Make Vodafone Mobile Connect & Huawei Modems Work on Windows 7

Vodafone LogoOne of the very few problems I have with Vodafone Romania is the fact that they do not provide proper software and driver support for mobile internet users. I have a Huawei E220 USB modem which doesn't get recognized by Windows 7 and I cannot use it to connect to the Internet. At this moment, Vodafone doesn't seem to have a software & firmware upgrade for it so that it works on Windows 7. After a bit of digging I managed to find a solution which works for Windows 7 and Windows Vista on both 32 and 64-bit versions. If you have the same issues, click on read more to find out how to fix them.

NOTE: Following the procedure below might make your Vodafone warranty void. In case of issues, please consult the links & documentation suggested below. Unfortunately, our team cannot provide tech support on issues with this modem.

Upgrade Your Huawei Firmware

There is a Malaysia mobile phone operator called Maxis which seems to provide great software support for this device. Go to this download page and download the E220 Software Upgrade package. Below it, you will also find a guide on how to install the software upgrade, called PC Software Upgrade Guide. Once you download the software upgrade, follow the instructions from the guide and install it according to the instructions.

To summarize, you need to do the following:

  • Do all the installations from a computer with Windows XP installed. I tried to do this from Windows 7 directly and it did not work. Chances are it won't work from Windows Vista either;
  • Install first the E220 Firmware from the archive you downloaded;
  • Next, install the E220 Dashboard.

If you are unsure on any of the steps or you have issues, don't hesitate to check the PC Software Upgrade Guide and the FAQ page from Maxis.

Upgrade To The Latest Version of Vodafone Mobile Connect

Now you have a modem with proper firmware and drivers installed, which will work on both Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit. The problem is that you also have the software from Maxis which doesn't work with the Vodafone network. In order to connect to the Vodafone network, you need to install the latest version of Vodafone Mobile Connect. This can be found here. From this page, download and install the version available under the 'For the PC (Windows)' section. This installation should be done on the laptop/PC with Windows 7.

How To Use Your Huawei E220 USB Modem

To access the Vodafone network, do the following: plug-in your modem, wait for Windows 7 to detect it and install the appropriate drivers, start the Vodafone Mobile Connect application and connect to the Vodafone network.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, big companies such as Vodafone seem to be a bit slow in providing support for new operating systems such as Windows 7. The procedure above has worked for my modem and now I can connect to the Internet without issues. However, there may be alternative solutions of which I am not aware. If you know other ways to make your Huawei modems work on Windows 7, don't hesitate to leave a comment. I'm sure a lot of people will find it helpful.