Airtel 4G + OS X El Capitan Quick Fix


[Update]: There is absolutely no support from Airtel on this one. Neither their support team nor their technical team is of any help. It’s real sad to see them not even respond to the queries or provide an easier way to upgrade to a newer router. Unfortunately, in the 4G world where they’ve a monopoly you can’t ask for a better service. So,I just upgraded to the Airtel 4G Hotspot(Huawei Mobile Wifi). It costed me Rs. 2300/- but I’m at peace now! Having to interact and follow up with them on everyday basis has been painful. 

Have you found this strange issue with Airtel 4G dongle not connecting to the internet after upgrading to OS X El Capitan? If Yes, here’s a quick fix that you can try. It worked for me, but this is no official. All the changes I mention here are easily revertable, however, I don’t take any responsibility if you land up messing your system. That’s the “Works on my machine” disclaimer.

I’ve got a 4G Dongle from Airtel that is Huawei LTE USB Rotator – E3276 and ever since I upgraded to OS X El Capitan, it failed to connect. It throws up an error message “The device has been disconnected or is unavailable” and couldn’t find the “Network” tab anymore in the fancy Airtel masked client app.

I did approach Airtel for an official support to El Capitan upgrade however with the little knowledge that their technical team has, I don’t expect them to respond anytime sooner. While I visited their office in Bangalore, I pretended to be an inefficient user of mac, but that landed up in they trying to sell me their newest wireless router.

Doing my research

Just like you, I did my part of research on the internet to find some fixes around this problem. Not just searching about Airtel’s 4G dongle or Huawei modem but everything that I could figure out what has changed in El Capitan. While most of them would explain the cause of the issue to be the El Capitan’s requirement of signed kernel extensions and disabling the System Integrity Protection (“csrutil disable“) from the recovery mode will fix this issue. However, all that didn’t work. Even deleting the airtel installation, plugging out the modem, disabling the system integrity protection, restarting and reinstalling the drivers did not help detect the modem. The problem seems to be much internal. So, here’s my version of the fix –

First:

  1. Unplug the Airtel 4G dongle
  2. Delete your Airtel installations from your applications
  3. Go to System Preferences > Network remove services that starts with “Huawei..” if present
  4. Restart your mac

Second:

  1. Connect your modem
  2. On Auto-run, install the software again
  3. Go to System Preferences > Network
    1. Add a new service (use the + sign in the left corner)
    2. Select the interface has “HUAWEIMobile-Modem” – it auto sets the same name. Let it be!
      Airtel-4G-El-Capitan-1
    3. In the next screen, under the Default Configuration add the phone number *99#
      Airtel-4G-El-Capitan-2
    4. Click on Advanced then set the Vendor: Generic, Model: GPRS(GSM/3G), APN: airtelgprs.com  and click Ok.
      Airtel-4G-El-Capitan-2-1
    5. Click Apply and then Connect. Voila! That connects!
      Airtel-4G-El-Capitan-3
  4. Open a browser and see if your internet works!

Known Issues:

Yes, this is a temp fix and you will land up in few issues.

  1. You cannot manually select a network – it auto connects to an available network. Since you bypass the Airtel/Huawei client app, there’s no way you can find/troubleshoot network problems.
  2. If it works then it works! If it doesn’t then restart and redo the same steps.

Icing on the cake

Surprisingly my Airtel client App showed up working when I did the following –

  1. Added the HuaweiMobile (not the HUAWEIMobile-Modem) interface in the Network
  2. Then, clicked on upgrade option – it tried reinitializing the device and detects a connected network. After that, you will magically see the network tab appearing.
  3. Don’t believe me? See this –

Airtel-4G-El-Capitan-Hero

Note: If you disconnect, you can reconnect from this screen without issues. However, if you pull the modem out, you will have to repeat every step again.

Official fix?

In an attempt to sell newer devices and newer plans, I doubt neither Airtel nor Huawei would provide an official fix out. El Capitan has been in beta for a long time and they should have come up with updates by now. If I get to hear from them, I will update them here.

If you have another workaround, I would love to hear them. Add them to the comments!

Thanks!

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28 thoughts on “Airtel 4G + OS X El Capitan Quick Fix

  1. You rocked…It works for me. Thanks for your help.

    Surprisingly my Airtel client App showed up working when I did the following –

    Added the HuaweiMobile (not the HUAWEIMobile-Modem) interface in the Network
    Then, clicked on upgrade option – it tried reinitializing the device and detects a connected network. After that, you will magically see the network tab appearing.

  2. Hey thanks for the detailed instructions.
    But when I uninstalled Airtel app it is not allowing me to reinstall it. Cant find the software anywhere online either. HELP

  3. Voila! Your solution worked for me.
    After uninstalling Airtel app, it failed to install again with error “nothing to install”. I actually uninstalled app before visiting your post.
    Anyway, thanks for the writeup.

  4. First Thank you !!! work very good

    just this …
    Icing on the cake

    Then, clicked on upgrade option – it tried reinitializing the device and detects a connected network. After that, you will magically see the netw

    I dont have that option . where is upgrade option ?

  5. I just bought this Airtel 4g dongle, wish I had seen this post earlier.. but IN my system preference I am not seeing HUAWEIMobile-Modem in interface section. The application is not even installing.. any idea on that..

    1. Does it detect? If it detects, you will see the installer on your desktop. You can manually run the installation. The other option will be to boot your Mac on recovery mode then run this command “csrutil disable” and restart. Try installing now.
      Please note: Be sure to enable csrutil later.

      1. Hey Nish, I have installed the software from Huwaii for that device model.. and it works like a charm.. no need to hack that airtel bundle.. just use the software from the device manufacturer.

  6. Hey good news for all.
    there is no need to do any of these procedure any more.
    just go to huawei’s website and search for your dongle model, and there will be an update released in the download section (e.g:-stick mobile partner(for mac 10.11)).
    just do it.
    your welcome 🙂

  7. Hi, the first step itself is not going thru – once i connect the dongle a screen pops-up, i double click the airtel logo and it starts installing the software, but finally it say software not installed – how do i overcome this problem. I tried it multiple times but overtime installation fails. Can someone advise me how to install the software?

    1. No idea. One of the above comment says that there is a newer driver version on Huawei website. You might want to check that. I have stopped using that dongle and have upgraded to the 4G hot spot.

    1. No idea. One of the above comment says that there is a newer driver version on Huawei website. You might want to check that. I have stopped using the dongle and have upgraded to the 4G hot spot.

  8. In the interfaces its not showing HUAWEIMobile-Modem, The drpodown for select an interface have only these options Thunder Bolt Bridge, Thunder Bolt 2, Thunder Bolt 1, Blue tooth PAN, Wi-Fi, VPN, PPPoE, 6 to 4, Please suggest me what to next.

  9. You rock! I plugged in the dongle after I was already on OSX 10.11. In my case the installation itself failed. I followed your instructions to delete the leftoverss from previous failed attempts, then installed the again (to get a failure message). However, in the network preferences, I had HUAWEI_MOBILE, and HUAWEIMobile-, by then. I created a *new connection* by selecting HUAWEI_MOBILE and followed the rest of your steps. Now it’s all good 🙂

  10. Thanks nnish and other folks… I had to help a friend and landed up in learning few things in Mac by these posts. Not knowing the latest version, upgraded and lost close to 5 hours in setting it right!!! Thanks a ton!!

  11. Wish, First time someone has taken the pain that Airtel should have done their homework a long time ago and provided a fix….they should be sued for this…..

  12. Hey Nish. I have upgraded to the Mac Sierra and now I am running into the same issues. However FYI I was running the airtel 4g dongle on El Capitan and it seemed to work fine. After deleting all the networks from the preferences settings, restarting my system is not able to install the 4g dongle drivers and it is throwing the same error as device not detected cannot install. Any advice would be appreciated 🙂

    1. Hi Vishal, I’ve upgraded to the 4G Wifi Router to avoid all these hassles. I do not have the dongle with me to test them 😦 Sorry!

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