So I have this 4G+/LTE modem - Huawei E3372, also known as Megafon M150-2 - which is exactly the variation I got.
Eventually I got sick of its connection management software for Mac OS (the one that comes from Megafon), so I started looking for a way to be able to connect to the internet on Mac OS without it.
About the modem
The modem itself is rather a great piece of hardware.
Coming in a form-factor of a USB-stick, it is capable of maintaining quite a high-speed internet connection, and apparently it supports all the international LTE standards because I was using it in several countries without problems.
On top of that it has slots for external antennas and even a slot for microSD card (don’t know what to do with it):
Note that it requires full-sized SIM-cards.
I bought it several years ago in Moscow at some Megafon selling point. Back then it cost me just ~700 RUB (10-20 USD?). The reason for such a low price is usually that modems are locked to a particular operator, but in my case surprisingly that wasn’t the case.
If memory serves me well, I did not perform any unlocking operations, and it just works fine with SIM-cards from other operators than Megafon. I must say, however, I never tried it with any other russian operators - the only SIM-cards I was using it with were the ones from norwegian operators (Telia and Phonero).
And it is available for purchase even today:
- from the very same Megafon, although it is likely to be a locked version (which can be unlocked);
- an unlocked version on Amazon.
What’s wrong with the Megafon software
But what is wrong with the Megafon software? Well, while it does its job, after some time it started to irritate me for the following reasons:
- It installs god knows what to your system, while the only thing you really need is just a modem driver;
- In addition to the main application it requires its service to run in the background, otherwise it won’t even start discovering the modem;
- It sends some data to different Megafon hosts. I would understand if it was for checking the updates, but why different hosts then? I don’t feel like having yet another spyware in my system;
- File Activity tool from Instruments shows some enormous files access by the application and/or service. What could be the purpose of such an activity, I wonder?
So I started looking for a way to avoid using the Megafon software.
How to use the modem natively
The first clue was the fact that the modem works just fine with routers:
There is no need to install any Megafon software on the router for it to be able to connect to the internet via the modem, is there? So why the need in such a software on Mac OS?
- Install the driver for Mac OS for the initial modem discovery;
- Put the modem into a mode in which it will be discovered by Mac OS as a dial-up modem;
- Add a new network service using the modem.
Driver for Mac OS
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve spent quite a some time looking for a driver. Surely, I could use the one installed together with the Megafon software, but there is no way to install only the driver, and I wanted to have a “clean” set-up procedure.
Most of links I found on the internet were dead. Of course I tried looking at the official Huawei’s website, but didn’t succeed there either.
But then in a comment section at some blog I did find a link to the working driver. And it was hosted on the official Huawei’s website! I don’t know how does one find it on his own, but here’s the link.
You don’t have to install everything, the only thing you need from this package is the driver (
vasya@mbp:~/Downloads/TOOL-ConnLaucher_11.001.06.00.00$ tree . ├── About\ Copyright\ Notice.pdf ├── MobileWiFi.app │ └── ... └── MobileWiFi_Driver.app └── Contents ├── Resources └── MobilePartner.mpkg └── Contents ├── Packages └── MobileConnectDriver.pkg
I will be hosting a copy just in case the official link dies like the rest at some point. Note that this is a driver for Mac OS Mojave, scroll to bottom for the Catalina version.
After the installation you should get the following thing installed:
Check if the modem is discovered in the system:
$ ls -l /dev/tty.HUA* crw-rw-rw- 1 root wheel 20, 18 Apr 17 20:56 /dev/tty.HUAWEIMobile-Pcui
Switching to dial-up mode
I’m sure that it’s called something else and not the “dial-up mode”, but I haven’t found the correct name for it.
So, you’ve got your modem discovered by the system. Connect to it via
And try to communicate with it using
AT-commands. First I tried to collect some information about the device (first line in each group is the command, the following lines are the response):
AT OK ATI Manufacturer: huawei Model: MegaFon M150-2 Revision: 21.200.07.00.209 IMEI: SOME-IMEI-VALUE +GCAP: +CGSM,+DS,+ES AT^VERSION? ^VERSION:BDT:Jun 10 2015, 19:51:41 ^VERSION:EXTS:21.200.07.00.209 ^VERSION:INTS: ^VERSION:EXTD:MGF_Dashboard_Win2.3.4_Mac2.3.4 ^VERSION:INTD: ^VERSION:EXTH:CL2E3372HM Ver.A ^VERSION:INTH: ^VERSION:EXTU:MegaFon M150-2 ^VERSION:INTU: ^VERSION:CFG:1004 ^VERSION:PRL: ^VERSION:OEM: ^VERSION:INI:
Revision value we can see that is starts with
21, which means that the modem has the STICK firmware. The HILINK revision numbers start with
22. More details about firmware types are here (in russian).
Okay, and here’s the command to switch the modem into dial-up mode:
Connecting to the internet on Mac OS
The only thing left is to create a new network service in Mac OS.
Create a new service using
Set the good old mobile dial number
And you’re connected to the internet without any additional software, using only the native Mac OS tools:
As it was pointed out in comments, the driver stopped working on Mac OS Catalina. Most likely this is because it was x32, and Catalina requires x64, so an x64 version of driver is required. That actually was one of the reasons why I haven’t upgraded to Catalina.
I’ve tested it on Catalina, and it works fine.
Mac OS Big Sur was released today. I installed it in the same virtual machine like the last time to test the modem, and no, it doesn’t work there.
The modem driver should have been still in the system after update, but even so, I’ve installed it again just in case (the one that worked on Catalina). Installation process went fine, didn’t even ask to allow it in Gatekeeper, but when I try to connect, it gives me this error:
ls -l /dev/tty.HUA* shows that it’s not there.
So yeah, fuck you, Apple, I ain’t updating to Big Sur.