When not at home and in need of Internet access, one can search for an open Wifi access point. But if there is none available, you'll have to set up a connection through a mobile network - GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, or WCDMA networks. For laptops, there are special PCMCIA cards that can do that; most mid- or high-end mobile phones can do this through USB or Bluetooth as well. To manage such a connection, one needs special software - it works differently from a regular phone dial-up, Wifi, or Ethernet connection.
umtsmon was created to address this need. The author wanted to have a simple tool that works for all current Linux distributions.
umtsmon is not the final mobile network manager application - at some point, the functionality of umtsmon will have to be integrated into Network Manager and its GUI apps. But umtsmon will definitely serve as a playground to find out what users really want, so only the really used features will be implemented the right way into Network Manager. Also: umtsmon is available now as a simple download and run - it is usable for existing Linux users. The integrated Network Manager will only help future distributions.
In this talk, Klaas will discuss mobile networks in general, how the various brands of pccards work, and what umtsmon can and cannot do yet.