, for streaming to an Airport Express).
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Connect to other networks while using a 3G modem
Authored by: siena on Sep 17, '08 10:40:24PM

and just for information the same does not occur with Windows, even with Vista there is no issue to have 3G and other networks active at the same time. Unfortunately the possibiity to use 'networksetup' to automatically activate the networks is not effective because this command seems to work randomically (at least in my case, different experiences are welcome).



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Connect to other networks while using a 3G modem
Authored by: hamarkus on Sep 18, '08 08:31:21AM

"with Windows, there is no issue to have 3G and other networks active at the same time"
There is no issue with OS X either, it is just that those who wrote the connection software chose to disable the other interfaces, probably just to keep things simple. As this hint says, you can re-enable them and you have to do this only once. As a side-effect, the automatic location now also contains all those special interfaces created by the modem interface.



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Connect to other networks while using a 3G modem
Authored by: mezis on Sep 20, '08 12:46:15AM

Another solution is to *not* install any third-party software.

Your modem (an Option Globetrotter Express or GT), like most EDGE/3G(+) USB modems is natively supported by MacOS X, and as such will appear as a new network connection the first time you plug it in.

You can then configure it like you would any other network port; in particular simultaneously connect to another network like the poster wants to.

Other modems (like the Novatel Wireless XU870 sold by Orange) are also natively compatible (note that there is not software difference between ExpressCard modems and USB modems -- in this case ExpressCard is just a fancy USB connector).



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I agree, in principle
Authored by: hamarkus on Sep 24, '08 08:19:21AM

If your modem is supported by the OS, if you removed the SIM lock (the OS does not have an interface to enter the SIM) and if you able to obtain the correct connection parameters from your provider.

I used this route with a Motorola Timeport (from the year 2000) connected via IRDa using native GSM speeds (yes, 9600 bauds or bit per second) and with a Motorola Razr with GRPS (~30 kb). Finding and downloading appropriate drivers and more importantly extracting the correct connection parameters from the providers was a major pain.



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