Archive for May 2013

WAP @ Home

May 26, 2013

Last night, I decided to install Kannel (an Open Source Wireless Application Protocol gateway), for a challenge.

It seems that installation itself was easy (just a case of downloading a snapshot archive, unpacking it, installing the libxml2-dev package from the Ubuntu repositories, and then running ./configure && make && make install to install it.

However, actually configuring it to run successfully was harder, since the “bearerbox“, and “wapbox” utilities will just unceremoniously quit with a “panic” notice, if they can’t either find their configuration file, or if it isn’t structured in a suitable manner.

I ended up copying the example configuration file from ~/kannel-snapshot/doc/examples/kannel.conf to /etc/kannel/kannel.conf, and modifying it to look like:

I also had to configure my residential gateway/router to use my laptop’s IPv4 address as a DMZ host. (Although I originally intended to just allow inbound traffic on UDP ports 9200, and 9201, for testing purposes).

After doing so, the core BearerBox utility can be invoked with bearerbox /etc/kannel/kannel.conf.

WAPBox is supposed to start automatically – however, it didn’t in my case, so I had to manually invoke
wapbox /etc/kannel/kannel.conf, in order to prevent this error:

To test to see if I could connect to the newly-installed gateway, I decided to play with the “Network Settings” view of the BlackBerry OS version of the Shazam application, since it allows for overriding of the default GPRS/WAP settings.

I ended up using the following settings (which will probably be useless for other readers, but otherwise provide a template):

Username: payandgo
Password: password
WAP Gateway IP:
WAP Port: 9201

(*) These are network WAP Settings

[Y] Enable Overrides

After selecting “Test Settings”, and waiting a while, I eventually received a packet from O2’s GPRS gateway on behalf of my handset:

Unfortunately, it seems that connections are not always successful – presumably due to either WAPBox/BearerBox configuration issues, or problems with connectivity between the GPRS gateway, my handset, and my network.

(I suspect that O2 occasionally block third-party gateway connectivity, or that the BlackBerry OS WAP stack copes badly with multiple failed connection attempts).

Connectivity problems aside, this might be a useful way of debugging/testing applications using cellular data networking on handsets without a Wi-Fi radio.