Originally Posted by jdkaye
I don't think that the distro is the issue.
That's almost certainly correct; there are minor differences in the way distros set up networking (eg, location of files) but it should be possible
under almost all reasonably up-to-date ones. You do have to be aware that there is no support from 3 themselves for this, so any 'technical support' for this is stuff that you can do or get yourself.
Also, there are several different dongles supplied by 3 (a few Huawei and one ZTE, last time I asked), and the exact detail of the series of steps that you undertake may have to be slightly modified with one rather than another.
There has been a small outbreak of huawei-specific drivers going in to the kernel recently, so, if I had the choice I'd be getting a huawei one, and, specifically, the faster huawei one, for when 3 upgrade their network (next year?). I think currently, the network only does 3.6 Mb and that's the max that most of the dongles will do. There is one that does 7.2 M and the network will go up to that speed (theoretically) when it is upgraded.
And I'd be asking 3 about their returns policy, just in case; I think you get 14 days or a month to return it, if you can't make it work. And, for static applications, there is always the router (Huawei, I think, and, in context, slightly irritatingly, Linux-based). At one point, they were selling this for half price if you have a 3 mobile 'phone contract -maybe you have to buy it with the dongle- but they weren't advertising this fact, so you have to ask.