AT&T USBConnect Mercury from Sierra Wireless “Error 668: The connection was terminated.”

Straight out of the box, the AT&T USBConnect Mercury manufactured by Sierra Wireless left a little to be desired. So did the technical support AT&T was willing to provide me.

“Don’t worry about me, AT&T Wireless. I’ll figure this out on my own. Thanks, though!”

All in all, it’s a neat little package and I really have to commend the Sierra Wireless guys for a great piece of engineering and design. Leave it to the %#*&! carrier to rebrand it and ruin it with their provisioning.

The device is a little USB dongle that is part *supposedly* read-only flash memory and part cellular data connection. All powered off the USB port, as it should be, with the driver and application software (AT&T Communication Manager) installer on the read-only flash memory. Pretty nifty idea, as usually worry about taking a data card with me and not having driver software to use it. This solves that problem. Now if they’d just put the OS X software on there too. When will we learn?

So, I’d installed one of these on a Mac a few months ago and, surprise surprise, this Windows install proved to be a lot trickier. No, seriously, I was surprised. I remember it wasn’t that long ago that one had to hack the OS X kernel to get a Verizon Wireless card to work on a Mac. I’d be speaking from person experience if the binding EULA didn’t prohibit taking such actions. 😉

Now, after the install, I rebooted and ran the cute little “AT&T Communication Manager.” I got four out of five bars and decided to try clicking on the inviting little button that said “Connect” only to be greeted with a nasty little Windows dialog box informing that “Error 668: The connection was terminated.”

I googled all over for a good solution, and, although I got a lot of good pointers that fleshed out almost the exact nature of the problem, I still had no solution. I don’t usually spend too much time with tech support, unless I’m desperate. I gave them 60 minutes on the phone at which point I decided I’d be better off continuing to work on the problem myself.

A lot of the posts I’d read pointed me back to Sierra Wireless to get their version of the software. I’m usually a big fan of using OEM software over third party ports, so I gave it a shot. Sure enough the installer threw about fifty new drivers in, along with a new connection interface application called, “3G Watcher.”

Unfortunately, I still had no joy with the new app. I felt like I was getting the same error message with different verbiage. The app threw the “Disconnected from ” “Invalid profile” message at me.

Then I remembered the hack I had to try on my Tilt to get Dutty’s ROM to let me run Slingplayer Mobile. It was really simple and just involved making on little tiny change.

So if you find yourself getting the “668 terminated” message, the solution is really simple. You aren’t supposed to do this, but you just need to make one little change to the profile. Just change the “Access Point Name (APN)” value from “ISP.CINGULAR” to “WAP.CINGULAR” and you should be good to go.

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