Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

HSPA setup and configuration (for wireless networking, please use the 'Networking issue' forum)
johnnygamer
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Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by johnnygamer » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:12 pm

Gday,

I recently purchased a Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit outright, it contained the Huawei E169. I bought this because I read that either these are already unlocked or you could ring or email virgin customer service and get them unlocked. Once its unlocked, whats the procedure for configuring the Huawei E169 to work with the Exetel SIM card?

TIA

JasonM

Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by JasonM » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:15 pm

You would insert the SIM card into the modem.
Connect the modem to the computer.
Change the APN to exetel1 in the Optus software.
Click Connect.

samarium
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by samarium » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:16 pm

Since VIrgin uses the Optus network, you may just be able to use it with the Exetel SIM, without bothering about the unlocking. Worth a try, and if it works please post back a confirmation.

edit: Too slow to respond as usual, beaten by Jason :-)

johnnygamer
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by johnnygamer » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:25 pm

Reporting a success. Popped the exetel SIM card into the Virgin branded Huawei E169 and plugged it into a spare usb port. After installing the Virgin branded software I created a new profile and set the APN to exetel1. After saving the new profile, I clicked Connect and was on the Internet. Thanks for all your help.

The Huawei E169 was a reluctant purchase. I searched everywhere for a 3G router with wireless that supported both 2100MHZ and 900MHZ frequencies for HSPA and allowed you to plug the SIM card directly into it. I only found one model that had the option of plugging the SIM card directly into the 3G router, however it didn't support both HSPA frequencies :(

zaxapod
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by zaxapod » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:53 am

Yeah its a bit annoying that there's no routers that work straight with a simcard, but exetel appear to trying to source one, so maybe some will be available eventually. In the meantime the only real option is to use the E169 and plug it into a compatible router (there's several available now from various suppliers).

johnnygamer
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by johnnygamer » Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:44 am

Yeah I ended up doing that. I ordered the D-Link DIR-451 and will plug the Huawei E169 into its USB port when it arrives.

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thomashouseman
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by thomashouseman » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:49 am

How much are these starter kits and where are they available from?
Do you think Optus/virgin will close down this loophole?

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CoreyPlover
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by CoreyPlover » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:10 am

thomashouseman wrote:How much are these starter kits and where are they available from?
Do you think Optus/virgin will close down this loophole?
If you mean the Virgin and Optus prepaid starter kits: You can get the E169 modem from Virgin for $149. I think Optus is similarly priced (maybe $179 for the modem and 1Gb prepaid data? But I can't find confirmation online). They are available from Optus and Virgin retail outlets.

Why do you think it is a loophole? Optus and Virgin still make money by selling either a device, or a device bundled with 1 month of data. Just because you can then replace the SIM Card with another carrier won't change their marketing approach (which in the case of Optus, isn't even a different carrier: Optus still get revenue from Exetel).

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thomashouseman
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by thomashouseman » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:36 am

Oh, I thought they were subsidised like the vodafone pre-paid handsets you can buy and then insert Exetel sims into...

samarium
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by samarium » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:31 pm

johnnygamer wrote:Reporting a success. Popped the exetel SIM card into the Virgin branded Huawei E169 and plugged it into a spare usb port. After installing the Virgin branded software I created a new profile and set the APN to exetel1. After saving the new profile, I clicked Connect and was on the Internet. Thanks for all your help.

The Huawei E169 was a reluctant purchase. I searched everywhere for a 3G router with wireless that supported both 2100MHZ and 900MHZ frequencies for HSPA and allowed you to plug the SIM card directly into it. I only found one model that had the option of plugging the SIM card directly into the 3G router, however it didn't support both HSPA frequencies :(
Thanks for posting the confirmation. A definite answer is much better than "It probably works because he didn't post any other questions.".

machine
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by machine » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:48 pm

johnnygamer wrote:Reporting a success. Popped the exetel SIM card into the Virgin branded Huawei E169 and plugged it into a spare usb port. After installing the Virgin branded software I created a new profile and set the APN to exetel1. After saving the new profile, I clicked Connect and was on the Internet. Thanks for all your help.
:(
johnnygamer I find that HARD TO BELIEVE, since

Quote fron Virgin website

"One of Virgins requirements for providing an unlock code on a Pre-Paid service is that you top up your new service with at least $80 (not counting your original included credit).

If you have already recharged with the required $80.00, please mail us (by clicking on Ask A Question above) with the following and we’ll be able to retrieve your unlock code:

- Modem Model: (ie: E169 or E220)
- IMEI Number: (the IMEI number starts with “35…” and is 15 digits long. This should be on the back of the USB modem)

Once we’ve received your request we’ll be in touch with the code and instructions on how to go about it."
End Quote

You need to get the unlock code from Virgin and download an unlocker application/program and then enter the code from Virgin into the program and then press unlock to unlock the modem.

And johnnygamer, you say you only changed the APN in the new profile?

What, your special and don't need to Authenticate to the Optus/Exetel network?

Virgin use PAP for authentication and Optus/Exetel use CHAP for authentication.

johnnygamer, Your credibility is very doubtful!

Others thinking of doing this(getting a Virgin or Optus wireless broadband Modem) check the facts regarding unlocking first with Virgin or Optus.

Need2No
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by Need2No » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:32 pm

machine wrote:
johnnygamer wrote:Reporting a success. Popped the exetel SIM card into the Virgin branded Huawei E169 and plugged it into a spare usb port. After installing the Virgin branded software I created a new profile and set the APN to exetel1. After saving the new profile, I clicked Connect and was on the Internet. Thanks for all your help.
:(


And johnnygamer, you say you only changed the APN in the new profile?

What, your special and don't need to Authenticate to the Optus/Exetel network?

Virgin use PAP for authentication and Optus/Exetel use CHAP for authentication.

johnnygamer, Your credibility is very doubtful!

Others thinking of doing this(getting a Virgin or Optus wireless broadband Modem) check the facts regarding unlocking first with Virgin or Optus.
I bought an Optus E169 modem. I changed the APN to exetel1 and away I went.

Gee, there goes my credibility too.

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CoreyPlover
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by CoreyPlover » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:56 pm

machine wrote:johnnygamer I find that HARD TO BELIEVE, since

And johnnygamer, you say you only changed the APN in the new profile?

What, your special and don't need to Authenticate to the Optus/Exetel network?

Virgin use PAP for authentication and Optus/Exetel use CHAP for authentication.

johnnygamer, Your credibility is very doubtful!

Others thinking of doing this(getting a Virgin or Optus wireless broadband Modem) check the facts regarding unlocking first with Virgin or Optus.
You say "check the facts first"...

I, like johnnygamer, bought a branded Huawei E169 (an Optus one). I, too, replaced the SIM card with an Exetel one, changed the APN to exetel1 and was logged in in less than 5 minutes.

The "APN" (or on other software, the SP Code) is all you need to authenticate, I suspect it uses the SIM card Phone number or IMEI number as the username. And in most software the PAP/CHAP is selected automatically.

You shouldn't ever accuse someone of lying simply because their *actual experiences* differ from your *inferred theory* (based on a flawed knowledge of HSPA authentication and a Virgin website). You are, however, correct that users should verify any *current* lock-in provisions that Optus / Virgin modems may have, but Need2No and I have both bought Optus modems without requiring any unlocking. Plus, you are actually able to re-flash the E169 firmware and I would not be surprised if Virgin's lock-in firmware can be circumvented.

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sqgl
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by sqgl » Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:05 pm

Have entered APN, username, password in the Virgin modem utility, however,
a popup that says "Unlock the data card" and "Please enter unlock code".
I cancel the popup and try to connect to exetel anyhow but am told
(in bad English) "you can't connect before register an available network"

CoreyPlover, need2no, johnny you appear to have been lucky. Seems you bought one that was unlocked.

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Dazzled
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Re: Virgin Prepaid Mobile Broadband starter kit and Exetel SIM

Post by Dazzled » Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:23 pm

It just works in most non-Windows systems. With Windows drivers (as supplied in the modem) it usually works if you start a new profile rather than alter one.

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