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Distribution: Slackware (mainly) and then a lot of others...
Umm... do not know if this can help. I have an old desktop and I have a huawei ec1260 modem. Well on my computer I have Slackware 13 installed and I configured the modem using pppsetup and it is working fine. The trick was to use the device as /dev/ttyUSB0.
On the other computer I have that runs Ultimate I use the kppp and that works too.
You can try either of the methods and they should work.
PS :- Plug the modem in after the pc boots up run dmesg and that would give you some information about what device was added and which drivers were installed and hopefully where is the device attached.