For those who were disappointed with the limited GPS functionality in the first release of the CradlePoint COR IBR600, know that CradlePoint has released a new version that should address the GPS functionality limitations inherent in their first design. CradlePoint has released a redesigned version, the COR IBR600LE-PWD for Verizon Wireless (VZW) and the CORIBR600LP-PWD for AT&T, that has active, powered GPS. What this means is that for these two models a separate GPS co-ax connector is present so that a fully-powered external GPS antenna can be used. This feature set upgrade is crucial for any application that needs real-time long/lat data.
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…
Since the the Sierra Wireless GX440 for AT&T LTE was just released, I’ve been making some inquiries to ensure that our projects involving this device proceed very smoothly. Two bits of info that I would like to share:
- A special SIM for AT&T LTE will be required to run on the AT&T LTE network the SIM that we used for 2G/3G deployments will not work.
- At this time AT&T’s LTE Network does not support CCS or I2Gold. What this means is that Static IPs are not yet available on the AT&T LTE network. A resolution is being worked on and I hope to have an update on this to share soon.
For those Panasonic Toughbook users out there who are computing wirelessly, say good-bye to the embedded Qualcomm GOBI 2000 module. Panasonic has announced that they will be building no more new, unallocated units with the GOBI 2000 module–the only remaining open stock of Toughbooks with the embedded GOBI module are now in the channel, limited in quantity and that stock will soon be exhausted. Going forward in the short term, some Toughbooks are available with Verizon Wireless or AT&T 4G LTE modules embedded inside. (Please note there is no short term option for Sprint network embedded radios within Toughbooks.) Embedded 4G LTE will be available for the Toughbook 31, 19, H2, 53 and C1. Taking a longer view, Panasonic plans to adopt the GOBI 3000 radio as an optional radio embedded within the Toughbook line when it becomes available.
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.
Great news from Sierra Wireless AirLink about the AT&T LTE version of the GX400/GX440. It should be shipping in July 2012.
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.
Companies who have been considering deploying the Sierra Wireless GX400 or GX440 intelligent gateways in their applications but have been holding off for WiFi capability can start the procurement process.
The WiFi X-Card launch has been announced and orders are now being taken for this expansion card (for upgrading existing units) and WiFi-capable versions of the GX400 and GX440.
Sierra announced the release with the following description;
Utilizing the expansion slot standard in all AirLink GX400 and GX440 intelligent gateways, the Wi-Fi Expansion Card (Wi-Fi X-Card) dramatically increases the capability of the device by providing 802.11b/g/n Access Point (hotspot) or Client Mode functionality. This enables applications for mobile office, temporary office locations, mission critical environments and more.
The Wi-Fi X-Card is a standards-based wireless local-area network (WLAN) card, enabling communication with any other WLAN equipped device, including laptops, smartphones, printers, fingerprint readers and much more. The Wi-Fi X-Card can also operate in client mode giving you the ability to connect to your own Access Point and give the flexibility of using your Wi-Fi network instead of the cellular network when available. All Wi-Fi parameter settings (such as security encryption) are available through point-and-click menu-driven web pages.
Key Features: 802.11 b/g/n access point and client support; easily installed; same rugged environmental specifications of the GX devices; security protocols
The card seamlessly integrates with the GX device and user configuration is easily performed through the web-based graphical interface and ALEOS embedded intelligence.
The card itself will be offered for $100 through authorized sellers, while the GX400 will retail for $699 and the GX440 for $899. Sierra Wireless expects to start shipping in late April.
Neal Gompa over at ExtremeTech.com has written a very thorough explanation of LTE. Neal explains the article’s focus and purpose thusly;
In this article, I will discuss what configurations LTE can be deployed in, why LTE is easily deployable, how LTE works as a radio technology, what types of LTE exist, how LTE affects battery life, what network operators want LTE to do, and the future of 4G as a whole. The most technical parts of the article are LTE can be deployed in, why LTE is easily deployable, how LTE works as a radio technology, and what types of LTE exist.
If you’re looking for a complete explanation of LTE, I would highly recommend taking a look at this article.