Saturday, June 9, 2012

Speed Up 3G Broadband in Sri Lanka

Here I'm providing an optimal solution to have a faster 3G broadband connection in Ubuntu/Linux. As  many of you have experienced, the connection speed is really bad especially at peak times in most of the 3G networks. Here I'm providing  a set of configurations I have tried that seems to work great. This way, you will be able surf only on 3G (UMTS/HSPA) without falling back to slower protocols like EDGE. Further, this will reduce the domain look-up time, and speed up authentication.

The settings were configured using network-manager that comes with Ubuntu by default. The network-manager is available at the systray (top-right corner of top panel). The instructions are for Dialog Service Provider in Sri Lanka, but apply for other providers with minor changes. I have adopted some of these using resources 1, and 2.

Now, click on the network-manager icon in systray, and go to "Edit Connections...". This will open up a dialog box that looks like the following. I have selected the "Mobile Broadband" tab here.

If you want to optimize an existing connection, click on Edit to open the edit window. Otherwise, create a new connection which will open the edit window as well.

There are three tabs which you can change.

  1. PPP Settings tab - Click on "Configure Methods...". Uncheck all the checkboxes except PAP. Click on OK.

2. Mobile Broadband tab - For Type: field, select 3G (UMTS/HSPA). The Number field should be "*99#", and the APN should be Dialogbb which are the defaults.

3. IPv4 Settings tab - For DNS Servers, enter, . These are for the DNS service provided by Google. There are alternatives like OpenDNS as well. Resources for these available in web, and these two are quite reliable.


  1. dude are you sure that google dns server works faster than isp's default dns server? bcz i tested all those dns servers that are reffered as fast and none of them worked better than isp's default one..

    1. Hey, I haven't done formal testing on the DNS servers. But I felt the DNS server for dialog, and mobitel was slow. That's why I switched to the google dns. It's good so far.

      What kind of tests did you do?