July Tech Bulletin

As your trusted M2M communications partner, USAT Corp. prioritizes data security for critical WWAN data transmissions on the public networks. Through technical innovation, USAT places enhanced wireless data security within the reach of all clientele, regardless of project size. See information about the way that USAT is reimagining private network implementation below. In other networking news, VZW extends availability of IPv4 static IPs in a new PSA. Also herewith, see important information regarding changes in price structure for both the Cradlepoint and the Sierra Wireless cloud-based device management systems. Info from USAT is below about the roadmap indicating the end-of-the-line for the IBR6XX-LPE models from Cradlepoint. In addition, Digi international, Red Lion, and Multi-Tech, have officially published end-of-life dates on some of their cellular routers/modems—info that is digested at the end of this email.

  • USAT CORP. NEWS—USAT has released a private network with no line/device minimums, no mandatory contractual terms, and in some cases, no set-up fees—and the potential for a 24-hour implementation time. Unlimited IPv4 static IP addresses are available. Read about Express M2M Prime Network service/airtime here. Reply to this email if you would like additional info about why isolating your M2M data transmissions from the public Internet should be part of your security strategy.
  • VERIZON WIRELESS NEWS—Please note: Verizon Wireless issued a new, revised Public Service Announcement that pushed back the date that IPv4 addresses will no longer be available to mid-2018 from the original date that VZW had set of June 30th, 2017. Read the new VZW PSA here.
  • SIERRA WIRELESS AIRLINK NEWS—ALMS is now free-of-charge for clients with under 16 devices registered for this device health monitoring service. Read the additional details about that program here. Want to take advantage of free ALMS, but don’t know where to begin? Reply to this email and we can help you sign into your free account for sub-quantity 16 device users.
  • Sierra Wireless has extended their trade-in program that offers cash incentives for upgrading older Airlink Devices until September 30th. Read the program overview here.
  • CRADLEPOINT NEWS—IMPORTANT—Enterprise Cloud Manager, ECM, has evolved and beginning on July 17th has been rebranded as NetCloud Manager (NCM). When it comes time for service subscription renewal, the Basic service option will remain the same cost. The Prime service option will have an approximate 30% increase in cost. See an explanation for that change here.
  • CRADLEPOINT USERS OF THE POPULAR IBR6XXLPE PRODUCT LINE please note well: although the official EOL date has not yet been published for this line, the published roadmap points to these best-selling models going EOL in 2017. If you are a user of the IBR600LPE or IBR650LPE Cradlepoint router, then the time to proactively manage the model change is now. Contact USAT for a presentation of your options.
  • DIGI INTERNATIONAL NEWS—EOL Announcement-Accessories & Some Transport WR44 models
  • RED LION SIXNET NEWS—EOL Announcement-SN-68XX & RAM68XX
  • MULTI-TECH NEWS—Near EOL Announcement-2G & 3G MultiModem iCell Line

Is It True That Verizon Wireless Has Run Out Of IPv4 Static IP Addresses As Of June 30th, 2017?

There has been so much FUD lately about whether or not Verizon Wireless has run out of IPv4 Static IP Addresses. The root of the problem is that Verizon Wireless issued a formal, published statement on March 8th, 2017 letting their clientele and partners know that Verizon would stop issuing any new IPv4 Static IP addresses on June 30th, 2017 due to lack of availability. See that announcement here.

Since many businesses and government agencies that use the Verizon Wireless network for M2M communications absolutely require IPv4 Static IP Addresses and cannot make the move to IPv6 addressing, this came as a shocking wake up call–even though since the early 2000s networking professionals have wrung their hands about the fact that the addresses are finite and would some day run out. So is June 30th IPv4 Static IP Armageddon for users of the nation’s top network? The answer is “no.”

Since the March 8th announcement, several Verizon Wireless sources have confirmed that large blocks of IPv4 Static IP addresses have been located, and are available. That said, like any finite resource, how long they last is directly related to how quickly they are consumed. Go figure. The end is nigh, although the exact date is now unclear to anyone, I believe.

What is the antidote to this problem? A Private Network is. Verizon Wireless and other top-tier carriers are absolutely shepherding their clientele to the security of Private Networks–which also have enough IPv4 Static IP Addresses for today and the future. In addition, innovative, client-centric companies–like mine–have also invested in ways to ensure that their clients do not lose sleep at night about the IPv4 Static IP address crisis. At USAT Corp., we do that by ensuring that ANY client large or small, has access to a Private Network without all the expense, time investment, long deployment schedules and technical expertise that has historically kept the barriers to entry very high. Read about how we do that, here. On a different front, there are also emerging software defined networking options that are very interesting and worth reading up on as they bring networking into a “GUI in the Cloud.”  In closing, savvy members of the M2M/IOT ecosystem that use the public carriers networks for data transmissions AND require IPv4 Static IP Addresses have been gifted a little more time to plan on what their next move will be. Time to buckle down and do the research and make some proactive decisions.

Archive-March 2017-Tech Bulletin-IPv4 Announcement-Cradlepoint And Sierra Wireless-EOL LS300 AT&T

As an active adviser to your wireless communications initiatives, USAT Corp. has information to share:

*IPV4 & IPV6 INFORMATION*
 
VZW recently announced that it will stop issuing new public static IPv4 IP addresses on June 30th 2017. USAT has analyzed how this will affect our critical infrastructure clients and an initial summary is below:

  • If your organization’s communication devices are currently sending data on a Verizon private network, you will not be affected by this change.
  • Any existing IPv4 public static IPs currently in use will continue to operate as usual after June 30th 2017.
  • Any devices activated on the VZW network after June 30th MAY NOT be assigned an IPv4 public static IP address. USAT has received no guarantees that exceptions will be made.

 
IN ADDITION, PLEASE ALSO CONSIDER: that if your organization has reserved IPv4 public static IP blocks but do not have the associated IPs assigned to an active device on the VZW network, it may be in your best interest to activate them before June 30th, or VZW will have the right to reclaim those unused IPs from your organization.
 
Below find two statements from USAT’s key manufacturer partners about IPv6 support for their product lines post-June 30th. In both cases, the news is good:

 
If you have any concerns about a specific wireless gateway/router or if you are questioning whether your application requires a public static IP, please contact your USAT Corp. sales account manager or respond to this email.
 
*SIERRA WIRELESS FIRMWARE—IMPORTANT ACTION REQUIRED—UPGRADE TEMPLATES TO 4.7*
 
It is important to note that all new devices in the GX450, RV50, and ES450 product lines from Sierra Wireless are shipping from the factory with 4.7 pre-loaded. Once a device has 4.7 on it, the device cannot be downgraded to an earlier firmware.  In preparation for new deployments, USAT recommends that all current users of the GX/ES and RV families upgrade an existing unit in their stock to the latest firmware and validate that all of their configurations work with their solutions. 
 
More information about the ALEOS 4.7 firmware update can be viewed here: http://usatcorp.com/key-points-sierra-wireless-aleos-4-7-0-firmware-release/

*SIERRA WIRELESS End Of Sale (EOS) ANNOUNCEMENTS*

 
–All GX400s will EOS on April 30th 2017 with the last ship date set for 12/30/2017.
–The AT&T LS300 will also EOS on April 30th 2017 with the last ship date set for 12/30/2017.
–Please note the VZW LS300 is still actively in production and EOS has not yet been announced.
 
Do not hesitate to contact USAT with specific questions related to your business applications. Remember that we are your partners for all elements of a wireless project—including cabling, antennas and enclosures. Check out the spec sheet for the new log periodic LPDA antenna by Poynting that is making a significant difference in connectivity in fringe locations for clients using 4G only LTE Advanced network devices.

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.

Multiband AWS XLTE Rubber Ducks Antennas Available

I have heard, from the engineers that I work with,  XLTE disparaged as a “marketing term.” However, for the record, I find it is aptly named–as it is, indeed, extra LTE spectrum that Verizon wireless is building out to enhance their current 4G network. In markets where standard LTE performance is hindered as the network hits “critical mass,” Verizon in adding AWS to its bag of tricks so that the overall user experience will be better across the board. Does XLTE matter to ever user, everywhere? No. Does XLTE add more bandwidth in markets that risk saturation? Yes. All, in all, good for VZW for rolling out XLTE. But now on to the practical nuts-and-bolts matters involved in wireless solution building. As more companies begin to evaluate whether to start testing modems, cellular gateways and cellular routers that incorporate the AWS XLTE spectrum it is good to know a source for antennas that cover the 2G, 3G, 4G LTE and XLTE (AWS) bands. XLTE rubber duck dipole antennas, mini rubber ducks dipole antennas, and two high-gain mast antennas that support XLTE can be procured here. At our test bench in a very small city, we were surprised to discover, when testing these AWS band antennas, that XLTE had already reached us.

Sierra Wireless Airlink LS300 Is Available

For those who are interested in keeping informed about the latest wireless connectivity options available for electric utility distribution automation and transmission automation, there are many exciting developments at DistribuTECH 2013. Today at DistribuTech in San Diego, Sierra Wireless announced the immediate availability of their new, ultra-compact, intelligent modem, the Sierra Wireless Airlink LS300. With external dimensions of about 3′ by 3.5″ this wireless gateway is a smaller footprint than the Raven X or the GX400/440, which means it fits well into environmental enclosures and NEMA cabinets. Although the Sierra Wireless LS300 is small in size, it is very rich in features. It has an Ethernet port, a serial port (on the side) and also contains a GPS reciever. The price of this device is  less than the Raven X and the GX400 platforms even though it exceeds or matches the feature set of both of these cellular network devices. Clearly, the intent of Sierra Wireless with the Airlink LS300 is that this device will replace the Airlink Raven X going forward. Key clients have already been seeded with test/demo units of the Sierra Wireless Airlink LS300. For those evaluating  M2M communication device, the LS300 is  worth considering when researching cellular Ethernet/serial gateways. It is worth noting that the Sierra Wireless Airlink LS300 is available only for the Verizon Wireless and AT&T 3G cellular networks, not their LTE networks. Clients that want LTE will have to opt for the Sierra Wireless Airlink GX440.

See more information about the Sierra Wireless Airlink LS300 here http://usatcorp.com/line/sierra-wireless/airlink-ls300.

Issues For M2M Devices Using The Sierra Wireless AirPrime MC7750

After getting sporadic reports of issues from our clients using Verizon Wireless 4G LTE devices, we have worked with our manufacturer partners and VZW to connect the dots. Here are the facts. There is an issue with the Qualcomm chipset used on the Sierra Wireless AirPrime MC7750 LTE radio module. The chipset issue does not manifest in all geographical regions, but when it does the following problem can be experienced:

4G WWAN devices have trouble staying connected to the Verizon Wireless network. Apparently, if the device drops out of 4G coverage into 3G coverage, it then has a problem reconnecting. We have seen clients experience this scenario using devices as diverse as a Panasonic Toughbook H2 with embedded VZW LTE, the Sierra Wireless AirLink GX440 1101414, 1101413, 1101531, 1101530 and the CradlePoint IBR600-LE.

Currently, we have been informed by contacts Panasonic and Sierra  Wireless that a firmware fix will be available for this issue at the end of November. VZW confirms that these devices are in their labs and that a November date is accurate for VZW to finish necessary testing.

After the new firmware is available, detailed instructions will be posted here to explain how the fix can be applied. It is strange that initial carrier certification testing did not expose this potential issue…

 

Sierra Wireless AirLink Releases GX440 4G LTE AT&T Gateway

Sierra Wireless released the GX440 4G LTE device for the AT&T network today, doubling the GX-line’s options for operating on LTE. The part numbers and manufacturer suggested pricing follows. See more details here.

1101689

GX440   LTE/HSPA+ AT&T (incl. AC power cable and 5 year warranty)

$799

1101688

GX440   LTE/HSPA+ AT&T (incl. DC power cable and 5 year warranty)

$799

GX 440 WiFi

1101690

GX440   WiFi LTE/HSPA+ AT&T  (incl. AC power cable and 5 year warranty)

$899

1101691

GX440   WiFi LTE/HSPA+ AT&T  (incl. DC power cable and 5 year warranty)

$899

VZW Promises Quick Usage Of AWS

As spectrum watchers, we are of course riveted by the take-no-prisoners approach that Verizon  is employing in its pursuit of AWS spectrum.  As Verizon makes the case for the FCC to approve its acquisition of AWS Spectrum from SpectrumCo, Verizon has dangled that it will be willing to sell the A & B blocks of the 700 band that it bought at auction in 2008 that it is currently using to roll out its LTE network. And like a game of Axis-And-Allies, Verizon has now developed an alliance with AT&T’s star-crossed object of acquisitional desire, T-Mobile. Today, Verizon and T-Mobile made the announcement that have reached an agreement whereby T-Mobile will both buy and swap AWS spectrum with Verizon in order to provide both companies with better continuity of spectrum.