It's fairly easy to set up and use SMART Bro Plug-it, Globe Tattoo Broadband Kit or Sun Broadband in Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X. It's because of its OS-specific bundled software. Just plug the device, install and you'll be surfing the net in no time. Included also are call and text features, and other useful functionalities. 

Overall, I think it's a great deal (& purchase).. for Windows and Mac users that is.. How about us Linux users? No support, sadly…

Luckily for my favorite Linux distro, Ubuntu, there's another way. Hell, I and think an even better way than the bundled software! By using none other than…

…NetworkManager's Mobile Broadband.

Introduced back in Ubuntu 9.10 (when Ubuntu switched to using NetworkManager to manage its network connections), Mobile Broadband means any kind of high speed internet connection which is provided by an external device such as a 3G usb stick or mobile phone with built-in HSPA/UMTS/GPRS data connection. Some laptops have recently been produced with mobile broadband devices already inside them.

So with Ubuntu Linux, you can now connect and use any SMART Bro Plug-it, Globe Tattoo Broadband Kit or Sun Broadband device without the need to install anything.  The upside with this is that it's ultra fast and lightweight. The downside however, is it doesn't have the cell phone-like; text and call feature like its bundled software.

(Note: Mobile Broadband is only available in Ubuntu 9.10 and above)

(Tested on Ubuntu 10.10 using Globe Tattoo Broadband)

Setup Instructions


1. Plug the USB modem (Smart/Globe/Sun), and wait for Ubuntu to recognise the modem.

2. Now right click the Network Manager icon (Desktop: top right panel). If Ubuntu's able to recognize the device the New Mobile Broadband (GSM) connection will appear. Click it.

3. The Set up Mobile Broadband Connection wizard will appear. Just click Forward.

4. Next, choose Philippines for Provider's Country. Then click Forward.

5. Based on the sim card inserted in your USB modem; select the provider from the list. Then click Forward.

6. For this step – Choose your Billing Plan – it's crucial to identify the type of sim card inserted in the modem in order to determine the correct APN (Access Point Name) to use. APN will vary by billing plan; postpaid or prepaid.

Setting the wrong APN will prevent connectivity, to avoid this, the best thing to do is to set the APN manually rather than selecting the default.

To manually set the APN, click the drop down button, then select My plan is not listed.

7. Choose an APN below:

Smart Bro APN Settings

for Smart Bro Sim Cards:

  • Postpaid APN: smartbro
  • Prepaid APN: smartbro

for Smart Buddy & Smart Gold Sim Cards:

  • APN: internet

Globe Tattoo APN Settings

  • Postpaid APN: internet.globe.com.ph
  • Prepaid APN: http.globe.com.ph

Sun Broadband APN Settings

  • Postpaid APN: fbband
  • Prepaid APN: minternet

8. Now input the APN. Then select Forward.

9. Confirm and finalise your Mobile Broadband Settings by clicking Apply.

If you did all the steps properly, most notably setting the correct APN, a Connection Established message will show.

Done. That's it, you're all set.

If you want to view the connection info and verify its connectivity, just left click the Network Manager.

(Optional) Adding, Editing or Deleting Mobile Broadband Connections


1. Right click the NetworkManager icon in the top right of the panel and click Edit Connections.

OR Go to System -> Preferences -> Network Connections.

2. Click the Mobile Broadband tab. Click the Add button to add new connection or click the connection name to Edit or Delete.

When editing a connection, only change the values for APN and Type as much as possible, so to avoid breaking the configuration thus preventing connectivity.

For lists of supported hardware & additional info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NetworkManager/Hardware/3G

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