M2M One – December 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to M2M One’s December newsletter. As the end of another busy year approaches, we advise you of deadlines for M2M One orders and hours of operations leading up to the Christmas and New Year period. Our support is available over the Christmas break even though our office is closed.

We thank you for your business this year. It has been a pleasure helping you reach your goals, and we look forward to contributing to your success next year. The team at M2M One would like to wish you all a happy and safe break over the Christmas Holiday period and hopes for an exciting 2016.

This months newsletter features:

  1. Notification – Christmas Business Hours
  2. Reference – Useful Documents
  3. Blog – LTE Enhancements for M2M and IoT
  4. Customer Reminder – Telstra 2G (GSM) 900MHz Shutdown

1. Notification – Christmas Business Hours

The M2M One office will be closed over the Christmas & New Years period:

M2M Office closes – 5:00pm Wednesday December 23rd 2015

M2M Office re-opens – 8:30am Monday January 4th 2016

Key Dates & Times

SIM Card Orders – Last SIM card orders are 3:00pm on Wednesday December 23rd

IPX Network Changes – Changes to IPX, VPN or Gateway configurations must be submitted before 5:00pm on Wednesday December 23rd

Technical Support – M2M One Technical Support will be available throughout the holiday period using the emergency contact details listed below – If your issue is not critical please continue to use support@m2mone.com.au

Key Contacts at M2M One

Non-critical Technical Support & IPX Network Changes – Email support@m2mone.com.au or call +61 3 9696 3011 in office hours

Emergency Technical Support – For emergency support please call Prashanth Phutane on +61 488 286 600 or James Mack on +61 411 823 787

SIM Card Orders – Email orders@m2mone.com.au

Invoice, Accounts & Billing – Email accounts@m2mone.com.au

Sales & Account Management (VIC, SA, TAS) – Contact Gideon Borden on gideon.borden@m2mone.com.au or +61 434 770 771

Sales & Account Management (QLD, WA, NT) – Contact Sean Taylor on

sean.taylor@m2mone.com.au or +61 421 724 844

Sales & Account Management (NSW, ACT) – Contact Peter Austin on

peter.austin@m2mone.com.au or +61 407 595 393

Sales Outside of Australia or Service Escalation – Contact James Mack on

james.mack@m2mone.com.au or +61 411 823 787

If you have any questions regarding your service from M2M One, the M2M Control Centre or anything else please don’t hesitate to contact our support team at support@m2mone.com.au or contact me directly at james.mack@m2mone.com.au

2. Reference – Useful Documents

M2M One is building a library of reference material for our customers. Information includes the following useful documents:

Current Retail Pricing – Contact Us

M2M Control Centre Guide – https://www.m2mone.com.au/m2m-downloads/manuals/M2M-One-Control%20Centre-Customer-Admin-Guide-May-2015.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions – https://www.m2mone.com.au/faq/

M2M One Support Portal – https://www.m2mone.com.au/m2m-support/

 

If you have any questions or need any support on pricing, data usage, spend or general control centre support contact M2M One at any time at support@m2mone.com.au

3. Blog – LTE Enhancements for M2M & IoT

This week we’re doing something a little different – We wanted to reach out to other businesses in the M2M/IoT ecosystem and get their opinions and tips on the industry. The first cab off the rank is M2M Connectivity, a specialist M2M hardware provider offering a range of products designed to help people build their ideal M2M product. With all the talk of 2G shutting down (read our blog) and companies deciding to make the jump to 3G or LTE we wanted to get some technical perspectives on LTE and the different flavors available…

You can read the full blog on LTE Enhancements for M2M & IoT here

4. Reminder – Telstra 2G 900MHz Shutdown

We would like to continue to remind our customers that Telstra will discontinue their 2G/GSM network on the 1st of December 2016. This has implications for M2M One customers using 2G 900MHz GSM/GPRS modems.

You can view our official notification here

M2M One customers with 2G devices have the opportunity to utilize 3G and soon 4G LTE. All M2M One SIM cards are compatible with the Telstra 2G, 3G and soon 4G network so you will not need to physically change any SIM cards from M2M One.

M2MOne customers affected by the shut down of Telstra’s 2G/GSM network who are looking for solutions/alternatives for their 2G/GSM devices are advised to contact a 3G/4G LTE device vendor.
Please read M2M One’s notification of the shutdown if you haven’t already.

You can also read our blog on the Australian 2G Shutdown here

If you do not know if your devices will be affected by this please contact M2M One and we can help you.
M2M Tips – Building a cellular M2M or IoT solution? How to maximize your up time.

M2M Tips – Building a cellular M2M or IoT solution? How to maximize your up time.

Over the past 15 years the team at M2M Connectivity & M2M One have coached, consulted, celebrated and at times commiserated with thousands of hopeful developers trying to make their mark on the Machine to Machine/Internet of Things landscape.

This series of blog posts is designed to pass on some M2M 101 style tips to developers looking to get into the space.

A big question we get asked is “How do I keep my device online as long as possible”, while it’s almost impossible to provide 100% uptime for any wireless device we’ve provided a few tips below to help you get closer.

 

A few things to consider:

  • Expect outages! – Despite their best intentions every single mobile operator in the world still has to have periods where they restart or change a network element either planned or otherwise.
  • ‘Mobile’ Networks – Most people aren’t in the same spot using their phone or iPad for 24 hours a day so they don’t notice network changes or intricacies, but m2m devices are a bit different. A data-logger measuring the water level of a reservoir isn’t going anywhere so if the network goes down, even for a moment it’s communication is going to be interrupted.
  • Is coverage available? – In countries like Australia you can have vast regions of unpopulated land, at some point you’re going to run out of cellular coverage so you need to think of how to cope.

 

Worst case scenario... - Photo courtesy of http://www.engineeringradio.us

Worst case scenario… – Photo courtesy of http://www.engineeringradio.us

So how can you preempt a lack of cellular coverage?

1. Store and forward – Make sure you have enough memory on your hardware to store at least one or two days of data, that way if you experience an outage or your device moves out of cellular coverage temporarily nothing is lost.

 

2. Build a smarter modem – This is particularly important for devices that don’t move between cell towers. Previously we advised customers building M2M devices that they should factor in an automatic reboot to any stationary M2M device at minimum once a day. This is still a great tried and tested solution, but if you need something that communicates 24 hours a day an unnecessary restart may be impractical.

A majority of modem manufacturers include a ‘watchdog’ feature in their hardware which can be set to ping an IP address at certain intervals, this can either be a public known IP like Google for example, or your own network. If the device is unable to ping the ‘watchdog’ address then it will automatically power cycle the modem, without you having to do anything.

For older devices without a ‘watchdog’ we still recommend an automatic reboot at least once a day, and having some kind of failover like being able to restart the device with an SMS.

Why is restarting the modem important? Most raw M2M hardware is reasonably ‘dumb’ if it can see a network and can communicate with that network it assumes everything is ok. This however is not the case, have you ever been in a situation where you can make calls or send an SMS but can’t surf the Internet on your phone? Normally if you put it in and out of airplane mode it fixes the issue. The same principals apply here, the modem assumes everything is normal but really it can’t make a data/IP connection. By restarting the modem you force it to create a brand new connection which 99% of the time brings voice, SMS & data back.

 

3. Can you feel my heart (beat)? – For those of you who are building and deploying devices using public Internet APNs (those commonly shared with mobile phones and tablets). We highly recommend putting in a ‘heartbeat’ to remind the network your device is still there. Public networks are highly aggressive when it comes to closing sessions, this is to maximize capacity and reduce congestion.

Unfortunately networks around the world have different timeouts ranging from minutes to hours to days. So we can’t prescribe the perfect solution, but as most heartbeats send a minimum amount of data (around 1 byte per beat) you can usually be reasonably safe with every few minutes.

 

4. How critical is your data? – Most of the time store and forward will be ok; when a device is back in cellular coverage your data is sitting there waiting for you. However if you absolutely need 24 hour uptime you need some kind of failover, just like cellular became standard failover for Ethernet or Wi-Fi.

Some devices can get away with utilizing multiple SIM cards or connecting to multiple carriers via a ‘roaming SIM’ – This is a great option for areas of high cellular coverage with multiple operators. Remote locations on the other hand tend to have a single operator or none at all, this is where utilizing satellite technology becomes critical.

A lot of people cringe when I start talking about satellite communications, their minds instantly go back to the days of $10,000+ phone bills and hardware that cost and weighed as much as a car. This really isn’t the case anymore, using satellite as a failover for cellular is fast becoming commonplace in OH&S solutions in the remote operations, utilities and mining sectors.

Sometimes satellite is your only option - Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Sometimes satellite is your only option – Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Hopefully these tips have inspired you to build some extra smarts or redundancy into your next or current M2M project.

Did you find this tip useful? Do you have some questions on the Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things industry we can answer for you? Let us know on Twitter @M2MOneAU, on LinkedIn at M2M One or visit our website at www.m2mone.com.au.

 

James Mack

General Manager – M2M One

 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog site are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of M2M One or M2M Group.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news from M2M One.

You have Successfully Subscribed!