GSM modem questions

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I was wondering a few things regarding using GSM modems.

 

If you have let's say ten units spread out over the country, can they all be under one account, or do they need to be individual?  From what I have read about these devices the cellular networks view these modules as standard cell phones, and normal rates apply, which in this case stinks as these modems may be used for maybe 5 times a day, for no more than five minutes each time.  It would be very costly to pay full price for something that is not used very much.

 

Second, I am waiting to hear back from Sierra networks about a service they offer, but I was wondering if anyone knows of a cellular network that is geared to what I explained above?  Simple, low traffic sporadic data only transmissions?

 

Lastly, if I have two AVR, devices in different locations, and I want device A to access device B, is this done through a conventional calling process(lice a cellular telephone), or is it done through TCP/IP?  And if /IP does this mean that both devices will have to have their own static IP address?

 

 

JIm

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Others experience may vary but it's surely better to have all the "nodes" contact a main server that you operate? As it's TCP/IP it doesn't need GSM - just an IP address the GSM nodes can reach.

 

You may also want to explore "private APN's" if you plan to have a number of such nodes.

 

When I worked for Amscreen we had about 10,000 nodes, each with a GPRS modem contacting our central server each night.

 

In the scenario that node A wants to contact node B it would actually be done by A leaving a message of some sort on the server for B to collect rather than a direct A-B link.

 

You also have the question of does the server "call out" to the nodes or do the nodes "call in" to the server. Obviously they just contact an access point and get an IP address then have a connection over IP but it's a question of who instigates that really.

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Ok, good information, but let me put this into a better scenario of what the intent is.....

 

I have a device in every state in the Union(all 50, and Puerto Rico), each device is to have a GSM modem on it.  The device does not initiate ANY Transmissions whatsoever.  It merely sits and does it's thing until a poll from the head end comes in(SPI, USART).  It then sends out the most recent ADC readings and the state of it's inputs, and outputs.  The head end then sends back a disconnect command and the device goes back to it's normal routine.

 

At the head end(let's say jgmDESIGNS HQ), there is a software package running on a PC that polls the remote devices one at a time, receives the responses, stores them, signs off.  That's it.  Maybe some off line processing, but nothing else.  This is why I asked about the TCP/IP.  How would a static PC running the software access the remote devices connected to a GSM?

 

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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That kinda reminds me of the old dial up BBS systems and how they would share data/files/email, etc.......

 

I wonder how they did it using 6502/6800/8080/z80.....   

 

tanks for the memories. 

 

 

Jim

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jgmdesign wrote:
If you have let's say ten units spread out over the country, can they all be under one account

That depends on what you mean by "Account". Or what your Service Provider means by "Account".

 

I would strongly recommend that you get a proper M2M Service; although SIMs from your high street consumer phone shop can "work",  you will get absolutely no support whatsoever - they simply cannot comprehend the concept of a device which is not a phone (or tablet)!

 

sad

 

Quote:
the cellular networks view these modules as standard cell phones

To the network, they are all "Mobile Stations" (MS)

 

Quote:
and normal rates apply

That depends on what service you go for - see above...

 

Quote:
these modems may be used for maybe 5 times a day, for no more than five minutes each time.  It would be very costly to pay full price for something that is not used very much.

Over here, you're charged for what you use - Minutes, Megabytes, Messages (usually with a certain allowance of each per month) - not per day.

 

Again, a proper M2M Service would be specifically designed for this type of usage.

 

Quote:
I was wondering if anyone knows of a cellular network that is geared to what I explained above?  Simple, low traffic sporadic data only transmissions?

Not familiar with the US market, but I gather that Aeris offers such?

 

Quote:
Lastly, if I have two AVR, devices in different locations, and I want device A to access device B, is this done through a conventional calling process(lice a cellular telephone)

To do that, you'd need to make a Data call (aka "Circuit-Switched Data", CSD). Most carriers are discontinuing (or have discontinued) CSD service...

 

Quote:
or is it done through TCP/IP?

Yes, TCP/IP is the "usual" way - but, as Cliff says, you'd usually go via a "server" - not direct device-to-device.

 

Quote:
And if /IP does this mean that both devices will have to have their own static IP address?

Not necessarily. In fact, not generally.

 

Static is not the big issue - it's whether you have a Public (aka "routable") address that makes the differense.

 

Most networks (certainly consumer networks) do not give Public IP addresses - so you cannot "call in" to the device.

 

As Cliff says, it is far more common to have the device call-in to the "Server" - then you need neither public nor static addresses!

 

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jgmdesign wrote:
a poll from the head end comes in(SPI, USART)

 

Quote:
At the head end (let's say jgmDESIGNS HQ)

 

Sorry: a bit confused what you mean by "head end" here? If the "head end" is remote, how can it poll the device via SPI/UART ?

 

As previously noted. it's much easier (and more common) to have the devices "poll"-in to the "server" - then there's no need for public IP addresses.

 

If you really need the "server" to be able to "ping" the remote devices, it can use SMS - like a pager to say, "Call Me!"

 

Here's one I prepared earlier: http://www.antronics.co.uk/portf...

 

Last Edited: Fri. Mar 13, 2015 - 08:18 PM
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Who is "Sierra networks" ?

 

Not these, surely: http://sierranetworkinc.com/

 

These: http://www.sierra-networks.com/ ?

 

Others you might consider:

 

Wyless - I think they are now also in the US? http://www.wyless.com/

 

Jasper: http://www.jasper.com/

 

 

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None of the above, but the first link was a nice splash on the screen wink

 

it's these folks:

http://www.sierrawireless.com/

 

Jim

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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Ah: Sierra Wireless - not Sierra Networks!!

 

Yes, I know them well: http://blog.antronics.co.uk/2014...

 

(formerly Wavecom)

 

AFAIK, they don't actually provide airtime - you have to arrange that yourself with a cellular provider - but they do have a "cloud platform": http://www.sierrawireless.com/pr...

 

Last Edited: Fri. Mar 13, 2015 - 11:00 PM
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Andy pretty well covered what the deal is out here. I learnt the hard way about the fundamentals of 3g connectivity. For data, there is usually one or two levels of NAT (network address translation). Phone network ->phone co->interwebs. This means for the usual data connection, you cannot initiate a connection to the mobile device. This means it is hard to hack. But i wanted to access a remote computer so i got a static ip on the service. Easy- i could access my remote computer via the interwebs, so could everyone else. The mobile device was getting hacked by some kids in China. They didn't get in, but they did burn my data. I got a bill for $400 rather than $40. So for normal data sims, your mobile device has to initiate the connection. The telcos (and other resellers) can usually offer a VPN so your mobiles don't get to see the interwebs so this means you have your own private network. Your computer vpn's into the telco's server and you can talk to your mobile devices.
So, talk to your telco or reseller.

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jgmdesign wrote:
If you have let's say ten units spread out over the country, can they all be under one account, or do they need to be individual?
One account; pre-paid (duration and sizing) or monthly.

jgmdesign wrote:
... but I was wondering if anyone knows of a cellular network that is geared to what I explained above?
T-Mobile by Jazz Wireless Data though Jazz does state that other partners exist; pre-paid via Digi-Key, monthly direct to Jazz.

jgmdesign wrote:
Lastly, if I have two AVR, devices in different locations, and I want device A to access device B, is this done through a conventional calling process(lice a cellular telephone), or is it done through TCP/IP?  And if /IP does this mean that both devices will have to have their own static IP address?
Jazz states SMS (monthly), IP, static, dynamic, VPN.

A number of options including roaming for your international customers.

cell phone -

  • Android Open Accessory (is it iAP for iOS?)  iow have the phone handle the network (WAN or LAN).  Phone stores data and sends it when it's ready or convenient.
  • Verizon Wireless may have a 40USD smart phone in 2016 for US.

Jazz Wireless Data

Prepaid Products

http://www.jazzwirelessdata.com/?page=prepaidproducts

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Kartman wrote:
I learnt the hard way about the fundamentals of 3g connectivity.
IIRC "keith v" in Minnesota has stated similar and also that the SLOC is significant.

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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A possible follow-on to the AVR is an Atmel Cortex-M0; Atmel is in mbed and mbed will have a 2G/3G stack in mbed OS.

mbed Device Server, either your own or by virtual, would have the database and run analysis applications or serve the apps to web browsers.

mbed OS overview

http://developer.mbed.org/blog/entry/Announcing-our-plans-for-mbed-v30/ 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Hmmm, some interesting stuff here.  I will have quite the homework assignment when this comes to pass.

 

Thanks all.

 

JIm

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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jgmdesign wrote:
Lastly, if I have two AVR, devices in different locations, and I want device A to access device B, is this done through a conventional calling process(lice a cellular telephone), or is it done through TCP/IP?  And if /IP does this mean that both devices will have to have their own static IP address?
There appears to be a cellular phone protocol that only needs IP for the server; any cell phone, or cell modem (some/all?), use Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and the provider's network connects to an IP server (or virtual server) I assume by a URL.

Wasn't aware of USSD until noticed USSD was listed in the protocols for an off-the-shelf 2G gateway and wondered what's USSD.

USSD might be a common protocol for M2M and the operators' own cell phones; or, USSD for M2M (modems, server) and web for operators' feature phones or smart phones to/from the server.

 

2G gateway -

US/California ACKme Networks may be close to being value-added for UK's Eseye.

This gateway is a mega32u4 with a 2G modem; mega32u4 signals on an IDC connector and RS232 for extra reach; might run on a 12V SLA (or such) though appears a small battery is in the box.

SIM - internal to box plus a slot for a second SIM.

Voice calls can be made; iow connections for external headset(s).

2G's security is effectively cracked so might, or likely will, need encryption for the data.


Quirk

Mobile Technologies: SMS, MMS, USSD and Bluetooth /Wireless /Infrared

(page 2 of 3)

http://www.quirk.biz/resources/mobile101/285/1/Mobile-Technologies-SMS-MMS-USSD-and-Bluetooth-Wireless-Infrared

USSD

...

How Does it Work? A USSD gateway is the automated system that bridges the gap between mobile handsets and IP based systems and finally connects to the portal which retrieves the information requested.

...

USSD Functionality

...

USSD is reminiscent of early information platforms such as Usenet (a primitive Internet-based system) and Teletext of the 1970s (which is still use today, especially on interactive digital television). The difference is that USSD has increased functionality, making it a powerful tool that’s here to stay.

...

Advantages of USSD Services

  • Extremely low cost
  • ...

ACKme Networks - a Sensors.com brand

ADC200 (Hera)

ACKme Hera200 is a 2G GSM gateway solution

https://ack.me/products/ADC200_Hera

Eseye

HERA200 GSM Gateway

http://www.eseye.com/hera200/

...

  • Access and management for international mobile networks
  • ...

Edits : less, then more, in first quote.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Thu. Mar 26, 2015 - 09:21 AM
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The cellular operators use USSD "internally" for things like checking prepay balance, voicemail notification, etc.

 

But it is not widely used for M2M. You would need a gateway/server; there aren't many around.

 

In terms of operation, payload & performance, it's much like SMS.

 

It is not IP based.

 

 

Last Edited: Thu. Mar 26, 2015 - 10:31 AM
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Yeah, needs a USSD gateway to get to your web server.

Telestax has USSD gateway software; for US, Verizon might operate Telestax products.


Logo

TelScale

USSD Gateway

http://telestax.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/PRODUCT-DATASHEET-TELSCALE-USSD.pdf

Google Code

Logo

ussdgateway

USSD Gateway.

Enables web developers to build server side interactive messaging apps for mobile phones over SS7 infrastructure.

Wiki

https://code.google.com/p/ussdgateway/wiki/Welcome?tm=6

TeleStax – Open Source Cloud Communications

TeleStax – Open Source Cloud Communications Telestax Open Source projects - Mobicents

http://www.telestax.com/open-source/

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Thu. Mar 26, 2015 - 11:29 AM
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Your need the Network Operator to create the access for you - otherwise the network won't know where to route your requests.

 

Edit:

 

Actually, I think you need to get it set up by each network that you plan to use ...

Last Edited: Thu. Mar 26, 2015 - 12:11 PM
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jgmdesign wrote:
... but I was wondering if anyone knows of a cellular network that is geared to what I explained above?  Simple, low traffic sporadic data only transmissions?
There's a Kickstarter, terminating TODAY at 1800 EDT US, that will be a complete package of module (competitor's Cortex-M3, 2G or 3G modem, SIM) and a world-wide fixed price monthly plan.

Kickstarter

Spark Electron: Cellular dev kit with a global data plan

by Spark IO

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sparkdevices/spark-electron-cellular-dev-kit-with-a-simple-data

...

The industry is set up for big, established companies that already know how to navigate telcos, not for individuals. And if you're not in the club already, it's hard to gain entrance.

M2M feels like it's ripe for disruption; we want to make it a lot easier for people to create cellular-connected products.

...

It works like an Arduino. It runs a single application, which you can write using Wiring (Arduino's programming language) or C/C++, or ARM assembly, or whatever. It's open source, it's easy, and it's fun. 

...

Our SIM card: Worldwide!

...

We’re becoming a carrier. We'll provide SIM cards and manage the cellular connectivity completely via your Spark account, giving you the power to control your account with no contracts.

...

A note about 2G and 3G: Some U.S. carriers are planning to sunset their 2G networks beginning in 2017.

...

The data plan: Cheap. And no contracts.

...

We've negotiated global low-cost data plans for low-bandwidth products. 

Here's the story for most of you (U.S., Canada, Europe, most of Latin America, a few others):

...

The best way to disrupt an industry is to raise a rumpus, and we think that Kickstarter is the perfect venue to do just that. 

...

US - major carriers.

Movistar - IIRC the coverage is Mexico, Central America, and maybe South America.

OTAU capability.

Found via :

Spark

Open source IoT toolkit

https://www.spark.io/

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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That looks very interesting!

 

There are a number of other module/board vendors who have teamed-up with Service Providers to give a "one-stop" solution; eg,

 

http://www.electronicspecifier.c...

 

http://www.sierrawireless.com/ne...

 

http://www.clearconnex.com/conte...

 

 

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Wow, that IS interesting.

Thank You

 

JIm

If you want a career with a known path - become an undertaker. Dead people don't sue! - Kartman

Please Read: Code-of-Conduct

Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB user

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We just had these guys intoday;

https://www.nimbelink.com/

 

Certified modems no PTCRB required.

Plug into an XBee socket

 

You still need to talk to it of course and like mentioned above. takes some work to do right. But if it's just for a home project and doesn't cost a field trip to fix, it's a lot easier...

Keith Vasilakes

Firmware engineer

Minnesota

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LoRa™ might be an alternate way sometime on some telecom.

There's a LoRa™ module :

IC eases LoRa design

April 20, 2015

http://www.embedded.com/electronics-blogs/cole-bin/4439252/IC-eases-LoRa-design

...

... the European R&TTE Directive Assessed Radio-specified 433/868 MHz wireless spectrum, a license-free Industry Scientific and Medical (ISM) frequency band.

...

... and telecom-operated public networks—to create Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) with nationwide coverage.

...

Would be interesting to know the telecoms that will be adding LoRa™ gateways.


LoRa

LoRa™ Technology

http://www.lora-alliance.org/What-Is-LoRa/Technology

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Haven't these people heard of Cilla Black? frown

 

There's a lorra, lorra Lora technology there!

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IBM Research

Low Power Networking Technology from IBM and Semtech to Help Enable Telcos to Launch New Services for the Internet of Things

ARMONK, N.Y. - 11 Mar 2015

https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/46287.wss

(abstract at news release's bottom)

IBM Research and Semtech announced a new technology based on low-power, wide-area networks that offers significant advantages over cellular networks and Wifi for providing M2M communications.

...

(from the top)

...

IBM has also made the LoRaWAN protocol open source (Eclipse Public License) for end-node development known as “LoRaWAN in C”.

...

LoRa appears to have a larger footprint in Europe though the above news release mentions one telco in South Africa and one New Hampshire NaaS.


IBM Research - Zurich: Industry & Cloud Solutions, Industry Solutions, Cross-Industry: LRSC

IBM Long-Range Signaling and Control (LRSC)

A highly efficient M2M infrastructure

LoRa WAN in C
http://www.research.ibm.com/labs/zurich/ics/lrsc/lmic.html

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

Last Edited: Sat. Apr 25, 2015 - 06:07 AM
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Ting, a part of Tucows, is another M2M for CONUS (GSM, CDMA).

2G sunset for US GSM - for AT&T but not T-Mobile.

Adafruit Industries has two GSM boards and the Ting 2G SIM.


https://plus.google.com/+adafruit/posts/WX1qQJRxyei (if you don't have access to Google try the next link)

Adafruit Industries

GSM 2G SIM Card from Ting & Adafruit - Data/Voice/Text Multisize

https://www.adafruit.com/products/2505

Ting Logo

https://ting.com/about

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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gchapman wrote:
Ting, a part of Tucows, is another M2M

Really - M2M ?

 

Looking at the site, all I see is consumer phone stuff - nothing about M2M.

Last Edited: Tue. May 12, 2015 - 05:45 AM
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There is an M2M mention not by Ting :

Adafruit Learning System

Adafruit FONA

Call phones, send and receive SMSs, & more!  All with FONA

SIM800

Obtaining a SIM

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-fona-mini-gsm-gprs-cellular-phone-module/obtaining-a-sim

...

There are specialty "machine 2 machine" SIM sellers ...

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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The only mention of "M2M" that I could see on that page is,

If you have an older AT&T SIM it may work. AT&T announced in 2012 that they would shut down their 2G network January 1, 2017. The vast majority of M2M (machine-to-machine) cellular devices use GSM, so the 5 year lead time was to give people plenty of time to migrate from AT&T.
 

Edit:

 

Sorry. I searched "M2M" - not "machine to machine"

 

There are specialty "machine 2 machine" SIM sellers that have plans that are tuned for the short bursts of usage used by these kinds of modules. Check out these guysfor example

But "these guys" refers to http://www.embeddedworks.net/wsi... - which is not  Ting/Tucows

Last Edited: Wed. May 13, 2015 - 06:24 AM
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For the avoidance of doubt, I'm not saying that any of these will not work - that's not my point.

 

My point is that a general consumer provider - or even a business phone provider - is not going to understand M2M and will not be able to give you any help or support when you inevitably run into network issues.

 

See comment #5

 

Last Edited: Wed. May 13, 2015 - 06:30 AM
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awneil wrote:
Not familiar with the US market, but I gather that Aeris offers such?

Part of its North America GSM coverage map :

Neo - Powered by Aeris

Neo™

#1 M2M Wireless Communications Service Coverage

http://neo.aeris.com/iot-connectivity/coverage-map/

...

Do you need CDMA?

...

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller