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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

Comparing The New Raven XT V2229T Versus The Old Raven XT V2227


Form factor is identical

Form factor is identical

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.

Clean Tech Innovation–Part One–The Role Of Cellular Data Networks

As a member of my geographical region’s clean tech business interest group, I am often asked about the role of wireless data communications in clean tech initiatives. Many times I find myself defending the inclusion of wireless data communications technology in the clean tech playbook. I firmly believe that wireless data is a catalyst to clean tech. On an elementary level, wireless data vastly reduces truck rolls, which in turn, reduces pollution emissions and the number of vehicles on the road. In the not-to-distant past, before field-based assets were truly connected, the only way to to acquire data was moving a field technician to the scene. Now it is possible not only to obtain data, but to exert control on a field-based asset remotely. Thus, the negatives associated with vehicular transportation are mitigated.

In addition, because clean tech is heavily data-driven, the real-time data acquisition enabled by wireless data networks allows many other clean tech solutions to be viable. In order to propagate this message, I am going to be blogging about how a cellular modem can be integrated with an EV vehicle charger in a uniquely clean tech application.

I look forward to sharing more updates about this project as it progresses.

Sierra Wireless Raven XT Definitively Back In Production And Available Now

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.

Sierra Wireless AirLink ES440 Gateway–How Does It Compare?

After the longest soft-launch period I’ve ever seen, Sierra Wireless  has officially launched the AirLink ES440. This is Sierra Wireless’s custom-built product entry for lucrative the distributed  enterprise marketplace (think big box retail store automation). So how does the AirLink ES440 stack up against other entries in this vertical? For instance, are they duplicating the play of the big cellular player in this niche, CradlePoint?

The answer is no, Sierra Wireless has a different angle versus CradlePoint’s strategy. The ES440 is a cellular Ethernet/serial gateway, that is meant to hang off of a Cisco or Juniper router in pass-through mode. The Cisco or Juniper router has the brains in this topology, and makes the key network routing decisions. The ES440 presents itself to the router as gateway to the LTE network.  In comparison, CradlePoint has specialized in routers, not gateways, and designed their hardware with robust fail-over capabilities and integrated WLAN access points. These capabilities are redundant when used in conjunction with a Cisco router.

CradlePoint has just released their AER 2100, with edge routing capabilities into the market place. This is CradlePoint’s most sophisticated router yet, and this well-priced box will give Cisco a run for their money in mid-market accounts. With this product launch, CradlePoint has indicated that they must be taken very seriously in the router space.

But I digress.  Back to the Sierra Wireless AirLink ES440 comparison… There is something that the ES440 gateway has that many of its competitors don’t have, even though it is a pretty basic box. Sierra Wireless has thought through their sweet spot as a cellular gateway and added a serial port that supports reverse telnet for out of band management (OOBM). For large enterprises that want another method to manage their routers, the ES440 is designed to do exactly that. This ES440 is therefore symbiotic and complementary to the 800 pound router gorillas.

Well played, Sierra Wireless AirLink! See the AirLink ES440 specifications sheet here.

See info about the CradlePoint AER 2100 look here. 



Dual-Network Public/Private LTE Vehicle Router Is Correct Solution For One Municipality

A unified, interoperable, first responder network that is prioritized for public safety and other critical infrastructure entities is an idea worth working toward and fighting for. When achieved, this first responder network will bring a more sophisticated, coordinated, efficient response from our public safety agencies, and it will save lives and increase situational awareness during emergency events. Such a network is technically possible and actively being championed. Band 14 FirstNet is going to be implemented in service to this vision although the important questions, how and when, still have not been clearly answered.

For municipalities who won ARRA grant monies to be distributed by BTOP to build out private LTE 700MHz networks on Band 14, timing is now critical. With the grant monies set to expire in 2015, some municipalities are looking at their prized grant dollars going up in smoke, with no operational private LTE network to show for it.

In North Carolina, one such municipality has a strategy to move forward. Their strategy involves a procurement path that operates within the criteria of their BTOP grant funding and delivers a broadband solution to their critical infrastructure in the short term. This procurement involves procuring a hybrid Band 14 private LTE/public Band 17 or Band 13 mobile broadband gateway. The device will ship with public LTE today, but can be upgraded in the field with a Band 14 FirstNet modem upgrade kit in the future. Once both private and public LTE has been activated in this single mobile LTE vehicle router, it can failover between FirstNet and public LTE seamlessly.

For more information on one dual-network LTE vehicle router that we are confident will be supplying a FirstNet Band 14 upgrade kit, the CalAmp Fusion, visit this overview page

Wireless Data Project Acronym Glossary

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
  • I/O                   Input/Output
  • 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
  • KB                   Kilobyte (Thousands of Bytes)
  • L2                    Microprocessor Level 2 Cache Memory
  • LAWMO         Lock and Wipe Management Object
  • LTE                 Long Term evolution
  • MHz                Megahertz (Millions of Hertz)
  • MIL-STD        U.S. Department of Defense Military Standard
  • MIMO             Multiple Input Multiple Output        
  • MMS               Multimedia Messaging Service; Multimedia Messaging Specification
  • MS                  Microsoft
  • mW                 MilliWatts (Thousandths of Watts)
  • OMA-DM       Open Mobile Alliance Device Management
  • OTDOA          Observed Time Difference of Arrival
  • P25                  Association of Public-Safety Communications Officers international (APCO) Project 25
  • PC                   Personal Computer
  • PCI                  Peripheral Component Interconnect
  • PDA                Personal Digital Assistant
  • PSCR              Public Safety Communications Research
  • PSST               Public Safety Spectrum Trust
  • RAM               Random Access Memory
  • RF                   Radio Frequency
  • RFP                 Request for Proposals
  • RJ-45              A Registered Jack 8 Position 8 Contact, (also 8 position 8 conductor) Modular Connector
  • SCOMO          Software Component Management Object
  • SD                   Secure Digital Flash Memory Card Format
  • SMS                Short Message Service
  • TFT                 Thin-Film Transistor
  • TS                   3GPP Specification Prefix
  • UE                   User Equipment
  • UI                    User interface
  • UICC               Universal Integrated Circuit Card
  • USB                Universal Serial Bus
  • USIM              Universal Subscriber Identity Module
  • VAC                Volts Alternating Current
  • VDC                Volts Direct Current
  • VGA                Video Graphics Array
  • W                    Wide or Width
  • WiFi                Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) Devices Based On IEEE 802.11 Standards
  • WLAN            Wireless Local Area Network           
  • WPA2             WiFi Protected Access Version 2
  • WSVGA          Wide Super Video Graphics Array
  • WVAN            Wireless Vehicular Area Network