USB tethering on Banana Pi BPI-R4?

I see that USB is available on the Banana Pi BPI-R4.

Is it possible to connect a USB-C cable to a laptop to get fast ethernet (without an ethernet cable)

Usb-c port on r4 is only for powering

Hello everyone,

I’m reaching out for assistance with a connectivity issue related to my 5G mobile phone and the Banana Pi R4. I’ve noticed that when I connect my 5G mobile phone, a Sony Xperia, to my laptop directly, I achieve impressive speeds as tested by Speedtest. However, the situation changes when I attempt a different setup: connecting my mobile phone to the Banana Pi R4 via USB, and then the Banana Pi R4 to the laptop via Ethernet. In this configuration, there’s a significant drop in Speedtest results.

Could someone please advise if there’s a specific driver for OpenWrt that might help maintain the high speed I experience when the phone is directly connected to the laptop? Any guidance or suggestions on how to address this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Ah, that is unfortunate! Banana Pi would be great for tethering.

Maybe it is possible on the usb-a port too

Kinda off-topic… but can you explain this in more detail?

You have the Mobile connected to the large USB 3.2 A port and are tethering?

Why not put the SIM directly into the Banana Pi?

Thanks. But you have not tried? I don’t have a Banana Pi to test, I’m evaluating if this is a good fit for me.

I have not done much with tethering,maybe it only works in usb client mode,so usb-host-controller needs to simulate a usb device and then tethering gadget can forward packets. Not sure if the controller/driver supports this.

As far as I know, to be able to insert the SIM directly, I need the 5G adapter or mmWave, which is why I plan to use a mobile connected via USB Type-A. My connection setup is as follows: (mobile) USB Type-C to USB Type-A - (banana) SFP 2.5 Gbps to 2.5Gbps ethernet (laptop). Connecting the mobile directly via USB Type-C to the laptop gives good speed. However, connecting the mobile through the setup mentioned to the banana, and then the banana to the laptop, results in poor speed… Hence my query. How can I make the connection similar when the mobile is connected to the banana vs. directly to the laptop?

It would seem that the phone needs to be kicked in another mode with the tool from the debian package usb-modeswitch

i understood question in this way that r4 with modem should provide internet-connection via usb…or should it be able to use internet-connection from phone? that does not need otg-support on r4 kernel…only hostmode because r4 acts then like normal laptop using tethering, not providing it.

I thought he wants to use the phone for internet access and share it via the R4 over usb, but I could be wrong here…

So my specialty is in mobile device tethering to routers. It’s what I do and it’s what I sell. Try to connect your device to the router using ethernet tethering if your device supports it. I am aware that many older devices as well as non flag ship devices do not have ethernet tethering. The issue with usb tethering is that it takes some processing power to do it and therefore slows the internet down as your phone changes it to usb and as the router changes is back. Mobile Hotspot typically works better than usb tethering. Ethernet tethering rains supreme. A cheap usb-c dongle to ethernet, with a charging port, is 20$ on Amazon and works amazingly. Good luck.

I’ll provide a bit more context to my question. I have a mobile phone that operates on the mmWave band, and with Speedtest, it reaches up to 3.2 Gbps. Now, I want the setup you see in the picture, that is, mobile - banana - laptop, and the speeds I achieve with iperf3 are the ones you see in the table above; it makes no sense… The test conditions are exactly the same!

I don’t think that is possible with usb. Use that same dongle you have with that laptop to connect your phone to the bpi. I have done it both ways. Usb to usb slows both sides down considerably. My phone had ethernet tethering, does yours?

Are you sure there is no throttling if tethering is detected? See for example:

Could also check cpu usage on both phone and bpi-r4.

No, the phone does not have an Ethernet connection. USB only

In the r4 there is no limitation of anything during the tests.

I’ll check the phone!

@frank-w Do you know if that is a hardware limitation or just firmware?

It depends on direction you want to use…if you want to share internet from your phone for using on r4 this should work if you add needed drivers (usb ethernet controller afair) in kernel and configure userspace. The other way (share internet from r4 to phone) needs usb controller to act in client mode (otg).this is afair not supported,but i guess you want first option (but then title is misleading as tethering is on phone and r4 only using it).

This shows the kernel options for both modes…

Afaik you do not need the gadget part below if using internet from your phone.

Or do you mean speed issue above? No idea about that