Internet On the Move with BSNL 3G and Option GTM 378

Some time back, I read on @TheAnand’s blog about a HSPDA WANN Card. Once during a hangout I got to use the same on his laptop. Man! 3G is fast.

Following his steps, I ordered a similar card on ebay and finally got it working this week. Here is what you need to get and what you need to do to stay connected on the move using BSNL 3G.

Unlike the USB broadband connections, this card is placed inside the laptop, so the whole thing is an integrated unit, nothing to carry around and absolutely nothing protruding. It looks as if the laptop is born with internet ๐Ÿ˜‰

Things you would Need

  • A Laptop with a Sim Card Slot. My Dell Studio 15 has a hidden Sim card slot under the battery compartment, you will need it.
  • Option GTM378 PCI-E HSPDA Module. Order it here.
  • A 3G GSM SIM. I bought a BSNL 2G SIM which is available for free and then upgraded it to 3G for free. A 3G sim costs Rs. 120.
  • Drivers and a couple of Software’s, I have included download links below.

Unboxing Option GTM 378

Here are some shots of the pci-express card. My Card came with a 3G Antenna.

UNLOCKED Option GTM378 PCI-E CardOption GTM 378 3G AntennaOption GTM 378 HSPDA After Installation

Step By Step – Installing the Card

Order a similar card on ebay (this is the one I bought) or get one from a local shop. From what I know, it costs around 4500 INR here locally, but I got it online for 43$ which is only half that cost.

Open up the back compartment of your Laptop and install the Card. The Antenna port or connector marked A is the port for GPS Antenna (Refer this). We are supposed to plug in the 3G Antenna to the other connector (one not marked A), but since I had spare wires on my laptop, which I assumed to be connected to some kind of internal antenna, I connected one of those to the 3G antenna connector and connected the 3G Antenna to the GPS slot (the one marked A).

I haven’t been able to lock on to any satellites yet, maybe its because of the connection as said above. Anyway 3G works great, have to figure out the GPS issue soon, will keep you posted.

OK, once the stuffs are in place, close the compartment. Restart your PC.

Now Windows will detect new hardware and try to install drivers. If you are on Windows 7, you probably wont need any driver.

Download Drivers

If you are on Vista or XP, you probably need a driver. Use the download links given below.

Install the driver first and restart your computer. The installation will complete and windows will show a installation success message. Now install the Dashboard software.

> Check this forum for many FAQ’s

Buy a 3G SIM

I got mine from BSNL, as I said earlier, a 3G sim costs 120 bucks. Instead buy a 2G sim which comes for free, and upgrade it to 3G, again for free. Plug the SIM to its port and restart your pc.

Make sure 3G is active on the SIM (check by dialing *123# from a mobile with the sim and see if the plan says ‘3G General’ in it or something similar). Open up the Dashboard we installed earlier. Its called GlobeTrotter Connect. Click on “show settings” and you have to enter a APN. This is tricky.

The APN depends on the the mobile number of the SIM.

Both username and password are meant to be left blank. If that doesn’t work, try what is said in the link above.

If you get it right, when you press Connect, it would connect to the internet and you can start Browsing.

> Find Details of the 3G Data Plans here

OK, So I got GPS?

Well, Not yet. But I got the GPS thingy activated and it started searching for satellites successfully. Have to resolve that issue, should be an issue with the antenna (now that I am using the 3G antenna with it) or poor signal strength or something.

Here are some links that will give you a head start. GPS is disabled on the card by default (why would they do that?)

Ok, Have fun, Stay Connected and Move Your A$$ around. lol.


28 responses to “Internet On the Move with BSNL 3G and Option GTM 378”

  1. wow, I should edit my article to link to you too! This is exhaustive and informative for a newbie!

    1. well, this is kinda the same process I followed after I got the card. I bookmarked all the links that gave me results and here they are.

      I think you got lucky since you are on Win 7 ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Indeed this a great option to have high speed Internet on the move. I use the same BSNL 3G, but connected to my mobile. I guess if you already have a 3G compatible mobile, that is a better option than purchasing this module. But again mobile has a major disadvantage, battery goes down quickly.

    1. The comfort of an integrated unit is a different thing, you open the laptop, click connect and you are connected ๐Ÿ™‚

      But the mobile option would be handy for those without a sim card slot in their laptops.

      Nice seeing you here ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. cool . So you became an assembler ๐Ÿ™‚ .
    I do have an EVDO, so I don’t want to pay more for 3G ๐Ÿ™‚ . Its having south Indian roaming at present .
    But some places doesn’t have any range ๐Ÿ™ .

    1. oh, engineering ennu paranju kure naal nadannthalle? Assembling not an issue ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. hi, thanks, but i have a miniproblem, when i download and i will upgrade the drivers, windows ofer mi to chouse the drivers and in your drivers have a lot of, globe trotter hsxpa and other globe trotter “module” hsxpa for windows 7 32 what i need chouse?


    1. try with Globe Trotter HSXPA, i am not sure, but I think thats what I took. Please let me know.

  5. Hey, gr8 to know this.. but i have some doubts.. i’m @ TVM btw.
    1. How fast is this thing?? i mean is this like the EVDO card, which says “upto” 2 MbPS but is really really slow “actually” ??
    2. LINUX — drivers ????? i sort of cannot leave linux for something silly.. no.. no.. i am not bending over infront of a win7 lover.. ๐Ÿ˜› i’l figure it out (.. but lemme know if thers somthing u know..)lookin 4ward..

    1. The thing is really fast if the tower supports 3G and if you have good coverage. I never feel the difference while browsing. But if the tower doesnt support 3g you will only get GPRS/EDGE speeds, which is really really slow.

      I am not sure, but I think the speed will come down as the number of 3G users increase.

      2. Linux drivers: sorry man. I am helpless there. Total Windows Guy ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. And is there a list from where i can find out if my place comes under a tower which supports 3g?? i can do video calls lately…

        1. i dont think there would be such a list, get a 3g mobile and test it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Did ur studio 15 have a built in antenna? I am using a 1558. Wondering whether to order one with the antenna or without..

    1. I had a built in antenna, not sure with 1558

  7. karthik K Avatar
    karthik K

    can u guys suggest me how and where to place GTM378 PCI-E HSPDA Module in to dell studio15 laptop series.

  8. karthik K Avatar
    karthik K

    we have only sim card slot in back of the battery compartment. i does not knoqw where to place the GTM378 PCI-E HSPDA Module.

    1. Open the back cover, there is a L shaped covering. Maybe you should ask a friend of yours, offline

  9. thanks arun lal,finally i got GTM378 module slot position in the back compartment of the Dell studio 15 laptop.. when i try to order the GTM module there are so many modules are there in different prices. cost are varying but the feature of the module looking like same only. can u please suggest me which one the best suitable and i do not need GPS with that module. i want only 3G and GPRS with maximum speed.

    1. check on ebay, you will find something.

  10. and one more doubt is, how many days will it take to receive the module to india. in that shipping details they have not mentioned india delivery date.

    1. About a week max ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. karthik Avatar

    i ordered and got a new GTM378 module for my Dell studio 1558 laptop.i had installed the driver .i have one query.currently i am using AIRTEL 2G Sim. can we use this module for 2G sim instead of 3G???.i tried many times, but it couldnot woks.will this module only for 3G sim?? please advice me…. thanks in advance.

  12. hi,
    I am using Global trotter for my GTM378 module (For my Dell 1558 studio model). sometimes its showing Radio is OFF due to module reset or some module problem i think so.for solving this problem i have to restart my there any solution for this problem.please suggest me…

    1. In fact, I am also facing this “radio is off” issue and have no idea on how to fix it. But sleeping my pc and getting it back on works for me, which is faster than a shut down ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Paritosh Avatar

    have been reading this post from long time and have been facing almost all the problems ppl have had here…
    time for some showdown:-
    1. Yes Dell Studio 1558 has an inbuilt anteena for the cabeling
    2.the unit will be placed near the WLAN card…there is a sticker named WWAN where it has to be placed…place it there..
    3. if u have ur optiongtm378..make sure it is updated to the firmware to 2008 some date
    4.If u still face problems like radio is off or device not found…switch off ur system remove the device restart the system…open device manager and scann for hardware changes…it will come up with nothing new…shut it down again..repalce the card and restart..but this time u need an active internet connection…get it either by wireless or by lan but u need to have it…login to ur account and window will install all the latest drivers for it..let them install and restart again…open up device manager in comport(Win7) u’ll find gps port…which means windows has found ur gps device…u just need to switch it on by the hyperterminal procedure given by 1st link…it works!!!

    -enjoy being located ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I havent been using it lately.. had heard of the update. Hope it solves the issues. Thanks!

  14. […] it didn’t work for me, but others said it was awesome! Too bad I missed it. Thanks to my BSNL 3G, I had little issues. I was focussing on Photography this time, so it was not really a concern at […]

  15. […] it didn’t work for me, but others said it was awesome! Too bad I missed it. Thanks to my BSNL 3G, I had little issues. I was focussing on Photography this time, so it was not really a concern at […]

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