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Author Topic: WWAN support, by carriers  (Read 707 times)

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Offline iNick

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WWAN support, by carriers
« on: February 07, 2017, 10:01:55 am »
Hello world!

I've been researching a complete package collection, parts, and support for a cellular (or, "mobile" for some others) inclusive connection for a project recently given to me by a colleague.  Good news is that pfSense/FreeBSD does support 3G modem cards (also noted on the wiki) but their ability to be used on a cellular network will still have to be endorsed by them.  So, after purchasing, waiting for shipment, and assembly of a setup, we find out the contract our organization uses with Verizon Wireless *WILL NOT* activate on their network.  Here's the long and short of it, and I'd add notes to the wiki if I had credentials.

Verizon Wireless, I'm in southwest United States of America, uses device IMEI numbers as a catalog of whether the equipment on their network has passed THEIR certification process.  For the most part, the IMEI on the 3G modem card will likely be accepted, but since pfSense devices themselves have no IMEI number (they have brand, model and serial), Verizon cannot certify the device as a complete unit as safe from any kind of malware to be participating on their network.  Fair, they're protecting their network, and protecting their users because of it.  But the parts I've now purchased cannot be used on the organization's preferred contract because of this missing IMEI on the completed unit (to which I may later refer to as the "host").


The engineering contact I spoke with at Verizon was kind enough to explain that the IMEI on the device (3G modem card) was certified and permitted on their network, but the host, or completed unit was missing the IMEI and as such could not be permitted on their network.  We are now going to try to find another alternative, including a competitors network to try to activate the product we've already paid for and received in shipping.  With Verizon's clear definition of why they refuse to activate the host, I wonder who else might give us problems on activating the host.

Again, I would like to update the wiki on these notes, but I didn't see a big clear way of registering.  Noting that I may not have seen it because it may have been invite-only or something.


I invite feedback and questions, I'll do my best to supply information I have.

Offline doktornotor

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Re: WWAN support, by carriers
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 02:19:23 pm »
Huh? What pfSense devices are you talking about? There's no IMEI beyond the cellular context of things. It's completely irrelevant what I kind of gear you plug those 3G/LTE/god knows what cards into.

Perhaps get a lesser idiot on the phone. Are they also asking laptop vendors to have "IMEI"?  ::) Sure would make the network completely safe, because having an IMEI would certainly make the Windows malware-infested laptops "safe from any kind of malware to be participating on their network"

 :o :o ::) ::) ;D ;D
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 02:24:18 pm by doktornotor »
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Offline route66

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Re: WWAN support, by carriers
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2017, 01:07:32 pm »
hello,
if i understood the subject correctly, you are looking into using a cellular operator sim card with a hardware that runs pfsense. in that case you will need that hardware to have an imei in order to be authenticated, in your case, by verizon.
when you mention a 3g modem card, i presume, you mean a 3g usb dongle, which is not really a card, not the same form factor at least.
in a case i'm aware of - huawei e150 gprs/cdma modem, works with pfsense 2.2.6. and a hardware that runs pfsense does not need to have an imei, since the modem, as an imei carrier, passes the authentication procedure.
regards.

Offline rmaxfield

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Re: WWAN support, by carriers
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2017, 04:55:46 pm »
Any luck on finding a provider that will activate their network through a SIM card? We purchased a similar build that has a SIM card slot that I'd love to activate as a failover, but ran in to the same issue where Verizon won't talk to me if it doesn't have a IMEI number. I'm going to try a few different providers to see if I have any other luck, but I'd love to hear what you have found in your searching! This would be such a cool option if I could get it to work.