Huawei B970/B970b HSPA Router

morkhans

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What is it?
The Huawei B970 is a 3G router with an embedded 3G chip (think Linksys WRT54G3G without having to buy a PCMCIA card). It has 4 ethernet ports, an analogue port for attaching a phone, WiFi support as well as a connection for an external antenna. When attached via USB to a PC it presents itself in the same as a Huawei USB modem. In this mode however the ethernet ports and WiFi are disabled.

The info below applies to the Vodafone branded version but obviously many things will be similar to other rebranded devices.

The B970 has recently been replaced by the B970b. Main difference is better uplink speed (5.76 Mbps) and support for HSPA/UMTS in the 900MHz frequency range (which means you can use it with Cell C) otherwise everything else looks the same.

End of Life & Replacement
The B970/B970b is now end of life. The best replacement seems to be the B660 or B683

Specifications
Dimensions: (L/W/H): 155mm x 115mm x 28mm
Weight: < 500g
Compatible OS*: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7** (should work on Linux)
Operating Frequency: HSPA/UMTS 2100MHz, GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Speed: 7.2 Mbps downlink, 2Mbps uplink
Ethernet: 4 Ports (RJ45) 10/100
Telephony: 1 Port (RJ11) for attaching an analogue phone
WiFi: 802.11g
USB Port: Doubles as either power in router mode or connectivity to a PC/Notebook in modem mode
Antenna: 1 SMA connector for attaching a 3G antenna
Light Indicators: Power, WiFi, Signal Strength, Mode (GPRS/EDGE/3G/HSPA)
*OS only matters when using it as a modem
**64bit users might need the Huawei patches


What's in the box?
1 x B970 Router
1 x Stand
1 x Ethernet Cable (RJ45)
1 x Phone Cable (RJ11)
1 x 2 Prong Power (Europlug) adapter (ends in USB-B)
1 x Split USB Cable (USB-A to USB-B)
1 x User Guide
1 x Quick Start Guide

Software Versions - Shipped
Boot Loader Version: 256.11.10.05.105sp03
Router Hardware Version: WLA1GAPU
Router Software Version: 256.11.10.05.105sp03
Release At: Sep 9 2008 11:41:37

Modem Hardware Version: WLA3TCPU
Modem Software Version: 256.11.10.04.111

Software Versions - Most Recent Update (SP04)
Boot Loader Version: 256.11.10.06.105sp04
Router Hardware Version: WLA1GAPU
Router Software Version: 256.11.10.06.105sp04
Release At: Nov 20 2008 16:39:40

Modem Hardware Version: WLA3TCPU
Modem Software Version: 256.11.10.07.1141

Vodafone/Vodacom Firmware Updates
SP04 is no longer available from the Vodacom Downloads Page since the site was revamped. I have uploaded a copy to mediafire: Firmware Upgrade 256.11.10.06.105.SP04. This update is supposed to correct the problem where the router looses its settings randomly, but sadly does not.
Caution: Care needs to be taken when applying this update. There have been reports of this update either resulting in a bricked router or a partially updated router. The update instructions below have proven to be successful.

MTN Firmware
MTN do have their own branded firmware, but there have already been reports that things like DDNS have been removed. There may be other features that have been disabled, so using this firmware on the Vodafone branded version is probably not a good idea. Workaround for enabling DDNS on the MTN firmware here

Available from the MTN Downloads Page. Direct Link: Version 20080811

Custom Firmware
Huawei have released the source and toolchain for download
There are some details on the E960 which is a close relative to the B970 and attempts at OpenWRT which could serve as a pointer to some enterprising persons.

Vodafone/Vodacom Firmware Update Procedure
I have personally bricked one router and at least one other forumite has reported bricking theirs. Another's partially updated and will not complete the rest. I have subsequently refined the update method and others have also reported successfully applying the SP04 update. It was also discovered that you can selectively update components if the update process fails. If you are not sure what you are doing it might be best to skip this one over or take your router to a Vodacare store and let them perform the update. As always Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).

  • Download and extract the update package
  • Connect to the router using a LAN cable (one was supplied in the box when you purchased it)
  • Login to the router and make notes of any existing settings you wish to retain (MAC filter list, WIFI password etc).
  • Factory reset the router: Advanced Settings | System | Restore Defaults | Click Restore
  • Let it reboot, then power it down and remove the SIM
  • Assign yourself a fixed IP for your LAN connection in the same range as the default one. (i.e. 192.168.1.20)
  • In the folder you extracted review the B970 Upgrade User Guide.pdf
  • Run: FmcUpdate.exe
  • Click Check. Your router should be detected and it will list the current firmware and the target firmware. If your router is not detected you probably did not factory reset it.
  • Click Update.
  • The update process will start. It takes about 20min to complete.
  • If at any point the update fails to update a certain component take careful note of what did update and then remove those files from the extracted folder and repeat the update steps. The update will detect that the files are missing and skip over updating them. This should allow for the rest of the update to resume.
  • Sigh with relief if everything went well, otherwise you might be in for a trip to VodaCare

DDNS Feature Not Available
It has been noted that other providers around the world, in a similar fashion to MTN, have also removed DDNS from their custom config. Some people have reported successfully flashing the Vodafone firmware over their existing providers firmware. You of course do so at own risk ;)

Web Interface Tips
Factory Reset The Router
Advanced Settings | System | Restore Defaults | Click Restore

Change default admin password
Advanced Settings | System | Modify Password

Custom Profile (i.e. unrestricted APN)
Advanced Settings | Dial-up Settings | Profile Settings
Fill in/select the following:
Profile Name: Vodacom Unrestricted
PPP User Name: <leave blank>
PPP Password: <leave blank>
APN: Static: unrestricted
IP Address: Dynamic
DNS Server: Dynamic
Click Save
Click Back
Click PPP Settings
From the dropdown select: Vodacom Unrestricted
PPP Connection: Select desired option
Leave rest as is
Click Apply

Dynamic DNS setup
Advanced Settings | Dynamic DNS Settings
User Name: <your dyndns.org website login name>
Wildcard: Off
Host Name: myb970.dyndns.org
Password: <your dyndns.org website password>
Click OK
Click Apply
Click Back
Click Dynamic DNS Settings
You should see: dyndns.org myb970.dyndns.org username Off Update succeed!


Last Update: 2011-12-01
 
Last edited:

Uli

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Huawei B970 HSPA Router

Can I get the Fastlink B970 on a Vodacom package? And where?
 

wazarmoto

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Messages
172
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER EMBEDDED
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1799 CASH ON MY MEG 250 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1299 CASH ON MY MEG 500 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1299 CASH ON MY GIG 1 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1099 CASH ON MY GIG 2 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1099 CASH ON MY GIG 3 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 999 CASH ON MY GIG 5 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1599 CASH ON DATA MESSENGER PLUS
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 2259 CASH ON DATA MESSENGER
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 2849 CASH ON 4U CONTRACT
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 2199 CASH ON MESSENGER
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 799 CASH ON TOP UP, 200s
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 299 CASH ON TOP UP, 275s
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1499 CASH ON TOP UP, 135,135s
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER FREE ON WEEKEND
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER FREE ON BUSINESS,TALK 130, TALK 240 & VODACOM SHARE TALK 1500
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER FREE ON TOP UP, 315,315s,400s,500s &VODACOM SHARED TALK 1500
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER FREE ON TALK 500, TALK 1000
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER FREE ON TOP UP 590 & VODACOM SHARED TALK 1500
 

Uli

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That is expensive.... MTN has it on 1 gig for free as well as 350 mb for free.
I dont have MTN 3G though thats why I am looking at vodacom....
 

morkhans

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The logic of the pricing is really strange: A weekender contract costs R135/m and the router is free. A My GIG 1 contract costs R349/m and you have to pay in R1300. :confused:
 

Uli

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Can you use the money on the top up packages toward a data 1 gig?
Then if you get the topup R315 you just buy 1 gig with that for R289 it will be cheaper that anyone else then anyway...lol
As you have to pay R349 to mtn for a 1G package.
 

morkhans

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As far as I am aware you can use the top-up airtime to convert to data.
 

Uli

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Well then it would be worht it to do that then.... It will be much cheaper than other profiders plus you wont go over your limit each month and if you wanted to you can just top it up.
 

nuyork

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Trying to find information on this device, but I cannot.

But from what I believe this router does not have any wireless 802.11 capabilities? I could be wrong? Can anyone confirm?

It looks like the Huawei B933 router has wireless functions.
 
Last edited:

Uli

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HUAWEI B970 ROUTER EMBEDDED
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1799 CASH ON MY MEG 250 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1299 CASH ON MY MEG 500 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1299 CASH ON MY GIG 1 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1099 CASH ON MY GIG 2 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1099 CASH ON MY GIG 3 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 999 CASH ON MY GIG 5 + FREE SIM & CONNECTION
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1599 CASH ON DATA MESSENGER PLUS
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 2259 CASH ON DATA MESSENGER
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 2849 CASH ON 4U CONTRACT
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 2199 CASH ON MESSENGER
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 799 CASH ON TOP UP, 200s
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 299 CASH ON TOP UP, 275s
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER @ R 1499 CASH ON TOP UP, 135,135s
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER FREE ON WEEKEND
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER FREE ON BUSINESS,TALK 130, TALK 240 & VODACOM SHARE TALK 1500
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER FREE ON TOP UP, 315,315s,400s,500s &VODACOM SHARED TALK 1500
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER FREE ON TALK 500, TALK 1000
HUAWEI B970 ROUTER FREE ON TOP UP 590 & VODACOM SHARED TALK 1500



Where can I get these deals?
 

nuyork

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I'm wondering that myself. I cannot see anything on the Vodacom website or the VodacomDirect website. Where are these deal available?
 

Uli

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May 22, 2006
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I asked Vodashop Midlands mall and they dont know what I am talking about....lol
 

Uli

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May 22, 2006
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Oh just found out, they can only give me the Linksys Router
 

Uli

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Not even a vodacom rep helping me out on this one...???
 

wazarmoto

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Sep 18, 2006
Messages
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So where did wazarmoto find this info?

Hey guys. sorry i didnt reply sooner. I receive the info cos im a Vodacom 4u Dealer.Vodacom just showed that the item is available on our update that we receive weekly. Ive ordered one for my upgrade. i will post pictures and i will be able to receive stock on the deals i have posted below. I just received those deals in the week. When i do receive stock i will definitley let you guys know. Pm me if any of you are interested. Ill do my best to help you.
 
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