Archive-November 2015-Tech Bulletin-Low Power Consumption Raven RV50 Public Launch

As an addendum to our recent Q4 email newsletter, as promised, USAT Corp. is sharing detailed information about the public launch of the new LTE/cellular gateway with the lowest power draw on the market: the new Raven RV50.

SIERRA WIRELESS AIRLINK LAUNCHES THE RAVEN RV50 TODAY

**If your connectivity plans involve deploying 4G LTE gateways in low power, solar, or off-the-grid environments, this device is worthy of notice. Delivering LTE broadband capability to all of your critical remote monitoring equipment, the AirLink Raven RV50 consumes under 1 Watt of power–a true technical breakthrough for a 3G/4G network device. Built specifically for industrial applications, the RV50 includes both a serial and Ethernet port.  Also, for added convenience, a single RV50 can become a AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint device. Just stick in the SIM card and the device will delineate to operate on that network automatically. See the Raven RV50 spec sheet here. The Raven RV50 can be managed through Sierra Wireless’s ALMS device health console, adding scalability to administrating large deployments. Sign up for a webinar this Thursday by the actual product manager of the RV50 here. USAT has RV50s in stock and ready to ship. For client’s with qualifying projects,  USAT Corp. can provide a demonstration unit for testing.

SIERRA WIRELESS GX450/ES450 SOFTWARE DELINEATION OF CARRIER FUNCTIONALITY COMING SOON

**At the time of this writing, the ALEOS firmware upgrade that will allow all models of GX450 and ES450 to be auto-switched to operate on a specific cellular network has not yet been released. However, it is on the cusp of being made available. If you would like to be proactively informed by USAT on the day when this firmware becomes available, please reply to this email with the word “yes.”

CRADLEPOINT OFFERS Q4 MAIL-IN REBATES FOR PURCHASES OF SOME ROUTER MODELS

For our CradlePoint users there is also information we would like to publish in this newsletter. USAT would like to apprise you of promotional rebates offered by CradlePoint for procurements made in the 4th quarter: 
-Trade in a cellular USB modem with the purchase of a Cradlepoint ARC CBA850 and receive a $75 mail-in-rebate.
-Purchase a Cradlepoint AER3100 series router and receive a $75 mail-in-rebate.
-Buy a Cradlepoint AER3100 with an additional MC400 modem and receive a $125 mail-in-rebate.
-Buy a Cradlepoint COR IBR1100 and receive a $75 Mail-in-Rebate.
-Buy a COR IBR1150 and receive a $50 Mail-in-Rebate.

Archive-November 2015-Tech Bulletin-EOL GX440

As your valued wireless connectivity partner, USAT Corp. is reaching out to remind you of some important dates and to apprise our clientele of some new product offerings. As difficult as it is to believe, 2015 is drawing to a close and Q4 procurements must be executed now. Below find some important dates for Sierra Wireless users and information about some new product launches of note for Cradlepoint users.

Q4-END-OF YEAR ORDERS

  • To ensure delivery during this fiscal year, purchase orders for the following brands of wireless network devices must be placed no later than November 13th.
    • Sierra Wireless AirLink
    • Digi
    • CalAmp

SIERRA WIRELESS AIRLINK–IMPORTANT UPCOMING SUNSET DATE-GX440

  • It is the last call for Airlink GX440s. Last purchase date will be Dec. 31, 2015. Last shipment date (for blanket/phased purchase orders) will be June 2016. Find the original GX440 EOL notice from July 2015 published here.

SIERRA WIRELESS AIRLINK–NEW PRODUCT SOON TO BE ANNOUNCED–VERY LOW POWER DRAW

  • Later this month Sierra Wireless AirLink will publicly launch a new wireless gateway that has been engineered for low power draw applications. More info will be shared by USAT after the public launch in November. If you have an application that requires very low power draw, please reply to this email, as USAT is currently actively filling demonstration unit orders for the new device for our clientele.

CRADLEPOINT–TWO NEW PRODUCTS LAUNCHES–ONE FOR THE ENTERPRISE & ONE FOR MOBILITY 

  • Cradlepoint is targeting retail and SMB with the launch of the AER1600 edge router. The AER1600, available both with and without WiFi, is envisioned for micro-branches and temporary deployments (like store grand openings) and joins the AER2100 and AER3100 to complete a trio of routers with advanced security offerings. What do you do when Comcast or Time Warner Cable Business Class misses their own installation date for the third time? Deploy the AER1600.
  • CradlePoint has doubled down on their mobility product, the IBR1100 mobile access point, by creating a rugged “back-pack”-style second modem that expands the platform’s capabilities with additional bandwidth or failover capability across multiple carriers. More information about the dual-modem dock for the COR IBR1100-series routers can be viewed here.

Do not hesitate to reach out directly to your USAT Corp. account manager or reply to this email if you have specific questions regarding these industry news items. We look forward to closing down the 4th quarter with your wireless needs counted and covered.

Archive-August 2015-Wireless Tech Bulletin–Firmware Update Notice

As your trusted partner for wireless data communication technology, USAT Corp. has important information related to cellular modems/gateways/routers to share.
A news summary is directly below. More detailed news digests follow the summary. Bookmark www.usatcorp.com/news to follow cellular modem news & notices as they happen.

SUMMARY

*SIERRA WIRELESS AIRLINK–RECOMMENDATION TO UPDATE TO ALEOS 4.4.2 FOR DEVICE LEVEL SECURITY

*CRADLEPOINT–RECOMMENDATION TO UPDATE TO FIRMWARE FOR DEVICE STABILITY**NEW PRODUCT AER3100**FIREWALL CONFIGURATION CHANGE NOTICE FOR ECM USERS

*DIGI–SPECIAL PROMOTION–SUB-$340 ETHERNET GATEWAY FOR NEW DIGI CUSTOMERS–WR11 FOR DIGITAL SIGNAGE/KIOSK APPLICATIONS

*NEW CELL MODEMS CERTIFIED FOR THE US CELLULAR NETWORK

SIERRA WIRELESS AIRLINK NEWS–FIRMWARE 4.4.2

  • ADVISORY FOR USERS OF GX/ES/LS PRODUCT LINES:

As increasing device layer security is our imperative, USAT Corp. is strongly suggesting that all clientele using GX, ES, or LS gateways that are running firmware ALEOS firmware 4.3.4 or earlier to update their devices to the latest firmware 4.4.2–for the reasons summarized below. If your devices are running 4.3.5 (released on Feb. 7, 2014) or later this move is less critical, although still recommended as a maintenance priority. Read the full text of the Sierra Wireless Technical Bulletin here. This Bulletin gives instructions on how to update devices to the current firmware from older firmware. If you are running behind on firmware updates, gain access to AirLink Management System for free for 30 days and take advantage of that time period to update your AirLink devices to the latest firmware ALEOS 4.4.2.

  • REASON FOR ADVISORY TO UPDATE TO ALEOS 4.4.2:

There is a known issue that Sierra Wireless GX, ES, and LS gateways running ALEOS contain hard-coded accounts with root privileges. These accounts are enabled by default for debug purposes and accessible remotely by telnet or SSH in systems using ALEOS 4.3.4 or earlier via standard password. ­
From ALEOS 4.3.5 onward, these accounts can only be accessed locally, via SSH, by a user with physical access to the gateway or the attached local network. An unauthorized user with knowledge of the passwords for these accounts may be able to take control of the gateway or gain access to the attached local network.

CRADLEPOINT–FIRMWARE UPGRADE RECOMMENDED FOR GENERAL MAINTENANCE AND DEVICE STABILITY

  • New modem firmware (05.05.58.0x) has been posted by CradlePoint for all LPE and LP3 modems. CradlePoint highly recommends that all users update firmware on affected devices to ensure continued long-term operation. Log into the CradlePoint Connect at https://cradlepoint.com/firmware to access the new firmware update. Read the entire notice here.

 

CRADLEPOINT–NEW PRODUCT RELEASE–AER3100 EDGE ROUTER–COMPETES WITH CISCO

  • Administrators looking to manage connectivity in remote branch offices have a new 4G router to consider. The Cradlepoint AER3100 is an all-in-one networking solution that combines routing, multi-WAN support (wired + 4G wireless), dual modems, advanced security (UTM), private network support, and high performance WiFi in a platform that can be deployed, managed, and optimized via the cloud.

CRADLEPOINT–NOTICE–CHANGE TO ECM PORTAL COMMUNICATIONS MAY REQUIRE PORT CONFIGURATION IN YOUR FIREWALL

  • In September 2015, CradlePoint will change the protocol used for firmware updates via ECM from HTTP to HTTPS. The change in this protocol may require a change in port configuration on device firewalls. To learn if your devices are affected, please click here.

DIGI–SPECIAL PROMOTION–SUB-$340 ETHERNET GATEWAY

  • For NEW Digi clients, Digi is extending a special introductory price for the Digi Transport WR11 that is designed for use in  POS/Kiosk/Retail applications. For a Transport product, with advanced functionality and with a 5 year standard warranty, a sub-$340 price is very attractive. Both 3G and 4G devices are available at this price point. Please respond to this email with any inquiries about elibility for this program and this WR11 discount.

 
NETWORK CERTIFICATION NEWS FROM US CELLULAR AND VZW

  • The carrier US Cellular has certified the Sierra Wireless GX450 & ES450 on the US Cellular Network.
  • The carrier Verizon Wireless has certified the CalAmp 5530 4G LTE router for the VZW Network.

 

4G Cellular Modems For US Cellular–Sierra Wireless AirLink GX450 & ES450

For many years, users of the US Cellular network lacked options when it came to selecting a cellular 3G/4G modem, gateway or router for wireless data acquisition and remote monitoring applications. For organizations that were using the US Cellular network, the lack of “certified” devices was a potential barrier to launching M2M or mobility projects using a public network backbone. Well, the wait is over. For those clients who have been looking for a reliable US Cellular cell modem option for in-vehicle usage or for SCADA, distribution automation or other types of industrial automation, the wait is over. US Cellular has certified the Sierra Wireless AirLink GX450 and the ES450 for use on the US Cellular network as of July 15th, 2015 and the devices are available and shipping now. See them both below.

Tech Note: Required configuration is North America Generic and ALEOS 4.4.1 or later is required.

Sierra Wireless Airlink GX440 End-Of-Life

It is official: Sierra Wireless will cease production of the AirLink GX440 in that not too distant future. The Sierra Wireless GX440 is sunsetting at the end of 2015. Last buy for the GX440  will be Dec. 31st, 2015. Last shipment will be June 30,  2016. Why the six month differential between last buy and last shipment? Because Sierra Wireless is most likely going to allow phased purchase orders is our interpretation. The replacement product for the GX440 is the GX450. The time to start planning for your company’s migration to the GX450 is now. For a summary description of the differences between the GX440 and the GX450, visit this link. 

Critical Firmware Update For CradlePoint Routers XXXLE-VZ

Part of managing a 4G cellular wireless modem or router deployment is keeping up with firmware releases and understanding what each firmware release means to the stability/functionality of your 4G cellular platform. Recently it came to light that for the following CradlePoint routers, with GPS enabled, using the VZW LTE chipset, memory corruption could occur that would compromise performance of the routers. Read the important bulletin about this issue here.

What this bulletin does not say is why it is critical to make that update. The answer is that if the update is not performed, the CradlePoint Router can be bricked. The modem flash can become corrupt after a period of months if the GPS functionality is enabled. This can eventually cause the modem firmware to be overwritten on the device. When this happens, if the device is rebooted or power cycled, the modem will not come back up afterward. And since there is typically only a year warranty on CradlePoint devices, you really don’t want this to happen. CradlePoint urges that any organization using the following devices performs the radio firmware update:

List of LE-VZ products that could be affected:

  • Cradlepoint AER2100LE-VZF (MC300LE-VZ)
  • Cradlepoint ARC MBR1400LE-VZ
  • Cradlepoint ARC CBA750B-LE-VZ (MC200LE-VZ)
  • Cradlepoint COR IBR600LE-VZ,Cradlepoint IBR650LE-VZ
  • Cradlepoint COR IBR600LE-VZ-PWD (GPS is enabled as default setting)

CradlePoint has made access to firmware free and available again without a subscription. You can sign up to access the free firmware upgrade by visiting https://cradlepoint.com/firmware.

Slimline MIMO LTE Antenna Will Fit On Utility Cabinets

Image

I had a front row seat on the development of a very unique MIMO 2G/3G/4G/LTE/XLTE antenna for fixed-point cellular connectivity. What has been created, and is currently in pre-production  is a slim line MIMO antenna assembly that has been designed to easily fit on the top of a NEMA utility cabinet, or other type of enclosure, requiring that only one hole be drilled, not two. As I have blogged about previously, in order to optimize the speeds of an LTE antenna, there needs to be two antenna fixtures attached to the LTE router/gateway/modem. That is because LTE is a true “multiple-in-multiple out” technology and requires two fixtures to be in use simultaneously for an optimized performance. In the past, with 3G cellular network devices, I really did not advocate for the diversity antenna for every installation. In the 3G world, the addition of the diversity antenna meant a very incremental change in connectivity that was not always noticeable in real-world performance for the router or gateway. However, having seen extensive bench tests showing the differences in speeds and feeds for LTE routers using one antenna versus two antennas, the clear answer is that two antennas make very noticeable difference in performance. Below see  pictures of the new antenna and how it has been carefully designed to take up very little real estate when mounted. The narrow, oblong shape of this LTE antenna allows for this antenna to mount to the top of most standard NEMA enclosures or environmental cabinets used by utility companies and other energy companies. This single device can replace the current status quo, which is mounting two “stubby” or “salt and pepper shaker” form factor antennas. This is an early look at this device, which will be made available by Mobile Mark. Once the costing has been formalized and a part number has been assigned, the antenna will be made available. For now an engineering sample can be ordered using the part number EDN324. If interested, make an inquiry here referencing that part.

EDN 324 CaptureEDN 324 #2

Sierra Wireless GX450–Warranty Length Flexibility A Good Thing

Although the new Sierra Wireless AirLink GX450 was known to be in the works for some time, the Sierra Wireless product team packed in some surprises when they released it. For instance, a month in advance, It was common knowledge that the new unit would support AWS/XLTE. It was also a well known fact that the GX450 would support, come Q3 2015, carrier delineation by software (when the ALEOS upgrade that will make it possible is released). What a boon to all! One GX450, in a few months, will be able to be either VZW, Sprint or AT&T. Telecom managers everywhere are rejoicing at this prospect! However, no one knew about the big surprise: the fact that Sierra Wireless was releasing the GX450 device with a 3 year warranty instead of a 5 year warranty. The option to buy a full 5 year uplift exists, but the standard warranty term is now 3 years.

“Wait a minute! Doesn’t Sierra Wireless AirLink stand behind their product any more?” some readers may be asking. Well that was my first impulse as well, until I looked carefully at the price-points. The price for the GX450 WITH the full 5 year warranty is the same as the GX440 with the 5 year warranty. The price for the GX450 with the 3 year warranty is $100 less than the GX440. Now this makes sense. While many critical infrastructure clients expect a 5-7 year lifecycle out of their cellular gateways, some clientele in the M2M space who are more attuned to “speeds and feeds” than the SCADA crowd, cycle their units in 2-3 years. So Sierra Wireless AirLink is making a play for that demographic. That only makes sense as IOT and a whole new world of applications for cellular gateways emerges on the horizon.

Check out the specifications for the new, Verizon Wireless LTE/XLTE Sierra Wireless GX450 (part number 1102326) here.

 

Sierra Wireless GX440 Part Number List & Feature/Specification Summary

Below find a parts list that includes a features and functionality summary on each model of the Sierra Wireless AirLink GX440.

Important Tips & Notes On The GX440:

  • The GX440 ships without antennas.
  • The GX440 ships without a SIM card. It takes a MINI sized SIM, not a MICRO size SIM.
  • As of this writing, the GX440 does not have a model designed to run on the Sprint network, but that is on the roadmap.
  • The AC adapter version of the GX440 is a world-wide adapter that ships with a kit with many interchangeable heads designed to work with multiple outlet styles.

GX440 Verizon Models

Cellular Modem GX440 Part Numbers Power Assembly GX440 Xcard Slot 4G/3G WWAN Ethernet Port Serial Port GPS
Verizon GX440 1101413  AC Power Empty LTE/EVDO 1 1 Y
Verizon GX440 1101414 DC Power Empty LTE/EVDO 1 1 Y
Verizon GX440 1101530  AC Power WIFI Module LTE/EVDO 1 1 Y
Verizon GX440 1101531 DC Power WIFI Module LTE/EVDO 1 1 Y
Verizon GX440 1101729 DC Power I/O Module LTE/EVDO 1 2 Y
Verizon GX440 1101816 AC Power I/O Module LTE/EVDO 1 2 Y
Verizon GX440 1101728 AC Power Ethernet Module LTE/EVDO 2 1 Y
Verizon GX440 1102024 DC Power Ethernet Module LTE/EVDO 2 1 Y

 

GX440 AT&T Models

Sierra Wireless Cellular Modem GX440 Part Numbers Power Assembly GX440 Xcard Slot 4G/3G WWAN Ethernet Port Serial Port GPS
AT&T GX440 1101689 AC Power Empty LTE/HSPA+ 1 1 Y
AT&T GX440 1101688 DC Power Empty LTE/HSPA+ 1 1 Y
AT&T GX440 1101690 AC Power WIFI Module LTE/HSPA+ 1 1 Y
AT&T GX440 1101691 DC Power WIFI Module LTE/HSPA+ 1 1 Y
AT&T GX440 1101809 DC Power I/O Module LTE/HSPA+ 1 2 Y
AT&T GX440 1101880 AC Power I/O Module LTE/HSPA+ 1 2 Y
AT&T GX440 1101960 AC Power Ethernet Module LTE/HSPA+ 2 1 Y
AT&T GX440 1101810 DC Power Ethernet Module LTE/HSPA+ 2 1 Y

 

CalAmp Vanguard 3000 Is One Modem That Works On Multiple Carrier Networks

Supply chain managers are constantly looking for innovative ways to do more with less. In the cellular space one sticking point for enterprise procurement strategies is the fact that for most product cellular modem/gateway/router product lines, there is not an option to buy a single device and have it operate on all three major carrier networks (Sprint, Verizon & AT&T).

Today I’d like to write about one cellular modem that can, indeed, be used for all three carrier networks. The single device that is compatible with all three public carrier networks is the CalAmp Vanguard 3000.

HOW IT WORKS

The CalAmp Vanguard 3000 uses a Qualcomm GOBI radio module that is software delineated as to which carriers networks it will use. The cellular carrier can be selected any time after purchase. What this means is that the end-user can select which carrier (Sprint, VZW, or AT&T) that will be the network associated with the device. Although, the Vanguard 3000 can, in practice, be activated with live data plans for all three major US carriers, the most common scenario is that the device is provisioned for one carrier only at the time of deployment.

WHY THIS MATTERS

There are only two part numbers for the Vanguard 3000. There are not separate part number variants for every carrier and carrier combination. The adaptability of the CalAmp Vanguard 3000 makes for an easier-to-manage supply chain since only one part needs to be warehoused. This type of flexibility has other benefits. If corporate telecommunication contracts undergo a major change–for example, one carrier is supplanted by another on a corporate level–there is no need to buy all new cellular modems. The Vanguard 3000 can be provisioned for a different carrier and does not need to be replaced.

3G ONLY TODAY

Today the CalAmp Vanguard 3000 is available only for 3G networks. This is more than sufficient for many remote data acquisition applications but is not appropriate for high-bandwidth applications like video monitoring. To learn more about the CalAmp Vanguard 3000, in both its iterations (140-7230-110 and the 140-7230-000), click here.