Vodafone USB Modem driver released!

We are pleased to announce the release of the VodafoneUSBModem mbed library, enabling you to connect your microcontroller to a mobile network using a cheap off-the-shelf USB 3G modem!


This extends the networking capabilities supported by the mbed NXP LPC1768 to cover the full range of ethernet, wifi and 3G, so mbed will be even better for rapid prototyping of M2M and IoT devices, however they want to connect to the internet!

Here are some more details of what it enables...

The VodafoneUSBModem library has been under development in collaboration with Vodafone and our mbed beta testers, and is now stable and ready for widespread use. By adding a Vodafone USB Modem to your mbed LPC1768 setup (plus a few wires!), the functionality that you'll have available over a cellular connection is:

  • SMS send/receive
  • TCP/IP Sockets interface
  • NTP Client
  • HTTP Client
  • Web Socket client

There are of course other protocols that can be supported, and the library has been published as open-soucre under the permissive MIT license, so is open for porting and extension - we expect more features to be published back to mbed.org as the developments get underway!

To give this technology a try, see the Vodafone USB Modem page for information on where to get your modem, how to set up your hardware and some hello world programs for the various protocols and APIs. Take a look at the Internet of Things Demo for some more ideas:

It also works with the upcoming Application Board, meaning you can just plug in an mbed and USB modem and you have a fully functional development platform. Please contact us if you'd be interested in purchasing a complete bundle, as we'll consider making one available if there is enough interest.

The library uses the same Networking architecture as the Wifi and Ethernet libraries, so switching your prototype between the different transport types can be as simple as changing a few lines of code; this addition really makes mbed an ideal prototyping platform for connected microcontroller devices!

Please feel free to comment if you have any interesting or unusual applications! We'd love to hear what you create with this. Now go and prototype your bit of the Internet of Things!

12 comments on Vodafone USB Modem driver released!:

01 Nov 2012


I'm interested in the idea of the bundle - any idea how much it would cost?



01 Nov 2012

Great! Thanks!

01 Nov 2012

Great news Chris, I'm looking forward to trying it!

Jez, you can get the dongle for less than £25 from Tesco. Then the mbed is £40-50.

You might have an LCD screen in a drawer you could re-use and therefore not have much else to buy!

Cheers, Alban

01 Nov 2012

Is the driver compatible to other 3G USB dongle modem?

02 Nov 2012

I am very interested in purchasing a bundle (or bundles) if/when they become available. I have to say that I've been using a variety if micro-controllers/processors for years now and have never been as pleased as with the mbed. At first I thought it was a little pricey but now I think it is worth every penny. I like the filesystem approach, the integrated programmer, the on-line compiler, the multitude of available libraries, the class based peripheral functions and drivers and 1.0 ratio scaled variables for things like ADC returns, PWM duty cycle etc. The list goes on and on. I'm starting to introduce the mbed to students as an embedded controller for senior design projects. You guys have done a knockout job on this and I expect it to take off as more then just a quick prototyping platform over the next year. Tack on a USB modem and away we go!

Joe B

06 Nov 2012

Any idea when the board will be released? I'm in the US and don't have use for the 3g dongle but the board looks real cool. I'll buy one as soon as they are released. Please keep us posted.

21 Nov 2012

I was really pleased to see this project as I'm looking to make an application where the Mbed sends SMS messages. As I'll be developing this project only when time permits, I bought a second-hand Vodafone K3770 from e-bay with pay-as-you-go SIM. However, when testing it on my PC I found that it would receive but not send SMS messages. I bought a brand new PAYG SIM from a Vodafone shop which they claimed would send SMS - but it wouldn't. I've had several frustrating calls to Vodafone customer service who initially said that it was not possible to send SMS with a mobile internet dongle. When I sent them a link to this page then they said I need to take out a monthly contract plan. Just thought I'd share this to save anyone else making the same mistake.

23 Nov 2012

Andrew Bentley wrote:

When I sent them a link to this page then they said I need to take out a monthly contract plan. Just thought I'd share this to save anyone else making the same mistake.

Really? I am using a pay as you go topup sim (bought from local shop) with no problems sending and receiving sms messages? When you got the sim did you install the dongle software and try sending a sms message using the vodafone software?

29 Nov 2012

Steve, problem with not sending SMS now solved. Thank you and to others who have pointed out that a pay as you go data SIM doesn't allow SMS messages to be sent with the K3770 dongle (confusingly it just allows SMS to be received so Vodafone can message you). The type of SIM needed is either a monthly contract data SIM or a "pay as you talk" (phone) SIM. The only disadvantage with this is that data cost per MB appears to be more expensive. I received confusing/conflicting advice from various Vodafone customer service staff about sending SMS from the K3770 internet dongle on pay as you go. When I showed links to this mbed page then they claimed it wasn't endorsed by Vodafone and couldn't help. However, there is specific info on compatible SIM types at the bottom of this page on Vodafone's M2M site here: http://developer.vodafone.com/labs/m2m/. I wish I'd found this earlier!

21 Dec 2012

I'm interested...where I can buy this product? thank you b4

30 Mar 2013

I've been waiting this from days. Now I am going to get one soon. Thanks for the share mate !!


15 Sep 2013

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