How to Import Contacts into Huawei's Mobile Partner

If you use a Huawei Dongle (Modem), then chances are that you're using Mobile Partner or a version of it that is skinned with the carrier you bought the dongle from. Mobile Partner is the dongle software that allows you to connect to the internet as well as Send SMS Messages and USSD codes if available.
mobile partner
Stock Huawei Mobile Partner
safaricom dashboard
Carrier Skinned Mobile Partner

In the stock version (i.e. non-carrier) you also have the option to make and pick calls but this is only possible if your modem supports voice calls. Most carriers disable this feature by default, though it is possible to unlock some modems and enable the voice feature.

So I take it if you're like me in that you use your dongle for sending texts and/or making calls, then it's probably occurred to you having contacts saved in Mobile Partner's phonebook can be quite useful when making and receiving calls. At least that way don't have to second guess yourself when picking a call or trying to figure who's the sender of a particular message. Let's say I've learned this the hard way.

Of course, like any other phone, Mobile Partner does read the contacts saved in the SIM Card but typically most people don't have contacts saved there not to mention most SIM Cards typically have a limit of 254 contacts only. As such, the common practice is to save the contacts in the phones storage and in Mobile Partner, that's the Phonebook.

Unfortunately, Mobile Partner imports contacts that are saved in CSV format (Comma Separated Values) only. This is a spreadsheet-like format which you can open with Microsoft Excel. Fortunately, I found some ways to overcome this limitation.


A. From a CSV

If you've your contacts saved in this format already then the process is quite straightforward.

1. Run your dongle software/mobile partner and in the menu select Phonebook.
phonebook
Switch to Phonebook

2. In the right side-bar, select Local to display its saved contacts. It should be empty if you've never saved any contact there.

3. Inside the empty contacts window, right-click and select Import.
import
Import CSV

8. Navigate to and select the CSV with your contacts. That should import your contacts.



B. From the SIM Card

If you don't have many contacts (below 254), the easiest way to do this is to export the contacts from your Phone Storage into the SIM Card you use in the Dongle. Almost every phone (Android, Windows etc.) will allow you to do that in the Contacts App. Just look in the menu or settings. After doing that, do the following:

1. Plug in the dongle with a SIM Card containing the contacts.

2. Run your dongle software/mobile partner and in the menu select Phonebook.

3. In the right side-bar, select SIM/USIM Card to display its saved contacts.

4. If you want to import all the contacts, right-click inside where the contacts are listed and select Export All Contacts.
export
Export All Contacts

If you only need specific contacts, select only those that you need, right-click and select Export Selected Contacts.

5. In the pop up window, save the contacts somewhere in your computer. The contacts are saved in the CSV format.

6. Now go back to the Phonebook and this time select Local in the sidebar.

7. Inside the empty contacts window, right-click and select Import.

8. Navigate to and select the CSV that you just exported and that should import your contacts.


C. From a VCF

Now this is usually the standard format for exported stored contacts so it's quite odd that Huawei chose CSV instead of it. You can export your contacts to a VCF in most phones.

  • Android: For Android it's quite straightforward - just use the export function in the Contacts App menu. 
  • Windows Phone (8 and above): Follow this steps here.
  • Symbian: If you're in the atomic subset still using the original Nokia (not the new HMD Global ones) read here.

Assuming you now have a VCF with your contacts, we now need to convert it into a CSV format. To do that you can use some free online converters, but if you're wary of uploading contacts to online servers you can opt for something offline like using MS Excel to convert VCF to a CSV.

Once you've your CSV, just import it as outlined in the first section (A) above.

I should say the easiest of these methods is the second one. From what I found, Mobile Partner is very picky on what it will import from a CSV, sometimes leaving the mobile number field empty. The exception of course is the CSV it exports.


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