M2M One – January 2017 Newsletter

M2M One Newsletter – January 2017

Happy New Year and welcome to M2M One’s January 2017 Newsletter!

This month we’re looking at kicking off the new year with a new look newsletter, talking about the future of 2G networks in Australia, looking at issues arising from using public IP addressing on your devices and providing some tips to improve SIM security using the M2M Control Centre.

  • Australian 2G Networks

As most of you will be well aware of all Australian mobile networks are in the process of shutting down their 2G/GSM networks.

On December 1st 2016 Telstra completed their shutdown of the 2G (900Mhz) Mobile Network across Australia. This now leaves only the Optus and Vodafone networks available for 2G devices, with a view that all remaining 2G coverage will be closed and re-farmed for LTE by 30th September 2017.

To continue operating M2M/IoT devices on the M2M One/Telstra network in Australia you need to make sure that the device contains a module capable connecting to 850Mhz 3G and for optimal coverage 850/2100Mhz 3G (Devices only able to connect to 2100Mhz will not work effectively on the Telstra network, 850Mhz is a requirement for a 3G connection)

  • Public IP Address Issues

Throughout 2016 we have seen a significant increase in the amount of malicious occurring on M2M devices with IP addresses exposed to the public internet (Devices using telstra.extranet as their APN) – These attacks can range from port sniffing or DDoS activity that can significantly increase your mobile data usage to unsecured devices being hijacked or tampered with.

M2M One strongly advise all of our customers to avoid using public IP addressing at all costs – An alternative to using telstra.extranet is to use M2M One’s IPX service which provides a private static IP that can be accessed through a secure IPSEC connection – more details available on our blog (click here)

If for some reason you absolutely have to use a public IP address we recommend taking the following actions to protect yourself:

  • Change the default username and password for any access interfaces on your device.
  • Work with M2M One to set-up limits and notifications on your SIM cards to be notified of increased activity.
  • Don’t leave your device online when idle.
  • If you notice malicious activity force your device to change it’s IP address by restarting or terminating the session.

M2M One’s first event of 2017 will be Connect Expo in Melbourne – Running from the 29th to 30th of March. Details available at: http://connectexpo.com.au/

Each month we bring you tips and tricks for getting the most value out of the M2M Control Centre.
SIM Security

This month we look at adding more security to your SIM deployment using some of the alerts and automation rules available in the control centre.

IMEI Change – When a device first connects to the control centre the IMEI information is automatically populated. M2M One can establish a rule that will either notify by email or suspend a service if this IMEI changes at any point. This can be useful to protect your SIMs from misuse in other devices.

Usage Alerts – M2M One can set-up alerts to notify or suspend a service for excessive use of Data, SMS or Voice functionality. This can be useful to protect you against overage or to alert you of possible misuse or malfunction.

Roaming Usage – By default all M2M One SIMs have roaming disabled by default, however there are cases where you may need roaming added to a SIM to test overseas. M2M One can set-up alerts for high usage or registration in an unauthorized zone when roaming is enabled to protect you against high roaming fees.

At present all new rules and alerts need to be created and applied on your behalf by M2M One support (support@m2mone.com.au) while Jasper complete upgrade works on the automation section of the control centre.
Have more questions about the M2M Control Centre or want some training?
Contact your M2M One account manager

M2M One – October 2015 Newsletter

This month we introduce customers to our new user friendly M2M Control Centre interface. Looking for M2M Services in New Zealand?  Check out M2M One NZ offering SIM cards, data plans and services for machine-to-machine much in the same way we do.  Last month’s successful M2M One sponsored YOW! Connected IoT conference is followed by M2M One exhibitions at two up-coming trade shows.  We will be at Telstra’s Darwin Connected in November and Comms Connect 2015, Melbourne in December. The details for these trade shows are featured below in this newsletter.

This months newsletter features:

  1. Notification – M2M One’s New Interface
  2. Feature – M2M One NZ
  3. Telstra Expo – Darwin Connected 2015
  4. Trade Show – Comms Connect 2015
  5. Reminder – Telstra 2G (GSM) 900MHz Shutdown

1. Notification – M2M One’s New Interface

Customers are advised that due to continued improvements by our software partner Jasper Wireless the “Classic Interface” in the M2M Control Centre is no longer available. As of Thursday 22nd October, M2M One customers will no longer be able to select their desired user interface and all accounts will use the “Standard Interface”.

The new interface contains the same level of information you are used to with some changes to the visuals and responsivity.

M2M One is in the process of updating out control centre documentation to reflect some of these changes – A revised version will be released shortly. You can continue to read the original user documentation here: https://www.m2mone.com.au/m2m-downloads/manuals/M2M-One-Control%20Centre-Customer-Admin-Guide-May-2015.pdf

 
If you have any questions regarding the interface, 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

2. Feature – M2M One New Zealand

Looking for M2M services in New Zealand? M2M One NZ specialise in connectivity for M2M and IoT applications in NZ with connected devices operating on Spark’s mobile network offering greatest reliability, performance and coverage available. M2M One NZ deliver commercial M2M solutions and all the support that you need to get started or to take your M2M application to the next level.
M2M One NZ in partnership with Spark (formally Telecom NZ) offers commercial services, including SIM cards, Individual/capped and Group/Flexible data plans, SMS, Voice, along with giving customers access to the Jasper Wireless Control Centre platform.
If you would like to trial a SIM, or have existing or new M2M projects happening in New Zealand, feel free to contact Andrew Dykes or Lone Misikini about NZ services and I’m sure they would be pleased to offer you a solution to suit.
M2M One NZ Limited
p: 0508 888 626 (NZ)
Andrew Dykes – Operations Manager, Christchurch Office
e: andrew.dykes@m2mone.co.nz | m: +64 (0)27 398 6261
Lone Misikini – General Manager, Auckland Office
e: lone.misikini@m2mone.co.nz | m: +64 (0)27 772 2288

 

3. Telstra Expo – Darwin Connected 2015

Sean Taylor from M2M One will be at Telstra’s Connected Expo in Darwin next month.
This event is focused on bringing all Telstra products together and about demonstrating how multiple products form solutions that truly add value to businesses of Telstra customers.
Where:  Beachside Pavillion, Skycity Darwin
When:   12th November 2015
Times:   1pm – 5pm

Darwin Connected with be attended by Telstra Business Managed customers and Government & Enterprise (GESA) customers. M2M One will be initiating conversations about M2M Services to businesses from varying industries including Mining, Transport, Retail, Hospitality, Health and Manufacturing.

4. Trade Show – Comms Connect 2015

M2M One will be exhibiting at Comms Connect 2015 in Melbourne on stand 138.  Comms Connect Melbourne has been the number one meeting place for Australasian critical communications users and industry.

Where:  Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre
Exhibition Hours:  
Wed 2 Dec: 9.00am–6.00pm

                              Thu 3 Dec: 9.00am–3.30pm

This year, 80+ expert speakers, 90+ exhibitors and over 1400 professionals — from first responders to mining professionals, from utilities providers to enterprise end users, from manufacturers to developers — are expected to take part in this event.
For more information about Comms Connect and to register for a free expo pass for access to the Exhibition Hall on Wednesday and Thursday during opening hours and access to Keynote speakers on Wednesday and Thursday mornings , click here.

5. 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.

If you do not know if your devices will be affected by this please contact M2M One and we can help you.

M2M One – August 2015 Newsletter

This month we continue with the second of our blog series of M2M tips. This installment will help businesses looking to enter the local M2M and IoT industry understand the market in Australia. Want better control of your M2M One SIMs? We bring your attention to alerts that can be set up for real-time information and diagnostics. M2M One will be sponsoring Yow! Connected, an event dedicated to IoT for developers. This IoT conference is held in September and we will be conducting demonstrations by M2M Connectivity, Digi and others. See more details about this event below, we hope to see you there.

This months newsletter features:

  1. Notification – M2M One Control Centre Alerts
  2. Notification – Optus 2G 900MHz Shutdown
  3. Blog – M2M Tips – Depoloying Cellular M2M or IoT Devices in Australia
  4. IoT Conference – Yow! Connected
  5. Reminder – Telstra 2G (GSM) 900MHz Shutdown

1. Notification – M2M One Control Centre Alerts

The M2M One Control Centre keeps you in control of your M2M services and offers real time usage information, SIM status reports, diagnostic tools and much more.

This month we wanted to highlight a feature set that you may not be aware of: Alerts

M2M One has the ability to set up the following alerts to keep you up to date on your usage and SIM status for the month – If you would like to set up any of the Alerts outlined below on your account please email support@m2mone.com.au :

  • SIM State Change (Activation, deactivation, etc)
  • SMS Usage in a month or 24 hour period
  • Data usage in a month or 24 hour period
  • Voice usage in a month or 24 hours period
  • IMEI change
  • Session Start
  • Session End
  • No connection in the past XX hours

If you have any questions regarding setting up alerts on the M2M Control Centre, or anything else please don’t hesitate to contact our support team on +61 3 9696 3011 or at support@m2mone.com.au

2. Notification – Optus 2G 900MHz Shutdown

In a recent announcement Optus have confirmed that they will be following Telstra in shutting down their 2G/GSM (900MHz) network on April 1st 2017.

While this does not affect M2M One customers as we exclusively utilize the Telstra M2M network it is important to understand that this reflects a continuing trend of 2G networks being shut down and re-farmed for additional 4G/LTE network capacity with AT&T in the US, Telstra & Optus in Australia and Singtel in Singapore.

We strongly advocate companies building or deploying 2G devices in the Australian market to look at options for 3G or 4G/LTE as soon as possible to make sure you have solutions tested and ready to deploy well before the networks get shut down.

If you have any questions on 2G Migration or around M2M network services on 3G or 4G/LTE please contact M2M One on +61 3 9696 3011 or support@m2mone.com.au and we will point you in the right direction.

3. Blog – M2M Tips – Deploying Cellular M2M or IoT Devices in Australia

Continuing the series of tips to developers looking to get into the M2M/IoT space, this second installment offers an overview of the local marketplace to businesses, developers and distributors who are looking to build or import a M2M/IoT solution for use in Australia.

Our blog looks at the unique demands in terms of geography and coverage of Australia and the changing face of M2M and IoT customers as globalisation opens up local and International markets.

We look at local mobile operators in terms of the nation’s coverage and the 2G, 3G & LTE operating frequencies used by each. Tips on roaming SIMS, hardware approvals and IP addressing help customers and developers unfamiliar with the Australian market to understand the local M2M and IoT space.

Australia is well known for expensive data and higher operational costs compared to other countries, this is an incentive for current and prospective businesses looking to enter the market to manage data efficiently and minimize costs.

Read the full blog here

4. IoT Conference – Yow! Connected

M2M One is a sponsor of YOW! Connected, a two day Conference connecting the world of Mobile development and the Internet of Things (IoT). Topics include native development for iOS and Android, the developing market for the IoT, UX & design, back end development and the review of several business case studies. YOW! Connected provides an opportunity for Australian developers to learn from local thought leaders and specially invited international experts through the sharing of experiences developing mobile solutions and devices for the connected world.

Date:       17 September  2015     8:00am to
18 September 2015      5:00pm
Place:          Jasper Hotel, 489 Elizabeth St,  Melbourne      

Visit us at Yow! Connected and view M2M and IoT demonstrations on Libelium’s Open Garden, ublox’s mBed Concept Board & Digi International’s XBee ZigBee Cloud Kit & ConnectCore6 Dev Kit.

For more information and to register to attend, please click here.

5. 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.

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.

M2M One – May 2015 Newsletter

As a part of M2M One’s initiative to find ways to improve our services to help our customers, we are pleased to announce reduced pricing on SMS, Data and Static IP Services. Information on the new reduced pricing and PAYG and bundled packages for outbound Voice are included in this newsletter. Our busy trade show schedule looks set to continue with M2M One exhibiting at CommunicAsia in Singapore early next month. We’re proud to be part of the State Government of Victoria’s trade delegation at this event which aims to showcase the depth and talent of the state’s ICT industry. Connect Expo in Melbourne and CeBIT in Sydney were successful events overall. Read our thoughts, including the good and the not-so-good, on both events in our featured blogs.

This months newsletter features:

  1. Notification – Reducing Pricing – SMS, Data and Static IP Services
  2. Blog – Thoughts on Connect Expo and CeBIT 2015
  3. Exhibition – CommunicAsia 2015 – Singapore
  4. Reminder – Telstra 2G (GSM) 900MHz Shut Down

1. Notification – Reduced Pricing – SMS, Data and Static IP Services

M2M One are constantly working with our carrier partners to be able to offer competitive pricing that helps you to reduce your costs and maintain and grow your business. We are now able to offer reduced pricing on SMS, Data and Static IP Services as well as the ability to provision outbound voice in PAYG and bundled packages.

For existing customers the new pricing will take effect as of June 1st 2015.  This new pricing applies immediately for new customers and you can take advantage of it by signing up at our website.

Price Reduction Details:
SMS Pricing – Our overall price for Outbound SMS has dropped from $0.25 to $0.20 and volume discounts are now applicable for all SMS messages sent in a billing month. This discount is unique as it applies to your whole M2M One account not an individual SIM.

CAP & Group Data – We’ve made some small adjustments to our volume based discounts on data including a larger discount for customers with over 250 SIMs on a single plan and some small adjustments across all plans.

Static IP Services – In accordance with recent customer feedback we have simplified our pricing model for IPX services to make the cost of entry lower and the ability to achieve discounts at scale quicker.

M2M One Voice Service:

  • M2M One are now able to provision outbound voice on SIMs using the “telstra.m2m” and “telstra.internet” APNs – We will soon be adding it to our private “m2mone.com.au” APN.
  • Voice is available as a PAYG component on all plans and is billed per second.
  • Voice can also be purchased in monthly bundles of 1 minute or 10 minutes.
  • Discounts apply to the number of SIMs on a single data plan with voice.

If you have any questions regarding service from M2M One, the M2M Control Centre, M2M Pricing 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. Blog – Thoughts on Connect Expo and CeBIT 2015

M2M One’s most recent blogs review the two main ICT trade shows held this year. From an M2M/IoT exhibitor’s perspective, we present our thoughts on each event in terms of layout, exhibitors. trade show attendance and the effectiveness of the M2M/IoT specific summits and conferences.

In its second year running, Connect Expo 2015 held in Melbourne is improving. The case studies showing practical uses for M2M/IoT was a highlight in the IoT summit, a forum where presentations more often than not tend to be general. Acknowledging the growing importance of M2M/IoT in the ICT space with a dedicated area, Connect Expo will continue this focus with a larger dedicated layout planned for next year.

CeBIT 2015 in Sydney continues to fall short in this regard with a lack of M2M/IoT focus.  Seemingly smaller this year, with fewer M2M/IoT companies exhibiting, we also wonder whether CeBIT’s Olympic Park venue was having this effect.   Hannover Fairs brand new staff are listening to feedback and assure us that 2016 would finally bring an M2M specific area and focus to the CeBIT. The Start-Up section and university technology displays with exciting new developments gets a big tick and so does the conference sessions which CeBIT always does well in organising content.

Read the full blog on Connect 2015 here.
Read the full blog on CeBIT 2015 here.

3. Exhibition – M2M One at CommunicAsia 2015

CommunicAsia is Asia’s largest integrated ICT exhibitiion where key executives from the ICT industry congregate to network, create new business opportunities and help shape industry trends.  M2M One is pleased to be part of a trade mission organised by the Victorian government and will be exhibiting on the State Government of Victoria’s stand BN2-07.

Date:           2 – 5 June 2015
Place:         Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Stand:         BN2-07

Admission is for trade professionals only and there is no charge to visit the exhibition. Admission to the Summit is subject to registration and fees payable.To register for a visitor badge to visit the exhibition, you can do so online before show days, or at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on show days (2 – 5 June 2015) with your business card.

For more information and to register for free entry to CommunicAsia 2015 please click here.

4. Reminder – Telstra 2G 900MHz Shutdown

We would like 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.

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.

If you do not know if your devices will be affected by this please contact M2M One and we can help you.

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