A1 Telekom PPP Configuration Files

April 10th, 2013

If you are using a USB Modem on your Linux/OSX, you might want to use PPP for connecting to the host. For doing that, you require two files. On is the Conneciton (PPP)-File. It containts configuration information for the modem and connection. I’m using the following PPP File (Filename is ‘ppp’)

# usbserial device, some options:
idle 7200
# dns, routing
# avoid compression:
# usually doesnt matter for GPRS/UMTS connections:
user "ppp@a1plus.at"
password "ppp"
# connect script
connect "/usr/sbin/chat -V -f /etc/ppp/peers/A1-chat"

At the End of the connection file, the Chat File is called. The Chat Files contains various AT-Commands for making the USB Modem ready to connect to the network. This is the Chat File I’m using. (the SIM has a disabled PIN). Filename is ‘A1-Chat’.

#Display Modem Information
""   "ATI"
#Software Rest
""   "ATZ"
#Factory Default
""   "AT&F"
#enable ECHO
OK    "ATE1"
#A1 Specific Stuff
OK    'AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","A1.net"'
OK   "ATDT*99***1#"

The two files are located in /etc/ppp/peers/. In order to establish the connection use

pppd call ppp


pppd call ppp nodetach

(for debug output). To close the connection use poff ppp.

If found the following sites helpful:

Nokia’s MWC Video

April 16th, 2011

Hey, I’m part of Nokia’s MWC Video ;-)

This was MWC 2011

February 19th, 2011

Great show, great people, great technology. MWC again was a very nice event with lot of new things to see. You can find a very comprehensive review at Heise.

I actually fancied all the Android activities which show that Google’s mobile phone platform is gaining more and more influence. And as Gingerbread (Android 2.3) is now supporting NFC as well, this will help the industry to move into contactless payment and ticketing using a mobile phone. Comprion – a German Test Tool Manufacturer — also showed a Nexus S with Single Wire Protocol (SWP) support. At the NTTDocomo booth an NFC-demo with the upcoming Galaxy S II and a Gemalto UICC was demonstrated. So I’m pretty sure we will see more Android NFC phones with card emulation very soon, as Samsung called NFC “the next business experience” on some banners. This trend is out pinned as well by G&D and NXP who announced a cooperation on the NFC/SEEK Stack for Android (just as expected).

At the app planet “WAC” was to most mentioned buzz-word. Although every handset manufacturer counts on its native platform, most of them (also Android) support WAC. From my personal experience, I only see WAC as a second J2ME, which never took off (will take off).

In the end, MWC 2011 was a big show for Android, Apps and a lot of talking about the Microsoft-Nokia cooperation agreement.

Nexus S and Nokia C7: NFC-Single Wire Phones for the Mass Market

February 10th, 2011

These days the press is full of articles with rumors about NFC in the new Samsung phone as well as the upcoming Apple products. I actually was missing detailed reviews of the Nexus S but also the claimed NFC functionality of the Nokia C7. So colleague of mine —Christian Kantner — and I, we spent some time on playing around with the phones and built a firmware for the Nexus S, that fully supports all NFC features, such as SWP.

Nokia C7

Let’s start off with the Nokia phone. We took the phone apart (see the pictures) to figure out, which chipset they use. The Nokia C7 comes with a PN544 from NXP. The device is ready for Single Wire Protocol support in order to use the UICC as the secure element.

Nokia C7 Disassembled

In order to enable this functionality, Nokia only needs to provide a firmware that comes with the according software stack. In this case, Nokia will use NXP’s FRI (Forum Reference Implementation), which is also used in the Google phone. Nokia has to provide the JSR257 (Java layer) in order to manage the reading/writing functionality of tags as well as the peer-2-peer mode. Depending on the configuration of the FRI, the phone can support SWP (= card emulation using a UICC). The C7 already provides JSR177 for J2ME applications to communicate with the UICC. So hopefully we will see a Nokia firmware update on the device soon.

Nokia C7 parts

Nexus S

So the Nokia looks fine, but what we found out about the Nexus S is even better. The Nexus S comes with a PN65N from NXP. This chip is a combination of the PN544 and an embedded secure element (actually it’s a SmartMX).


You can see this on the picture in the Tear-Down of iFixit.com (=> Step 7, most right picture) very well. So the phone comes with everything we do need for card emulation – SWP and even a secure element within the phone.

But what about the software? Now, the good thing about Android is that everything is open source. This is also true for NXP’s FRI, which is a library in the GIT-Repository of Android. There you can follow the implementation of the NFC Stack and how it is glued into the operating system. When browsing the source code you can see that the flags for the internal secure element as well as SWP are disabled. The same is true for some very interesting APIs such as “mNfcAdapter.getSecureElementList()” in the Java Layer.

DIY-NFC Phone using the Nexus S

What did we do next: download the source (actually cyanogen mod 7), make the appropriate changes to the code, recompile everything and put it back into the phone and – tatata – it works: Nexus S supports card emulation with SWP. This took about some evenings/weeksends to understand how to setup the build environment and build the firmware.


We are now able to control the PN65N from an Android-App, very nice – but not enough. We need more, actually an API for accessing the UICC (secure element) – from an Android API. Luckily G&D already supports the development of a smartcard stack on Android (SEEK – Secure Element Evaluation Kit). This one is available for Android 2.2 and requires some adaption in Gingerbread to fit. After these changes we can have a fully featured NFC phone using the Nexus S Hardware. Nice isn’t it?

G^2 = G&D and Google

Now here is something interesting as well. When Android switched from 2.3.1 to 2.3.2, Google made some changes in the telephony API, which are required by G&D’s smartcard stack. The telephony API is used to send the APDUs through the RIL (Radio Interface Layer) to the UICC. (Actually Android 2.3.3 is not yet available on GIT, therefore we could not check what additionally changes there are). Out of these changes we assume, that Google is planning to integrate G&D’s smartcard stack in one of the upcoming version (2.4 or so).

G&D Smartcard Stack Integration

We are happy to give a live demo of the device next week at the MWC 2011 in Barcelona.

Quick Review of the Nexus S with NFC.

December 30th, 2010

Today I was in Munich also meeting a friend of mine working at Google. Google, whose office in Munich is right above Dallmayr in Munich City Center, recently released its new phone, the Nexus S with the newest Version of its operating System, Android 2.3 (“Gingerbread”). Whereas the last Nexus (“One”) was manufactured by HTC, the new Nexus (“S”) is produced by Samsung. Thus the phone uses similar materials and form factors as the Galaxy S does.

I actually do like the feel of the surface of the Nexus One more (!) than the one of the Nexus S, as the new one feels “too plastic” and cheap. The display is quite big (it’s a 4” one) and very bright and – that’s new — curved. “So why curved”, you may ask. Well, this avoids reflections (and it really does). The curved display does not have any influence on the interaction with the capacitive display we are already used to from other devices.

The interaction speed of the phone is great. It’s actually the fastest Android I’ve ever seen so far. You never have the feeling, that the CPU is overloaded or that you have to wait. I’d call it “iPhone equivalent”. The phone features NFC (Near Field Communication) and the tags are read very fast (I really do like that in comparison to the NFC Phones seen so far). The Tags read are stored in an app called “Tags”, so that the information you read from the RFID Transponders is still available in the phone. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk5mUdeEF8c)

I actually was not yet able to experiment with different NDEF RTDs and Features of the Data-Format, but I suppose that Google did make up its mind and implement it in a solid way. The API for using the NFC Chip (“NFCAdapter”) for R/W operation is quite simple (http://developer.android.com/reference/android/nfc/package-descr.html)

The phone does not yet have tag emulation. The NFC Chip from NXP is closely located to the UICC Slot (<http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nexus-S-Teardown/4365/1> see Step 7, 2nd Detail) and the phone does not contain any other smartcard chip (as far as I have seen/was told). So I suppose that in the near future this feature (“SWP”) will be enabled thru a software update. (Which could also be MNO specific). I really fancy the phone and I’m looking forward to the tag emulation stuff as well.


November 26th, 2010

After my promotion sub auspiciis I also got a Prize from the Ministry of Science and Research for my outstand performance during my whole academic career. Pretty nice as well ;-)

Press (PDF)

University Report

Back from Argentina

November 14th, 2010

Back from Holiday, which were too short — obviously. We (Berndt and I) had a lot of awesome steaks, good wine and lot of fun. We had been to Cordoba, Bariloche, Mendozza, El Chalafate, El Chalten and Bueons Aires. (I missed Iguazu due to my Promotion). Actually I could write an endless article about my holiday. In order not to bore anyone, just drop me a line and we head for some steak and wine and I’ll give you the details on our trip.


October 28th, 2010

Big day today. Today I received my Promotion sub auspiciis presidentis rai republica. This kind of promotion is given to PhD with an outstanding performance by the president of Austria. (approx. 10 PhDs per year, out of 2.500 who finish their studies). Honestly, It was one of the greatest days in my life. My whole family was there, my colleagues from work and of the course the president. (He is actually a very nice guy). Just have a look at the pictures to get an idea, what a great honour and pleasure this was for me.


Report from University

Press (online)

OÖN (Pdf)


Hello Mr. President

October 19th, 2010

Today I found two very nice letters in my post box. One was from the President of our country Dr. Heinz Fischer himself and the other one was from the Ministry of Science and Research Beatrix Karl. Both expressed their congratulations regarding my upcoming promotion.


October 12th, 2010

How much water do you use during your shower? In order to answer this question, one of ETH start-ups, “Amphiro” has developed a system that allows you the measure your water consumption in very detail. I like the idea as well as the implementation of the product. Good Job Guys!