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.
Our mission is to keep you informed about information key to the success of your organization’s wireless data initiatives. Below you will find an overview of important facts about the Mirai virus. Near the bottom of this email, you will find information about new products that you should be aware of in the wireless data communications space.
Mirai Summary: A new Trojan virus called Mirai is in the news. Mirai is targeting Linux servers, M2M and IoT devices, including cellular gateways and routers, but mainly cameras and DVRs, running Linux-based firmware, for the purpose of nefariously engaging these systems as part of a large botnet used to stage Denial-of-Service DDoS attacks designed to disrupt access to web properties. (More info: https://safeum.com/blog/2014-mirai-trojan-is-the-next-big-threat-to-iot-devices-and-linux-servers.html) Runaway cellular airtime usage can be a result of infection. In the world of wireless networking, any device that runs on Linux is susceptible. PLEASE NOTE USAT CLIENT BASE: Critical infrastructure clients who are on private networks run a reduced risk of infection.
How Infection Happens: Mirai infects devices via brute-force attacks on the Telnet port, exploiting a “black hat” list of default password credentials, taking advantage of instances where device owners have forgotten to change the built-in default password to a secure password. Critical infrastructure clients who are not on private networks but who have implemented complicated passwords (like what the USAT DevProv+ service facilitates) and instituted other basic security functions like “white lists” and “black lists” are unlikely victims. If you have not or suspect that a user within your organization has not changed the default passwords on the devices attached to your corporate network, then it is important to implement secure passwords now in order to avoid operational ramifications as well as possible financial charges due to data consumption overages.
How To Diffuse Your Risk & Treat Infection: Good news: even if your device is infected, restarting the device and changing the password is an effective treatment. Sierra Wireless, a world leader in the manufacture of cellular gateways was the first to issue a technical bulletin detailing the threat of Mirai to the M2M/IOT ecosystem. Please refer to the steps that they suggest to secure devices here: http://usatcorp.com/action-required-sierra-wireless-technical-bulletin-mirai-trojan/. The Department of Homeland Security also very recently issued an informative publication on defeating Botnets here https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA16-288A. In addition to the advice issued on the DHS link, best practices dictate that if you are a user of cellular routers and gateways, make sure that devices in your network are running the latest firmware. Please feel free to respond to this email with additional questions or concerns about the Mirai virus.
NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENTS FOLLOW: USAT NEW PRODUCTS—Poynting High-Gain Multi-band Antennas Launched Poynting high gain directional antennas are now a stocked item at USAT Corp. USAT conducted an extensive search for multi-band high gain antennas, both omni and directional (yagi) that can support the different flavors of LTE used domestically and around the world, and this product line tested out the best. See examples here http://usatcorp.com/usat-corp-will-now-offer-poynting-antennas/. If you have interest in superior high gain antennas, respond to this email, and a specialist will contact you.
As you set budgets for wireless data communication and networking initiatives in 2017 and beyond, please consider USAT Corp. as your consultative partner and engage with us early and often. You can get in touch with me to discuss your upcoming projects, or reach out directly to your USAT account manager.
The first shipments of the new Sierra Wireless AirLink Raven XT have arrived. At this time, I’d like to save a lot of instrumentation and control specialists a lot of worry by sharing a product comparison photo. Since many clients are OEMs that designed their instrumentation cabinets around the footprint of the AirLink Raven XT, the photograph above verifies the same form factor has been utilized on both the legacy V2227 and G2263 as well as the V2229T. I am also happy to confirm that the same AC and DC power adapter can be used, as well as the same mounting bracket. In summary, it is possible to pull out a failed Raven XT from your existing assembly and replace it with the new V2229T as long as the antenna you deployed contains spectrum for 3G.
As a follow-up to the blog posting about the Raven XT in February, it is worth noting that Sierra Wireless has re-released the Raven XT for Verizon Wireless (VZW) in 2014. Shipping of the new unit will begin in April 2014. Sierra Wireless had run out of components to continue making the Raven XT V2227, but has released the new version with a current EVDO Rev A module. In order to indicate the module change, Sierra Wireless has released a new part number for this Raven XT. The new part number for the AirLink Raven XT for Verizon Wireless is V2229T-VD for DC Power and V2229T-VA for AC Power. Sierra Wireless has committed to producing this new version of the Raven XT for the year of 2014. The Sierra Wireless Raven XT is in stock and available here. Remember that the Raven XT is serial only. Unless your business application requires the very low power-draw that makes the Raven XT appealing, the LS300 packs more bang for the buck with both a GPS and an Ethernet port.
If you power the cell modem that you are using for remote monitoring using a solar array, you can breathe a sigh of relief. It is a very common complaint from our clientele that they have had issues with the power requirements of cellular modems, routers and gateways, but an old favorite is coming back
In March, Sierra Wireless will definitively re-start production of the Sierra Wireless AirLink Raven XT (V2227-VD and V2227-VA) for the Verizon Wireless EVDO Rev-A (CDMA) network. For those of us who actively serve clients who are powering their wireless data acquisition devices “off-the-grid” using solar panels or wind turbines, this is very good news because the AirLink Raven XT sips power like a hummingbird. It sets the bar of a cellular device with low power requirements.
The Sierra Wireless next generation product lines, the LS300 and the GX440 are excellent devices but their power draw is very high compared to the Raven XT. (These two devices can be put into “low power mode” as a work-around.) However, many hours have been spent trying to find a top-tier cell modem replacement for the Raven XT with an equally low power consumption. We were able to get close in comparison, but not quite there…
But now we don’t need to! The Raven XT V2227, with its very small foot-print and attractive power draw is back. When the NEW units ship, they will have a slightly different part number. However, our company has stock now on the Raven XT V2227 in limited quantities.
The device can be procured with immediate availability here.
Here is a compilation of popular acronyms used within the descriptions of many wireless data communication projects and whitepapers related to critical infrastructure wireless data communications. While many WWAN professionals know these technical abbreviations already, some of our colleagues that are new to the wireless data industry may find them useful.
1xRTT 1x (single-carrier) Radio Transmission Technology
2G 2nd Generation mobile telecommunications
3G 3rd Generation mobile telecommunications
3GPP 3 Generation Partnership Project
4G 4th Generation mobile telecommunications
APN Access Point Name
B14 Band Class 14
CMAS Commercial Mobile Alert System
CONNMO Connectivity Management Objects
dBm Decibels referenced to one milliWatt (mW).
DCMO Device Capability Management Objects
DDR Double Data Rate Random Access Memory (RAM)
DIAGMON Diagnostics and Monitoring
DM Device Management
ECID Enhanced Cell ID
EDR Enhanced Data Rate
EVDO Evolution-Data Optimized
FSB Front-side Bus
FUMO Firmware Update Management Object
GB Gigabyte (Billions of Bytes)
GHz Gigahertz (Billions of Hertz)
GPS Global Positioning System
H High or Height
IMS Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem
iOS Apple Mobile Operating System
IP Internet Protocol
IPv4 Internet Protocol version 4
IPv6 Internet Protocol version 6
ISIM Internet Protocol IP Multimedia Services Identity Module
Recently, we have had reports regarding “blown” power supply circuitry with Sierra Wireless AirLink Raven X cellular gateways. Sierra Wireless states that this is a known issue, albeit a small one, with the power supply circuit on the Raven X modems manifesting the issue in approximately 1% of all Raven X’s sold early-to-mid 2012.
NOTE: Raven X’s with this issue may fail at any time. Some evidence points to the fact that higher supply voltage (24 Vdc versus 12 Vdc) stresses the faulty circuitry more and makes the issue more likely to manifest.
All modems exhibiting this issue should be returned to Sierra Wireless and will be repaired at no charge under Sierra Wireless’s warranty program. The device will be repaired or the unit will be replaced. The issue has be traced to a faulty component, so once the unit has been repaired, the issue will be mitigated.
This technical issue is very similar to an earlier power circuitry problem with the GX line that Sierra Wireless has since rectified.
To borrow from Edgar Allen Poe, Quoth the raven, “nevermore”
Sierra Wireless has made it official this week that the AirLink Raven X line is going end-of-life (EOL) sooner than their past manufacturing roadmaps indicated. For Raven X the date for the last order placement has been pegged at June 30th 2013. For Raven XT (Verizon Wireless) the date is May 31st. For Raven XE the date is August 31st.
The Sierra Wireless AirLink Raven X, XT, and XT has long been the standard for M2M cell modems in use for Smart Grid applications in the U.S.A.. Sierra Wireless has released the Sierra Wireless AirLink LS300 (1101489, 1101490, 1101491) cell modem as a replacement for this line and many of utility industry clients are currently testing it. Feedback has been good so far, but change is never easy, especially for utility and energy companies where long test-cycles are a part of the best practices.
Is Sierra Wireless going to be firm with their scheduled sunset of the ultra-profitable Raven X line? My inclination is no, however, prudence dictates that the alternative LS300, GX400, and GX440 be tested immediately in order to move them through the standards department and into production.
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.