lack of 3g (umts) net from nokia e70 on freebsd


often i wish i didn’t have to answer “i don’t know” and the last time this irked me was with regards to whether or not my nokia e70 could work tethered (via usb) with 3g, aka umts, with my freebsd laptop. the answer is: “not yet”. here is a bit of the train-of-thought way i got to this answer tonight:

1. rummage around for a data/usb cable for the e70, plug it into the phone and into the freebsd lappy, choose “IP passthrough” mode on the e70, run dmesg in a console.

2. note that the console spits out:

ugen1: Nokia Nokia E70 (RNDIS), rev 2.00/1.00, addr 2

3. search google for that string, nada with or without quotes. search google with:
Nokia E70 (RNDIS) rev 2.00 1.00

ahhhh, two results! one is in russian, the other is a linux kernel patch.

4. skim through the linux kernel patch and realize the important part is RNDIS. search the interwebs for “rndis freebsd” and note that there isn’t a driver written, time to go look what has been written in linux land.

5. go to and navigate around until the newest linux kernel is found, not in patch form but in its entirety. download. wait for the download and the subsequent decompression once downloaded. while that is simmering, grab the text file for the patch grabbed earlier and skim a bit more in vim.

6. once the kernel is downloaded and uncompressed, muck around looking for RNDIS in various directories, find a likely subject:


vim that puppy and begin to read the entertaining comments at the intro to the file:

* RNDIS is NDIS remoted over USB. It’s a MSFT variant of…

um….by MSFT they don’t mean microsoft do they? oh crud. continue reading:

* CONTROL uses CDC “encapsulated commands” with funky notifications…

funky? *chuckle* reading again:

/* RNDIS defines an (absurdly huge) 10 second control timeout

*laugh*, who knew the linux kernel contained such humorous prose?

7. realize the answer is, no virginia there is no santa claus of the e70’s 3g to freebsd variety since there is no port of RNDIS on freebsd. freebsd (or other bsd) developers, feel free to fight over who gets to port this lovely archaic, largely incorrectly documented, m$ protocol.

[pictured above is my modded nokia 6590 which was so garish it shone through my pants pockets with super bright blue strobing leds in true japanese schoolgirl turn-of-the-21st-century style; it was my first nokia and here it is shown being contacted by aliens. it was replaced with my nokia 6230 which has now been superseded by my e70]

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