FRITZ!Box: Setting Up A GSM Gateway Via A Mobile Broadband Modem Stick

FRITZ! by AVMSetting up a GSM Gateway on a FRITZ!Box with a mobile broadband modem USB stick can be easily done because this is a standard feature of the latest FRITZ!Box models, beginning with the 72XX series and higher. I took as combination a FRITZ!Box 7390 and a Huawei / Vodafone K3765 mobile broadband USB modem stick.

An alternative option is to set up a GSM gateway using a GSM fixed wireless terminal on a FRITZ!Box, e.g. a Sagem / Vodafone RL 500 (products can be found in miShopping). Both solutions have pros and cons.

GSM gateway via a mobile broadband modem USB stick:

  • Pros:
    • Easy set up, standard feature of latest FRITZ!Box models
  • Cons:
    • Not any FRITZ!Box models are supported.
    • Not any mobile broadband USB stick is working.
    • If you got 2 FRITZ!Boxes on your home network, e.g. a FRITZ!Box 6360 (cable) and a FRITZ!Box 7390 for VOIP and GSM Gateway, the 2 FRITZ!Boxes must be in 2 different networks to get the ‘Mobilfunk‘ (‘Mobile Telephony‘) feature activated which is needed for the mobile broadband modem USB stick.

GSM gateway via a GSM fixed wireless terminal:

  • Pros:
    • Suitable for all FRITZ!Box models with telephony feature.
    • 2 FRITZ!Box models can be in the same IP-network.
  • Cons:
    • Manual set up is a bit trickier.

My recommendations:

  • If you are using 2 FRITZ!Box models in your home network and if you want to have only one single IP-network, you should set up the GSM gateway using a GSM fixed wireless terminal.
  • If you got a not supported FRITZ!Box model for mobile broadband modem sticks, you need to take a GSM fixed wireless terminal.
  • If you got a single and a supported FRITZ!Box, you should set up the GSM gateway using a mobile broadband modem stick.

Getting started:

With an additional mobile broadband modem USB stick for mobile Internet access (3G, UMTS / HSDPA), the FRITZ!Box can connect to the Internet via a mobile communications network and then provide Internet access to all computers in the network. If the USB modem supports “CSV” (Circuit Switched Voice), you can also configure the mobile telephone number of the SIM card in the FRITZ!Box and assign it to telephones connected to it.

FRITZ!Box products capable for telephony via USB Modem (Official AVM information):

Experiences by users: Some users report issues (e.g. connection break-downs) with FRITZ!Box 7270 V2 and V2.

Mobile broadband modems successfully tested with FRITZ!Box (Official AVM Information):

  • 4G-Systems XS Stick P14V
  • ZTE MF 190V
  • Huawei E169 (= Vodafone K3520)
  • Huawei  / Vodafone K3750
  • Huawei / Vodafone K3765

Positive experiences (IP-Phone-Forum, BigDAN, Gee Are Pabst, AVM):

  • Huawei E1550 (Firmware 11.608.10.00.47, Info-Link in German only)
  • Huawei E160 (Firmware 11.609.10.02.432)
  • Huawei E160X (=Vodafone K3565-H)
  • Huawei E169 (= Vodafone K3520)
  • Huawei E173 U-1 (Firmware 11.126.85.00.209)
  • Huawei E173 U-2 (Firmware 11.126.85.00.209)
  • Huawei E1750 (= T-Mobile Web’n’Walk Fusion II)
  • Huawei / Vodafone K3715 (Firmware 84.05.07-21078 or higher)
  • Huawei / Vodafone K3765
  • ZTE MF190 (bad sound quality)

Note: “CSV” (Circuit Switched Voice) needs to be activated for some of these USB modems! Additionally, some of these have to be unlocked. General unlock instructions for Huawei models:

  • Check and write down your modem model and its IMEI number.
  • Install Huawei Software ‘Mobile Partner‘ to get your USB modem recognized on your PC. 
    Mobile Partner for Windows
    Mobile Partner for Windows » Post
    Setup.exe
    Version: 12/05/2012
    784.9 KiB
    20099 Downloads
    Details
  • Insert the unsupported SIM card in your modem and plug in to your computer.
  • Follow all the installation procedures until to the last prompt to ‘Input the unlock code‘.
  • For Huawei models get the unlock code from Huawei unlock code calculator or from Online Huawei Modem Unlock Code Calculator. You will be provided with two codes – the unlock code and the flash code.
  • Now copy the unlock code, paste it in where you are prompted to Input unlock code and press ‘OK‘.
  • Install DC Unlocker Client (Windows only) and check the unlock status.

Specific unlock and firmware instructions:

Negative experiences (IP-Phone-Forum, BigDAN, Gee Are Pabst):

  • Huawei E173S-1 (= BILDmobil Speedstick, firmware 21.023.05.00.35: no support of calls in 21.xxx.xx.xx.xx)
  • Huawei E173S-2 (firmware 21.017.01.00.21: no support of calls in 21.xxx.xx.xx.xx)
  • Huawei E176 (= T-Mobile Web’n’Walk Stick IV)
  • Huawei E1762 (= BILDmobil Speedstick, elder BILDmobil version)
  • Huawei E1823, firmware 11.831.06.00.420 (= T-Mobile Web’n’Walk Stick Business)
  • Huawei E372

Successful combinations based on experiences of miApple.me Community (BigDAN, Gee Are Pabst):

  • FRITZ!Box 7390 OS 6.01 and Huawei / Vodafone K3765 (firmware 11.126.03.09.00, unlocked, works ‘out of the box’, no need to enable “CSV”/Circuit Switched Voice)
  • FRITZ!Box 7270 v3 OS 5.53 and Huawei E173 U-2, firmware 11.126.85.00.209, (Note: The firmware has to be different from 21.xxx.xx.xx.xx, because this versions doesn’t support voice calls)

Requirements / Restrictions

  • The FRITZ!Box has been configured for Internet access via the mobile communications network.
  • The mobile broadband modem supports the “CSV” (Circuit Switched Voice) feature.
  • The mobile telephone number assigned to the SIM card you are using, has been activated for voice.
  • Call diversions and call through cannot be configured for mobile telephone numbers.

Note: The configuration procedure and notes on features given in this guide refer to the latest FRITZ!OS. Some of the settings described here are only displayed if the ‘Advanced View‘ is enabled in the user interface (bottom/middle).

1. Provisions

  • If you have two FRITZ!Box models in one IP home network and you want to add the mobile broadband modem USB stick to the second one, than go to ‘Internet‘, ‘Zugangsdaten‘ and ‘Betriebsart‘. Activate ‘Internetverbindung selbst aufbauen‘.

    FRITZ!Box GSM-Gateway via a mobile broadband modem USB-stick: Switching 'IP-Client-Modus'

    Source: miApple.me

  • If you have one sole FRITZ!Box, check that the FRITZ!Box has its own internet access.

    FRITZ!Box GSM-Gateway via a mobile broadband modem USB-stick: Checking that the FRITZ!Box has been configured for its own Internet access via the mobile communications network.

    Source: miApple.me

2. Inserting the mobile broadband modem USB stick

  • Put the USM Modem into the USP port of the FRITZ!Box. Wait some seconds till the FRITZ!Box has recognized the stick (if not, unplug the FRITZ!Box from power, wait 1 minute and plug it in again).
  • If PIN verification of the SIM card is on, you will get the response of the FRITZ!Box to enter the PIN (‘Internet‘, ‘Mobilfunk‘, ‘Anmeldung im Mobilfunknetz‘). Entering the PIN did not work for me (I got a FONIC SIM card, a Vodafone K3765 and a FRITZ!Box 7390).

    FRITZ!Box GSM-Gateway via a mobile broadband modem USB-stick: Entering PIN of the SIM card for PIN verification

    Source: miApple.me

  • If entering the PIN did not work, set PIN verification of the SIM card off externally.
  • If the mobile broadband modem USB stick is correctly connected, you will get the following:

    FRITZ!Box GSM-Gateway via a mobile broadband modem USB-stick: USB modem connected to the mobile network

    Source: miApple.me

3. Entering location information

  • Click on ‘Telefonie‘ (‘Telephony‘) in the FRITZ!Box user interface.
  • Click on ‘Eigene Rufnummern‘ (‘Telephone Numbers‘).
  • Click on the ‘Anschlusseinstellungen‘ (‘Line Settings‘) tab.
  • Select your country from the drop-down menu under ‘Standortangaben‘ (‘Location information‘). If you cannot select your country, select ‘Anderes Land‘ (‘Other country‘).
  • For ‘Landesvorwahl‘ (‘Country code‘), enter the country code prefix in the first field and the actual country code in the second field (such as for Germany “00” and “49”). Do not use ‘+‘ instead of ‘00‘!
  • For ‘Ortsvorwahl‘ (‘Area code‘) enter the area code prefix in the first field and the actual area code in the second field (such as for the city ‘Neumarkt’ “0” and “9181”).
  • Click ‘Apply‘ to save your settings.

    FRITZ!Box GSM-Gateway via a mobile broadband modem USB-stick: Filling in local information

    Source: miApple.me

4. Entering a mobile telephone number

  • Click ‘Internet‘ in the FRITZ!Box user interface.
  • Click ‘Zugangsdaten‘ (‘Account Information‘) in the ‘Internet‘ menu.
  • Enable the option ‘Telefonie über Mobilfunk‘ (‘Telephony via mobile telephone network‘).
  • Enter your mobile telephone number.
  • Enter the desired name in the ‘Anzeigename‘ (‘Display name‘) field. Example: As a display name for the number 017812345 you could choose “Mobile_12345”.
  • Select ‘Ortsvorwahl verwenden‘ (‘Use Area code‘) to skip the need for dial your are code.

    FRITZ!Box GSM-Gateway via a mobile broadband modem USB-stick: Fill in your mobile telephony number

    Source: miApple.me

  • For performance reasons, select ‘Portweiterleitung…‘ (‘Port Forwarding…‘) and choose ‘Portweiterleitung aktiv halten alle 30 Sekunden‘ (‘Port forwarding keep active every 30 seconds‘).

    FRITZ!Box GSM-Gateway via a mobile broadband modem USB-stick: Keep port forwarding active every 30 seconds for performance reasons

    Source: miApple.me

  • Click ‘Apply‘ to save your settings.

Now your mobile telephone number will be displayed under ‘Telephony > Telephone Numbers‘ and you can assign it to your telephony devices. In my case, I have set up two GSM gateways: One via a Vodafone RL 500 fixed wireless terminal (see ‘Festnetz‘ / ‘Fixed Line‘), the other one via a Vodafone K3765 mobil broadband modem USB stick (see ‘Mobilfunk‘ / ‘Mobile Telephony‘).

FRITZ!Box GSM-Gateway via a mobile broadband modem USB-stick: mobile telephone number will be displayed under 'Telephony > Telephone Numbers' and you can assign it to your telephony devices.

Source: miApple.me

If you assign the number to a telephony device, then it is also used for incoming and outgoing calls even when the Internet connection is established via DSL and not via the mobile communications network.

Conclusion: Setting up a GSM Gateway via a mobile broadband modem USB stick is works ‘out of the box’, if you take a FRITZ!Box 7390 and a unlocked Huawei / Vodafone K3765 USB modem stick. Further more, if use use a fixed wireless terminal and a USB modem, it is possible to set up two GSM gateway on one single FRITZ!Box. Credits to BigDAN for the given support and information!

Stay tuned! 😉