Modem Script for Huawei UMTS/GPRS Sticks on Mac OS X (Tested for Swisscom)

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The Huawei-based Connection Manager Software for Huawei’s UMTS/GPRS Sticks on OS X is a hassle neither does it feel “native” to OS X nor is it really adding much value (besides the SMS functionally) for getting you connected to the Interwebs quickly. Especially given that these UMTS-Sticks generally are nothing else than a modem waiting for the right commands. ;) After being on the look-out for alternative solutions to the Swisscom branded “Unlimited Connection Manager”, I finally ended up creating a Modem Script bundle specifically for the Huawei E182E I’m currently using. Given that it’s based on a rather generic script from Apple, I suspect it should also work with other models as well. Update: There’s a small utility called CheetahWatchthat can be downloaded here. It lets you achieve the same things outlined here, but in a nicer way. If you want to use CheetahWatch, you can follow the same procedure, lest the steps to install the Modem Script. Then, you select “Generic > GPRS (GSM/3G)” instead of “Huwaei > GPRS (GSM/3G)” and can then use CheetahWatch for connecting/disconnecting. CheetahWatch will also take care of SIM PIN entry, as does my Modem Script. For the impatient: Download the Huawei CCL Script here What does it do?

  • It shows up as “Huawei”/“GPRS (GSM/3G)” entry in the “Modem” Tab of the “Advanced” Section of the Modem’s settings
  • It asks you for the SIM PIN (only if needed)
  • It lets you connect easily to the Interwebs via the Menu Bar by selecting your Modem How to install?

  • Download the Huawei CCL Script here.
  • Unpack the ZIP Archive
  • Copy/Move the file “Huawei GPRS.ccl” to the /Library/Modem Scripts folder on your Mac
  • Set-up a new Modem Connection using the Modem Script
  • Open System Preferences > Network
  • Add a new Service (Click the “+” sign below the list of current services)
  • Select “HUAWEIMobile-Modem” from the Interface Dropdown
  • Optionally: Give the service a shorter Name (I chose “UMTS”)
  • Click “Create” the new service will be created
  • Add “*99#” as Telephone Number
  • Click on “Advanced” and choose “Huawei” in the List of Vendors (Update: if you want to use CheetahWatch instead, choose “Generic > GPRS (GSM/3g)”, see above note!)
  • Set your Telco’s APN (For Swisscom, it’s gprs.swisscom.ch, you’ll find yours either in the Connection Manager software (Settings) or somewhere on the inter webs if you search for " APN GPRS” or the like)
  • Click “OK” and then “Apply”
  • Make sure the Huawei Modem Stick is connected to your Computer
  • Give the Modem a few seconds to initialize if you just connected it
  • Click “Connect” and let the magic happen. If your SIM PIN is set, the script will ask you for the PIN code, if it’s unlocked or no PIN needed, it should just try to connect (Update: If you’re using CheetahWatch, use the Connect entry in the menu bar instead!) If the connection works and you don’t want your Connection Manager software to open up automatically, simply rename the Application (Usually in your “Applications” folder). A few Screenshots

Here’s a few screenshots of the setup of the new connection. Create a new ServiceCreate a new Service in System Preferences > NetworkSet the Telephone NumberSet the Telephone Number to *99#Select the right Vendor and Type and set the APNSelect the right Vendor and Type and set the APN A few notes

  • There might be another Modem Service present, in the case of Swisscom it’s called UCM-1. You can remove/delete this but the Connection Manager Software will recreate it whenever you start it the next time.
  • However, it is not possible to use this service instead of the one created as outlined above
  • You might get occasional connection errors. Just unplug the stick and restart the connection
  • There are special commands to disable mounting of the Stick’s “Fake CD” and/or the USB drive and/or loading the Connection Manager automatically. These can be found here. If you don’t know what to do with these and/or feel insecure, you better keep your hands of. If they are like your second tongue, go ahead and reconfigure that USB stick!
  • If nothing seems to work, you either have not the right Hardware and/or your configuration is broke. Your reference is and will be the Connection Manager software provided by your telco: As long as you get a connection with it, it’s likely an incompatibility and/or configuration problem on your side.
  • The Modem Script does not alter any settings on the USB stick, however, I decline any liability and you try this at your own risk.

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