Jump to: navigation, search

Using a Vodafone 3G service on Windows 7 without Vodafone Connect


If you're a Vodafone mobile broadband customer using a data card, you've probably run into "Vodafone Mobile Connect" by now. It's a huge application, takes ages to start on boot, consumes a lot of resources and generally buggers your machine up. It's not cool at all. Sure, it might let you send an SMS with a nice interface, but it's not actually helping the mobile data connection.


Major problem number 1 comes in right at the start - you just can't download drivers for the Huawei E800. Nor the E620, which Windows 7 thinks the card is. The links Windows comes up with are dead links - very sucky. Shame on Huawei for making life difficult and giving the customer nothing but 404s and 500s and forum entries.

Major problem number 2 comes in when you try to Google for a driver. Nope. There's a lot of spammy sites trying to offload a virus or three with their bullshit "driver toolbar" crap. Nope. That's not cool at all.

The solution is to:

1. Download the latest Vodafone Mobile Connect

2. Install it normally.

3. Reboot and fire up the connection once to make sure it works (really, do this, it'll save effort later

4. Uninstall Vodafone Mobile Connect

The drivers will remain after the horrible application is gone. Sweet. We're feeling a bit happier now.

Getting it working

I've set up a Vodafone connection using a Huawei E220 on Solaris - Vodafone Australia with Huawei E220 USB 3G Modem and that worked just fine, so I already had a pretty good idea how the whole thing worked - just PPP with a couple of funnies.

Insert Card

Insert the card and make sure the lights are flashing properly - it should settle into a blue LED. If you followed my previous advice and tested your connection after installing Mobile Connect, you should be happy. If that didn't work, I don't suppose the following will help you.

=== Device Manager Fire up Device Manager.

Find the modem device. It'll look like this in Device Manager.

Now we need to configure the magic init string for the modem. You might remember this from 1992 and dial-up modems. Fun times.

The actual string is:


Network Connections

Head to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections

Create a new connection. I called mine "3G" because I'm lazy.

  • General Tab:
    • Enter *99# as the phone number.
  • Options Tab:
    • Make sure "Include Windows logon domain" and "prompt for phone number" are unticked

Then hit okay.


Connect it.

Double clicking will start the connection.

Leave the username and password blank. You can save this configuration so you don't get prompted again.

Without the slowness of Voda's mobile connect app, it might seem to take a long time to connect. This is okay. It'll get there within 60 seconds, just be patient.


Enjoy. As much as you can.

A rant

This sort of task shouldn't require a write-up, shouldn't have wasted my time fiddling and hunting drivers down and I don't see any reason to make the Vodafone Mobile Connect so huge and slow anyway. It's sucking far too hard for what should be a trivial network tool.

A big thumbs-down to Huawei for not providing easy to access drivers. An inexperienced user Googling for drivers would have downloaded all sorts of crap by now, and all it would take is a set of vendor drivers to fix that problem.

A moderate thumbs-down to Vodafone for publishing a horrible app, but a thumbs-up for documenting their APN and such details publically and not making one mess around too much.

A hearty thumbs-down for mobile carriers who insist that vendors cripple "tethering" and the like. That's not cool; this worked with my antique Nokia, why can't my Milestone do it? I know there's a marketing force here - the same one that has Telstra selling iPad mini-SIM services for a quarter of the cost of generic mobile data - but it's just painful and makes people hate telcos.


I hope this article has helped at least one person configure their mobile broadband.