Automatic Network Operator Switching in the AirLink Raven RV50 LTE Cellular Gateway

Have you ever wished for an industrial gateway that would work with major North American (and International) network operators seamlessly and quickly WITHOUT user intervention and configuration??? Well...we're still not quite there yet, but the latest offering from Sierra Wireless - the AirLink Raven RV50 LTE Cellular Gateway - takes quite a leap in that direction.

One of the key features in the Raven RV50 is the automatic network operator switching. What this means is the gateway is able to intelligently detect the cellular network operator (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) based on the inserted SIM card and automatically load the appropriate radio module firmware needed for the SIM to operate normally. This makes the Raven RV50 versatile by simplifying the product selection to a SINGLE product variant for the North American market. You now have the flexibility to use the modem with any carrier (4) of your choosing without the need to buy additional hardware specific to a cellular carrier if/when your carrier requirements or deployment strategies change. Because there is only one product variant with the Raven RV50, you don't have to pre-determine or pre-allocate units for deployment based on wireless carriers. THAT'S RIGHT! You can stock up on any number of RV50 modem units and never have to worry about field deployments going awry because of carrier coverage issues. It can be configured to work on any of the four major wireless carriers. The Raven RV50 pushes the envelope in making the cellular gateway closer to being "carrier agnostic".

Here's how the automatic network switching works: When the gateway powers on or reboots, it automatically selects and uses the appropriate radio module firmware for the installed primary SIM card, if it is stored in the gateway. If there is no SIM card installed in the primary SIM card slot, the gateway switches to the SIM card in the secondary SIM card slot. The network operator switching process should complete on average in about 6-7 minutes. The Raven RV50 comes pre-loaded with four Radio Module firmware files:
  1. Verizon
  2. AT&T
  3. Sprint
  4. Generic (T-Mobile/Canada)
On Verizon and Sprint networks, the provisioning will most always succeed OTA (over the air) and the gateway should sync and register the proper APN, MTN, and IP address automatically. With other network operators, the provisioning varies based on the plan (private/public) and type (static/dynamic) of your mobile data network. For example, if you acquire a public static IP from AT&T, you have to manually enter the APN in the SIM SLOT APN configuration field of AceManager in order for the gateway to register on the AT&T network with the proper MTN and IP address.

There isn't an option for an automated failover/failback of carrier networks in the Raven RV50 at this time (at the time of this writing). This feature is scheduled to be added in a future ALEOS firmware update.

For more information on the Network Operator Switching and Radio Module Firmware selection, refer to the ALEOS 4.5.0 Software Configuration User Guide.