I recently spent four days in Portugal (wonderful golf...), which gave me the opportunity to use my Huawei 3G/UMTS/HSPA USB adapter. It has been a while since I tried that, and most of the major distributions have made new releases since I last tried it, so I assumed it would be a new adventure, discovering (or figuring out) how to get it working. Of course, I could have used it on Windows, if I had been willing to download the 60MB or whatever software package required to support it, and figure out how to use that... not likely.
What I actually got was a very pleasant surprise. With the following Gnome-based distributions, all that was necessary was to click on the Network Manager icon in the panel, choose "New Mobile Broadband Connection" (or "Auto Broadband" on Fedora), and walk through the three steps necessary to identify the country, carrier and plan you have:
openSuSE 12.1 Gnome Fedora 16 Linux Mint Debian 201109 Gnome Linux Mint 12 Ubuntu 11.10 Debian 6.0.3
With each of these, it took literally less than a minute to get connected.
I have previously not had much luck with KDE distributions and Mobile Broadband, but after the great success with all of the above, I decided to give it another shot. I booted up openSuSE 12.1 KDE, clicked on the Network Manager icon, and then "Enable Mobile Broadband". Then click "Manage Connections", "Mobile Broadband" and "Add". Walk through the same questions as with Network Manager on Gnome above, and it comes right up! Hooray!
This is extremely good news. It means that with pretty much all of the latest Linux distributions, Mobile Broadband Internet access is just a few short steps away!