Huawei E3276 and MacBook Air OS X 10.9.3

by Lullanotes on Monday, May 19, 2014

I had a lot of pain to get Huawei E3276 running on my MacBook Air 10.9.3 and I thought I'll share how I eventually managed to self-serve and get connected.

Recently I've upgraded my home broadband to fibre as my contract with SingTel is coming to an end and there was a promotion. In addition, I get 500MB of Mobile Broadband bundled in that runs on 4G/LTE speed. Previously I was using Huawei E173 but that only runs on 3G. I paid an additional SGD 5/month for 24 months to get the Huawei E3276 dongle. I had a good experience with the 3G dongle previously and it ran on my Windows and MAC OS without a hitch.

The Installation and Troubleshooting:

I plugged in E3276 and installation window pops up on my MacBook Air and I went through the installation as per normal and no abnormalities occurred. I brought up the Broadband on Mobile icon and it was already pre-configured with the default settings and I got connected fine. The real problem only came when I was browsing the internet. I found that I could not browse any webpages at all. Thinking that it might have been the data services not being provisioned properly (we know it happens), I called SingTel and verified that everything was fine. I uninstalled everything related to BroadBand on Mobile on my MacBook Air and re-installed but to no avail. The MacBook Air was running OS X 10.9.2 and there was a new update so I updated it to 10.9.3. I then installed the E3276 on Windows 7 and I was able to connect and surf and everything so I now know that it is not a data services or SIM card issue.

I called SingTel again and spoke to someone. She checked the settings on my Broadband to Mobile which, frankly speaking, is also confusing. It is already pre-configured and the APN that is used is "internet" with no username and password but when you checked SingTel's E3276 configuration on their website. it says you should configure the APN to "e-ideas" and the username and password should be set to "65ideas". Don't follow it. I did and it didn't work. To her credit, the SingTel person looped in someone else from Huawei Device Support. She raised some doubts about me using OS X Mavericks and said the E3276 driver I currently have might not be compatible with my OS and she sent me the link to download new drivers.

I downloaded them properly, unzipped it and then tried to run the Mobile_Connect.dmg file. To my horror, it says that "Mobile Partner is damaged and can't be opened. You should eject the disk image". I then re-downloaded the zip file again and tried just in case the file wasn't downloaded properly or was corrupted but no joy. I then installed the driver on my iMac which is running 10.9.2. It's a different machine so I could then narrow down if this is related only to the MacBook Air but you know the answer. It was the same issue.


I then called Huawei Device Support. The guy who I talked to had not much of an experience with MAC OS and frankly I don't blame him. I used to work in Technical Support and I give a lot of latitude to Support because I knew they are also functioning within limited expertise. They do not have a machine with MAC OS in their support centre that they could try out on their own. He did make me try to download the Mobile Partner for Windows which I thought was odd because it's clearly for Windows. However, I still gave it a go and of course, the prompt said this file is for Windows only. In the end, he was apologetic and asked if I could visit their Service Centre instead. I was quite prepared to do it but was not going to give up without a fight.

The Solution:

With the power of the internet, I found this article. These are the steps I took to establish the dial-up connection using standard Mac OS X RAS feature instead of using bundled MobilePartner application:

Click to open Mobile_Connect.dmg.
Right-click Mobile Partner.app » Show Package Contents » Contents » Resources
Right-click MobilePartner.mpkg » Show Package Contents » Contents » Packages » MobileConnectDriver.pkg
During installation, it might give you a security prompt saying that you can only install if the file is downloaded from "Mac App Store or identified developers". All you have to do is to go to your System Preferences » Security & Privacy » General to change it to "Anywhere" and save it. I was able to run MobileConnectDriver.pkg without a hitch.


Now if you go to System Preferences » Network. You will see the Huawei modem in the list and all you have to do is to make sure the dial-up number is showing as *99# and then try to connect.

2 comments

Excellent! Thank you so much! Managed to solve it after seeing your post when no one else could help me yesterday! Thank you! :)

by Wendy on November 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM. #

it worked for me. thanks a lot

by lethaltrip on April 15, 2016 at 5:47 AM. #

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