Installing A SIM Into A Sierra Wireless GX400W Or GX440W With WiFi

Many of our clients who order Sierra Wireless AirLink GX400 or GX440 cellular gateways with WiFi (like these models 1101531,  1101691 ) find out the hard way that the SIM is very difficult to install. The SIM does not come pre-installed, and the process is not quick to perform. Do it incorrectly or incompetently and risk doing damage to the device itself.  I highly recommend opting to have the SIM installed at the time of sale. Companies like USAT Corp. do that service for a very nominal fee and it comes as a standard part of the device provisioning (DevProv+) professional services. However, if you find yourself in the situation of having to install the SIM yourself, know this key information:

The SIM slot is located on the front left (as you are looking at the side with the lights and the reset button) behind the plastic cover. To access the SIM slot on the device you must remove the plastic cover with a 2mm or 5/64” hexagon Allen wrench.

Step 1: Unplug your GX400/440 from power source.

Step 2: Remove the four hex screws on top of the unit (used to secure the black cover) using a 2mm or 5/64” size Allen (hex) wrench. Place screws in a safe spot, these screws will be used again.

Step 3: Remove the nut and washer from the front facing SMA connector using a 5/16 or 8mm socket torque wrench to a torque spec of 8in-lbs. Place nut and washer in a safe spot, these will be used again.

Step 4: Slide the top black cover off of the device.

Step 5: Install the SIM card with the gold contacts facing down and the cut-out facing to the right.

Re-Installing The Cover Plate

The cover has a tab to mechanically secure the SIM in place during extreme vibration. When replacing the cover:

Step 1: Install the black cover by lining up the SMA antenna connector with the hole in the cover, tilt the rear of the cover slightly to make sure the front bottom of the cover seats in the front ridge, and then push the top of the cover down.

Step 2: Re-install the 4 hex screws on top of the unit.

Step 3: Place the lock washer onto the SMA antenna connector and push to the face of the cover.

Step 4: Install then tighten nut with a 5/16 or 8mm socket torque wrench to a torque spec of 8in-lbs.

Static IP For AT&T LTE Not Yet An Option

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.

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.

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.

LTE Evolution Program Released For GX400 AT&T HSPA+ Intelligent Gateways

Yesterday Sierra Wireless released an LTE Evolution program for their HSPA+ GX400s that mimics the program that they already have in place for the upgrade of the Verizon Wireless EVDO REV A GX400s to LTE. This brilliant piece of marketing allows a future upgrade to LTE for fee for this option paid up front. It is like buying into the LTE futures market. For clients with money to spend now, but a mandate to move to LTE when it rolls out, this program may fit the bill exactly. The part numbers are below:

1101207 GX400 HSPA+ AT&T and others (incl. AC power cable and 3 year warranty) CANNOT BE UPGRADED
1101276 GX400 HSPA+ AT&T and others (incl. DC power cable and 3 year warranty) CANNOT BE UPGRADED

GX400 UPGRADE READY
1101445 Upgrade Ready GX400 HSPA+ AT&T and others (incl. AC power cable and 3 year warranty)
See here.
1101446 Upgrade Ready GX400 HSPA+ AT&T and others (incl. DC power cable and 3 year warranty)
See here.
GX400 PERFORM UPGRADE
9010112 Upgrade to GX440 LTE AT&T (incl. AC power cable and warranty)

October Release Planned For Toughbooks With AT&T LTE

A tentative release date of October has been set by Panasonic for select Toughbooks with AT&T LTE 4G wireless modules integrated inside. All 4G Toughbooks will contain MIMO antennas inside the case. There is not a dock option that will allow MIMO functionality to pass thru to an external antenna at this time.

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.