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Old August 6th, 2019, 08:34 PM   #1
Albert LaFrance
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Cell modem data plan with public or static IP address?

For remote monitoring of solar energy systems, we've been using Multitech eCell (MTE) modems which our monitoring supplier furnishes bundled with T-Mobile data plans. That works great for most of our systems, where the monitoring equipment pushes data to a remote proxy server that the users access to view the data. However, we now have an application where we'll be running a server on-site, behind the cell modem, so to make it accessible we need either a reachable public address that we can use with dynamic DNS, or a static address.

Although the modem configuration screen shows a WAN IP address, that address isn't reachable from the internet. Apparently T-Mobile does an address translation between the internet and the modem.

Has anyone run into this problem and found a solution?
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Old August 6th, 2019, 08:53 PM   #2
mk42
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You have to get a special SIM to get that. If I recall, we had to ask for M2M (machine to machine) cards, something like that. The problem is that the team at the cell company is interested in talking to people who buy lots, not who buy a couple, so we did a lot of banging our heads against the wall.
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Old August 7th, 2019, 12:07 AM   #3
Albert LaFrance
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Thanks - that's exactly where we're at right now! I wouldn't have believed it would be so difficult.

A T-Mobile rep referred me to a reseller that specializes in M2M/IoT and seems to offer what we need, but their business is oriented toward device manufacturers rather than end users. They made us complete a dealer application, and after that was approved, they sent us a lengthy contract with many requirements (like insurance coverage) beyond a simple consumer relationship. My protests that we're a retail customer, just like the guy who walks into a cell phone store, seem to fall on deaf ears.
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Old August 7th, 2019, 01:33 AM   #4
chud
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This is a total mess when it comes to mobile operators....I stopped a while back with struggling with modems and started using Secomea. I believe **** ********** (if the site blocks the word) does the same.
With secomea you also can use sim card and connect with serial or ethernet to devices. Then you can forward whatever data you want from the plc. Just saves so many headaches

lets try this again e w o n
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Old August 7th, 2019, 02:32 AM   #5
BryanG
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Quote:
so to make it accessible we need either a reachable public address that we can use with dynamic DNS, or a static address
If you do that you make it reachable by anyone with internet access and you will need spend a load of time thinking about security. Use one of the VPN devices and save yourself a headache, also you then don't need a static IP address or to use Dynamic DNS. I use e w o n as mentioned above, (spaces are because the site doesn't like it without). There are other suppliers and systems that I am sure others will mention.
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Old August 7th, 2019, 02:37 AM   #6
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My answer is region specific, and probably just for info. But...

In the EU we used a "normal data" sim card negotiated with one of the major carriers. It would start ticking monthly fee only after the first connection and we installed it in all machines into e w o n then no problem to reach machines remotely or for them to log to cloud.
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Old August 23rd, 2019, 01:10 AM   #7
Albert LaFrance
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Just wanted to thank everyone for your very helpful replies and suggestions. Right now, I'm leaning toward the VPN solution - I think that will address not just the immediate problem, but also the long-term need for management of our remote systems.
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Old August 23rd, 2019, 09:28 AM   #8
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Try the **** Cosy 131 (VPN). With an external antenna you should be able to get one for around $800. The VPN services that it uses are all free to use.
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Old August 23rd, 2019, 12:56 PM   #9
lesmar96
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For some of our applications, which were on Verizon, we were able to purchase M2M SIM cards from our Verizon reseller. On those plans, static IPs came free and they were very cost-effective.
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Old August 26th, 2019, 03:52 PM   #10
lfe
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Using the MQTT protocol it is not necessary for remote sites (clients) to have a static IP or dynamic DNS, a simple data plan should work since the clients communicate through a central Broker.

Clients can both publish data and receive data for other clients, if they subscribe.

It has the disadvantage that does not offer native encryption
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Old August 26th, 2019, 04:32 PM   #11
strantor
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Look into Proxicast. They have a few solutions that might work for you.
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