Category     

Multi-Carrier Software-Defined Radio (Modem Firmware Carrier Switching)

« Go Back

Information

 
Content

Multi-Carrier Software-Defined Radio Switching

Products Supported: Any Cradlepoint router or modem with a LPE designation. Click here to identify your router.*

Firmware Version: 5.3.0 or newer - for information on upgrading firmware, click here

Firmware version 6.0 has been released and introduces a vastly improved GUI for all current Series 3 routers. Cradlepoint has created new Knowledge Base articles with updated screen shots and instructions for the new GUI layout. As a result, this article has received its final update. To view the version of this Knowledge Base article for Firmware 6.0 and Later please click here.


Quick Links

Summary

Manual Carrier Switching

Use Cases

Troubleshooting

Related Articles

 

Summary

With firmware 5.3.0 all LPE devices have the ability to switch the modem firmware to a different carrier. This Multi-Carrier Software-Defined Radio functionality is unique to Cradlepoint products and provides customers the flexibility to expand their coverage options, reduce inventory risk, and future-proof their carrier networks.

Please note that this only changes the modem firmware. To connect with this modem you must also have an activated SIM from the new carrier in the device. Some LPE devices allow you to insert two SIM cards, so you have the ability to include SIMs from two different carriers in a single modem and remotely switch the modem firmware with ECM.

Although a single Cradlepoint modem may have two SIM card slots (e.g., IBR1100 integrated modem), it can only have one modem firmware version on that modem, and therefore only one carrier at a time. The exception is that the AER 2100 could have two distinct integrated MC400 modems, each with two SIM slots. So while each modem by itself can only have one firmware version, the AER 2100 can support two integrated modems - on distinct carriers- simultaneously.

Select from the following methods for instructions on switching the carrier of the modem firmware:
1. Local administration pages
2. ECM Carrier Switching
 


Configuration

Configuration Difficulty: Intermediate

Manual Carrier Switching Preparation:

To update the Modem Carrier (switching the modem between Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or Generic (T-Mobile and US Cellular* in USA and Rogers, Bell, Telus in Canada), the following conditions must be met:

  • Compatible product with a Cradlepoint “LPE” modem. (designated in the router or modem Part Number)
  • Router Firmware version of v5.3.0 or newer.
  • An activated SIM card for carrier being changed to, and provisioned for the IMEI of the modem being changed. (This is especially important for Sprint)
* US Cellular is approved on the following products: 
        MC400LPE-GN  (FW v05.05.58.00 only) 
        AER1600LPE-GN  (FW v05.05.58.00 only)
        IBR6x0LPE-GN   (FW v05.05.58.00 only) 
        IBR110x0LPE-GN  (FW v05.05.58.00 only) 

Manual Carrier switching using a PC:

  • Step 1: Download the appropriate Modem Carrier firmware from the Cradlepoint Connect Portal. This will be a ZIP file labeled specifically for each carrier or Generic:
    • MC7354_5.5.37.0.SPRINT.mdm” for Sprint in North America.
    • MC7354_5.5.16.2_VZW.mdm” for Verizon in North America.
    • MC7354_5.5.16.2_ATT.mdm” for AT&T in North America.
    • MC7354_5.5.16.2_Generic.mdm” for T-Mobile, Rogers, Bell and Telus in North America. NOTE: US Cellular is supported under FW v05.05.58.00 only.
  • Step 2: Save the file to your computer.
  • Step 3: Log in to the router admin page and navigate to Internet > Connection Manager.
  • Step 4: In the WAN Interfaces table, select the desired LPE modem. *Note that for modems with two SIM slots, changing the firmware affects both SIM cards.
  • Step 5: Click Control.
           User-added image
  • Step 6: Click Firmware.
           User-added image
  • Step 7: Then click Manual Firmware Upgrade.
           User-added image
  • Step 8: Locate the saved .mdm file in step 2 and select it.
The router UI will provide the progress status for every step and will eventually reboot. This process will take several minutes. After the router reboots it will then attempt to connect to the new carrier. The new carrier SIM can be inserted either before or after doing the above steps. Remember that inserting a SIM on a COR model requires the router to be powered off. If you receive an error: Consider that you may have to manually update the APN if your SIM is provisioned for one other than the carrier’s default APN. Instructions on how to do this can be found here. You may also need to make sure you are trying to use the same interface and SIM slot. Some products contain two SIM slots, and therefore there are two “Internal LPE” interfaces displayed in Connection Manager. If your active SIM is in slot 1, the “Internal LPE (SIM1)" will be the one to connect with that SIM; SIM slot 2 will correspond to “Internal LPE (SIM2)". Other troubleshooting steps may be found on Cradlepoint’s Support site or by contacting Cradlepoint Support.

ECM Carrier Switching Preparation:

  • Compatible product with a Cradlepoint “LPE” modem (designated in the router or modem Part Number)
  • Router Firmware version of v5.3.0 or newer
  • An activated SIM card for carrier being changed to, and provisioned for the IMEI of the modem being changed (This is especially important for Sprint)

ECM Carrier switching steps:

  • Step 1: Log in to Enterprise Cloud Manager.
  • Step 2: Select the devices tab and then Network Interfaces from the drop down menu at the top.
           User-added image
  • Step 3: At the far right side of the page click the User-added image icon and make sure Modem FW, Modem FW Status, SIM, and Model fields are selected then close the column select window. The Modem FW column will show you which carrier the modem is configured for and the SIM column displays the carrier of the SIM card.
  • Step 4: Next we need to locate the modem we want to switch to another carrier. The easiest way to do this is by sorting the Router Name or Router ID column, or to search by a specific router name using the search tool.
  • Step 5: In the example shown below, the grid is filtered using the search tool (searched by a specific router name, IBR1100LPE) and the filter tool (selected Modems) in the top toolbar so that only the two relevant interfaces display.
           User-added image
  • Step 6: To switch the carrier of the modem firmware, first select the desired interface. *Note that integrated modems with two SIM slots show two interfaces in the grid. Both will always have the same modem firmware, so selecting either one will have the same results.
  • Step 7: Once you have selected an interface, click Commands in the top toolbar and Switch Carrier in the drop down menu.
           User-added image
  • Step 8: Please review the agreement notes before proceeding. This process could knock your device offline.
  • Step 9: Once you click the I Agree button, you can now select the desired carrier. *Note that the Generic modem firmware is equivalent, regardless of whether you select T-Mobile, Bell, Rogers, or Telus.
           User-added image
  • Step 10: After the selection, ECM checks one more time to make sure you want to change the firmware because of the risk of disconnecting the modem. Click OK to continue.
  • Step 11: The modem firmware switch takes a few minutes. The Modem FW Status column shows the state of the update, e.g., "Downloading (38%)," and the Modem FW column shows the update that is in process.
           User-added image
  • Step 12: Once complete, the Modem FW Status column says, "Upgrade Successful" and the Modem FW column is updated with the new firmware version:
           User-added image
  • Step 13: If the update fails for some reason, reboot the router before trying again.
 

Troubleshooting

  • You may have to manually update the APN if your SIM is provisioned for one other than the carrier’s default APN. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.

  • You may also need to make sure you are trying to use the same interface and SIM slot. Some products contain two SIM slots, and therefore there are two “Internal LPE” interfaces displayed in Connection Manager. If your active SIM is in slot 1, the “Internal LPE (SIM1)" will be the one to connect with that SIM; SIM slot 2 will correspond to “Internal LPE (SIM2)".

  • A factory reset will not affect the software defined radio.
     


Related Articles/Links


Published Date: 7/29/2015

This article not have what you need?  Not find what you were looking for?  Think this article can be improved?  Please let us know at suggestions@cradlepoint.com.


 
Knowledge Home | Product