Verizon Wireless LTE Sim Supply Chain Improvements At USAT

In service to our clients who are migrating to VZW LTE modems and network devices, our company, USAT Corp.,  is often tapped to perform device provisioning as part of our M2M deployment services package (DevProv+). There have been some bumps in the road on the migration to LTE, as our work flow involves tapping an appropriate Verizon Wireless sales professional to provide USAT with activated sims prior to device programming taking place. This has caused some delays, as it sometimes has taken weeks for LTE sims to arrive at USAT. The good news is that and Verizon Wireless and USAT have worked to rectify this supply chain issue, and USAT will have sims in hand in early June. This will allow for faster turnarond times on deployment services for the GX440 (1101414) and the CradlePoint IBR600LE. With the Verizon Wireless LTE sims in hand, USAT’s deployment services will once again return to our typical quick turnaround times for provisioning services.

Verizon releases Static IP service for LTE

We’ve been told that the long-promised Static IP service has finally been rolled out for Verizon.  This will allow your M2M devices to access the LTE network and represents the removal of a significant obstacle to LTE.

No formal announcement has been made at this point from Verizon, but we’re assured that it is here.  The process is not yet fully known, but will involve a setup fee of some kind.

Stay tuned.

Sprint & Clearwire kiss and make up

According to a report today from the Wall Street Journal, Sprint and Clearwire’s ongoing feud over financial and technological commitments has been settled for now, with Sprint agreeing to four-year deal that includes a $1.6 billion cash infusion in the WiMax wholesaler.

Sprint’s commitment to building out an LTE network appears unchanged, which means that the wireless carrier will have to support two high-speed networks for the foreseeable future.  The details of the agreement will allow Sprint to continue to sell lower-cost smartphones that run on the WiMax network while providing Clearwire with a much-needed capital infusion.

Sprint drops unlimited WiMAX

Sprint continues its inexorable march towards LTE and away from WiMax, announcing late last month that unlimited access to the Clearwire WiMax spectrum will no longer be offered to its mobile customers.

As a result, none of the three plans Sprint plans to offer will include unlimited WiMax, which is somewhat interesting, given their attempt to use unlimited 4G plans as a point of differentiation from VZW, AT&T and T-Mobile.

“Sprint is making these changes to help ensure we can continue to invest in areas that matter to our customers and that differentiate us from our competitors: simple and unlimited pricing plans, including unlimited data on the Sprint network without throttling for smartphones; cutting-edge selection of 4G, Android and other devices and strong customer service,” Sprint spokeswoman Emmy Anderson told FierceWireless.

One can read the above as “We don’t really want to continue to pay Clearwire for access to their WiMax spectrum, so we are going to try and figure a way to make the removal of same a net positive for our users.”

Read the full story here.

No Static IP for VZW LTE–New Timeline Is Q4 2011

For those of you, who, like me, are waiting for VZW to make Static IPs available for the LTE network, the wait just became longer. The new word from VZW is that Q4 2011 is when Static IPs will be made available for LTE. When I think about it, the double NATing that is inherent in LTE poses quite a problem. I hope that the greatest minds at Verizon wireless are working on this, because corporate users cannot do without a Static IP. On our test-bench, we have tried a DNS name work-around for some applications and met with no success.

No Static IPs Available For LTE Yet

Network security is a priority for many of the critical infrastructure IT mavens that my company deals with. CDMA has a very good record on security, and a recent Verizon whitepaper that I read on LTE security makes the case that LTE is more inherently secure than CDMA. However, I do need to report that VZW is not, at this moment in time, making Static IPs available for their LTE network. I discovered this fact during a sit down meeting with a VZW OEM manager last week to discuss the roadmap for LTE to be embedded in Panasonic Toughbooks. Of course, to put this in perspective, the only LTE devices that are actually released at this time are a couple of USB stick modem options so VZW is just sticking their toe in the LTE waters at this moment. However, if VZW starts certifying devices on their LTE network, (read my recent post about the Sierra Wireless Airlink GX440 LTE offering), and does not have a Static IP option, critical infrastructure clients who require the security of a static IP will not be among the adopters. We hope to see VZW make the static IP for LTE available soon, or else we may find ourselves in the same position we were with the Digi Connect WAN 4G (for Sprint WiMax)–using a DNS server to try and work around the fact that no Static IP exists as of yet.

Attention Carriers: Bring Back the Unlimited Data Plan

WWANwoman feels collusion is in the air when all 3 major carriers, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T, replace their Unlimited Data Plans with 50MB Plans for all smart modem applications.  This rate change effects all of us that work in the world of wireless routing and wireless surveillance. All of a sudden, it makes the old-fashoined wire-line approach much more appealing when the first bill hits and there are hundreds of dollars of penalty changes for exceeding plan parameters. The carriers have never understood data applications and in their short-sighted plan for boosting revenues they are dampening the adoption of the public cellular service by critical infrastructure. If you have a carrier rep, then start complaining to this person. Eventually one of the carriers will offer Unlimited Plans again to grab market-share and then the other two will follow suit.