Using a random UMTS USB stick (Huwei 160 or something like this) works an current Ubuntu pretty much out of the box and the setup via network manager (nm-applet) is convenient.

But it does not display the current signal strength or modes of operation (which speed-mode is used etc.).

What are useful tools to display/monitor such information?

4 Answers 4


modem-manager-gui gives that info on "info" tab:

modem-manager 3g connection info

In distros other than Ubuntu, the package name can be modem-manager.

  • on ubuntu 16.04 modemmanager is already installed. it should be modem-manager-gui
    – miyuru
    Jan 10, 2017 at 6:28

Since version 0.8.1 of network-manager is already all-inclusive (http://live.gnome.org/NetworkManager/ReleaseProcess).

Otherwise you can use umtsmon (http://umtsmon.sourceforge.net/)

or vodafoneMobileConnect (https://forge.betavine.net/projects/vodafonemobilec/)

or bcm (https://forge.betavine.net/projects/bcm/)

if you have a too old version of ubuntu that does not allow you to update network-manager.

  • What does "all-inclusive" mean? I can't find any info about connection mode in network manager (it shows the signal strength in the icon). Apr 19, 2014 at 18:26

There is nothing much that I am aware of that does this. I have written my own scripts that monitor the second usb serial connection and query for signal strength.

Send a AT+CSQ and you will receive:

+CSQ: n

n is in the range 1 - 31, to convert this to dBm subtract 111

This is detailed in the GSM / 3GPP spec http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/specs/html-info/27007.htm

  • Ok, this is a start. What is the most convenient way to send such control sequences from a script? Sep 3, 2010 at 18:48

This screenlet works for me- WirelessScreenlet

You need to install screenlets first from the software center.

  • Hm, does it really supports UMTS? This page does not mention UMTS. Aug 25, 2010 at 7:45

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