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FONA 3G network
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FONA 3G network

by booleanbatty on Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:49 am

Hello All.
I have 4 of the European FONA 3G modules sending SMS reports over the Australian Telstra cellular network.
Telstra shut down their 2G network at 12:01 AM December 1.

Now my latest batch of 17 pieces of FONA 3G, only installed just now, are failing with "Network status 0: Not Registered."
Telstra tech support assure me that the SIM cards and allocated phone numbers are fully activated on their database.

Telstra advise that I may have to change the FONA network settings, as they may have been operating on 2G all along.
Please advise if there is a way to ensure the FONA 3G is operating in 3G mode.

Thanks in Anticipation and Season's Greetings.
Robin.

booleanbatty
 
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Re: FONA 3G network

by adafruit2 on Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:32 pm

we dont know the internals of how the module selects the network - maybe you need a 3G antenna?
can you try contacting SIMCOM? they'll be able to tell you internal details (we just take their module and put it on a breakout board :)
http://simcomm2m.com/En/service/ask.aspx
plz let us know what they suggest!

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Re: FONA 3G network

by frankieinmelbourne on Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:15 pm

@booleanbatty
Did you manage to get this sorted? I am in Australia and got FONA on 3G working (with Optus) for SMS purposes and also manage to connect to network - but I struggle to get TCP/IP and send data to websites.
Maybe we could share some local knowledge to solve both our issues?

cheers

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Re: FONA 3G network

by booleanbatty on Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:39 pm

Thanks frankieinmelbourne, great to hear from you, I am also Melbourne based.
Not sure of forum protocols, but rather than clog it up with my inconclusive research to date, do you mind emailing me at:
robin@booleanengineering.com
Season's Greetings.
Robin.

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Re: FONA 3G network

by booleanbatty on Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:05 am

Thanks adafruit2, however several attempts to submit a question to
http://simcomm2m.com/En/service/ask.aspx have failed.

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Re: FONA 3G network

by adafruit2 on Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:58 pm

maybe check that your cell network covers/uses "dual-band UMTS/HSDPA 900/2100MHz WCDMA + HSDPA" ?

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Re: FONA 3G network

by booleanbatty on Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:34 pm

Thanks adafruit2 for your continuing interest.
I am trying to connect to the Australian Telstra 3G network. A Telstra coverage check for the SIM5320E international number 86131100 gives:

"Your device is: Wireless M2M Device (using SIMCOM LIMITED-SIM5320E) Your device is compatible, and you can enjoy talk, text and internet here on Australia’s best mobile network, as long as you have coverage. To help make sure you do, change the device’s carrier network settings to Automatic and use a 3G/4G SIM card"

The only way I see to customise the SIM5320E network settings is by wireless AT commands.
I have tried many ways but am now confused and would appreciate advice on which AT commands I need to configure Telstra 3G as the network, the correct frequency band etc. Would the SIM5320E modules may have been shipped configured as 2G?

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Re: FONA 3G network

by adafruit2 on Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:04 am

no its not possible for them to be configured for 2G, the modules are all the same, they auto-switch to 3G when its possible. beyond that we have no information that isn't in the AT command datasheet - we dont have any insight to the internal firmware or workings. we buy the modules and put them on a PCB :)

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Re: FONA 3G network

by dan_clark on Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:36 pm

Hi all,

I've experienced similar issues with the FONA network. I've done a bit of research and here is my conclusions.

The Telstra frequency bands for 2G were 900/1800MHZ while the 3G bands for Telstra are 850MHZ/2100MHZ.
The European version product offers 900/2100MHZ bands while the American version offers 850/1900MHZ.

I've been using both the American and European models in regional Australia(poor reception), they were both operating fine until Telstra shut down the 2G network.
This resulted in the European version of the product being unable to work as it cannot connect to the Telstra 3G lower frequency band(the 3g band is 850 while the European model can only do 900). However upon trialing the American version, it operated fine as it does cover the required frequency for 3G connection. I have realized the American version would not be capable of providing connection to the high frequency 3G network(3G is 2100MHZ and American can only do 1900) but this is not an issue as the high frequency band is not available in rural Australia.

Also from my experience, the device can get RSSI signal but won't register unless the correct frequency bands are available. ie using a European version, I will get full RSSI strength but no network registration as the European version operates on 900MHZ, while Telstra 3G is 850MHZ.

One solution to this problem is to simply switch carriers(not a great idea if you are using this in regional areas like myself), or alternately use the American version of the device which is unfortunately not sold to Australia because .....?

Below are some links I used to find this information
viewtopic.php?f=54&t=100991&p=542573&hilit=australia+fona#p542573
http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/mobile_phone_frequencies
http://www.mobilenetworkguide.com.au/au ... ncies.html

I have contacted a colleague who worked at Telstra regarding this theory and he verified this as being the most likely cause of the issue. Please let me know what you think, any further help to fix this issue would be greatly appreciated.

regards,

Daniel Clark

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Re: FONA 3G network

by booleanbatty on Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:14 pm

Thanks for your extensive reply Daniel.
frankieinmelbourne, (see his post above), and I have exchanged contact details over this for future co-operative prospects.
I would welcome any contact you care to make to me at robin@booleanengineering.com, as we all seem to be working on similar projects.

Meanwhile, I am waiting (3 emails over 7 days to Telstra) to clarify their coverage response "Your device is: Wireless M2M Device (using SIMCOM LIMITED-SIM5320E) Your device is compatible.... (see my post above).
Seems to me that the 5320E should work on Telstra 3g 2100 MHZ.

Cheers,
Robin.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.