CradlePoint’s Extended Enterprise License and OpenVPN (SSL VPN)

The CradlePoint Extended Enterprise License (EEL) provides advanced routing and security features that are designed to increase productivity and business continuity for an enterprise’s network. EEL is an extension of Enterprise Cloud Manager (ECM), and can’t be purchased by itself. In order to have EEL and take advantage of its features, the accompanying CradlePoint router must also be on ECM. Until today EEL was only available for the ARC MBR1400, MBR1400, and the COR IBR series routers. With the release of the new AER 2100, EEL has expanded to cover these models as well.


(CradlePoint AER 2100)

EEL provides the end user with access to a number of new features including advanced enterprise routing options, expanded VPN and tunneling protocols, NEMO, and Cloud Security. One of the major features that EEL brings is OpenVPN, otherwise known as SSL VPN. Though the EEL works on multiple Cradlepoint routers, the OpenVPN aspect of it only works for the MBR1400 variants, and the new AER 2100.


(Example of OpenVPN Network Access)

OpenVPN allows portability across multiple operating systems and types of hardware, is easily configured, and works with NAT addresses as well as dynamic addresses. OpenVPN (SSL VPN) doesn’t require special software on end users devices, and instead gives remote users access to larger networks through web applications. IPsec VPN, the standard VPN found on Cradlepoint hardware, usually needs specialized software built for the hardware it is running on. This makes compatibility with older hardware and with a wide variety of hardware difficult. Since OpenVPN is more of a ‘desktop to network’ style of access from a web browser to the host Cradlepoint, setup is usually limited to the Cradlepoint and IT departments don’t have to individually configure or manage each individual device that will be connecting.

Is OpenVPN right for your network? There are a few questions you can ask yourself. Is this intended for unsophisticated end users? Do you want to display the content of the network through a web browser or web application? If the answer is yes, then OpenVPN (SSL VPN) through the Cradlepoint EEL and compatible router may be the best choice for you.


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Cradlepoint AER2100 L2TP Tunnel Support

With the recent announcement of the Cradlepoint AER 2100 (Advanced Edge Router) new features are available not seen on other models. The EEL license (Extended Enterprise License) agreement you can unlock additional features on your AER 2100, ARC MBR1400 and COR IBR600/650 series. One of these features is L2TP VPN tunneling support (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol), which can be useful for any company that needs more than just standard IPSec VPN tunneling. If you’re unfamiliar with L2TP tunnels we’ll explain exactly what their purpose is and how it can be used within your company.

What is L2TP?

The acronym L2TP stands for Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol and is used to support VPN’s between ISP’s. This means if you have employees who telecommute or have remote office sites you can use L2TP to establish a secure connection between the two points without having special hardware at each end. Unlike a more basic PPTP tunnel, L2TP/IPSec use a secure 256-bit encrypted tunnel making your VPN traffic more secure. Within the router all you need to do is assign the specific LNS address, create a username/password and define the remote user settings.


(L2TP Computer Login Example)

After you’ve got everything configured on the Cradlepoint router all you need to do is give your employees their account login info. From a Windows/Mac computer, smartphone or tablet they can then configure the L2TP tunnel to connect. This is a software based client available on virtually all platforms so you don’t need to worry about employees having specific hardware in order to connect. This then allows them secure access to your main network to gain access to secure systems that would otherwise be inaccessible off the local LAN network.

Please Note - In order to access advanced features on your AER 2100, ARC MBR1400 or COR 600/650 series you need to have an ECM (Enterprise Cloud Manager) and EEL (Extended Enterprise License) agreement.


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AT&T testing 2.3Ghz LTE Rollout

AT&T plans to deploy LTE service within the 2.3Ghz Wireless Communication Service spectrum within the next year said John Donovan, Senior Executive Vice President of AT&T technology and network operations. This frequency originally was planned to be used solely for downlink, but now has been redesigned for uplink capability too. To maintain current service levels AT&T uses roughly 10Mhz of new spectrum every 12 months so the 2.3Ghz band can be used to help offload usage in high traffic areas where 700/800/1900Mhz frequencies are overloaded. Right now the company still has enough frequency available to cover current demand and this is simply future planning, but they’ll also be refarming their 2G GSM frequency due to be shut off in 2017. At this time there’s not an official date when handsets will be available with 2.3Ghz capability or when they’ll bring the service into markets across the country.

Poor AT&T service in your office? Get a wireless repeater to boost reception
 

Verizon CEO says unlimited data has to go away eventually


Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam said he doesn’t see anyway for unlimited to work in wireless at Citi 2014 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference. McAdam also said that other carriers offering unlimited still will do crazy things when they’re on the edge of bankruptcy, which indicates they feel T-Mobile and Sprint business models won’t be sustainable in the long term. McAdam did applaud T-Mobile for their un-carrier moves saying how they benefited consumers moving the industry in a positive profitable direction. These statements indicate Verizon will likely never be bringing back unlimited service and is focused on adding AWS spectrum for overly congested areas to preserve a stable, reliable and consistent data connection across the country.
 

T-Mobile Ad leak suggest they’ll pay families to leave other carriers


Recently T-Mobile leaked an ad that corresponds to their tweet back in December about “Uncarrier Phase 4” to pay your carriers early termination fee if you switch to T-Mobile. Shortly after the tweet AT&T officially announced a similar offer to pay T-Mobile termination fees to switch back to AT&T. The T-Mobile ad suggests a similar offer where they’ll pay up to $450 per line when customers switch to their NEXT plan. The ports will be accepted from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint customers looking to transfer up to five total lines. Customers will be able to trade in their existing smartphones for a credit towards a new handset capable of T-Mobile specific bands. Official details on the Uncarrier Phase 4 should be released today at 12:30PM PT.
 

AT&T Sponsored Data, paying for your Mobile Internet experience

According to the Washington Post AT&T has just announced a new product called Sponsored Data. This allows subscribers to use specific websites without that usage counting against their data caps. Instead of the end user paying for the data third party companies will be fronting the bill saving you from paying more for monthly data. This concept isn’t new, but could be violating the concept of Net Neutrality, which is designed to keep all areas of the Internet open and equal. If third party companies are allowed to pay for data mobile users use that puts a distinct disadvantage on smaller retailers because more traffic will be generated to “paid for” sites where customers don’t need to worry about how much data they use.

Sponsorship deals have already been made with United Health Group, Aquto a mobile advertising platform and Kony Solutions, a company that provides mobile application platforms to businesses. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told investors that this would prevent data charges from spiraling out of control. AT&T is able to get around standard Internet guidelines because traffic discrimination only applies to wired ISP’s and not cellular carriers. One thing is for certain with Sponsored Data, if you’re not paying for it on your monthly AT&T bill the costs will likely be passed on to you somehow through their sponsors. The days where caps were used as an excuse to manage consumption seem to be going away in favor of anyone willing to pay big bucks to sponsor consumer data across their mobile devices.
 

T-Mobile promises better national coverage

 

 

Recently T-Mobile is pushing to get some of Verizon’s 700Mhz A-Block spectrum which could cost almost $2.4 billion. This should help add additional coverage for 158 million people in 21 of the top 30 US markets including New York, LA, Atlanta and Dallas. The lower frequency band will make deployment to suburbs and rural areas easier because the 700Mhz band has better penetration requiring fewer towers to cover a wider area. In the deal T-Mobile will also be transferring about $950 million worth of spectrum to Verizon in several markets where they need to deploy AWS LTE for additional bandwidth. The only roadblock to the deal is the FCC and DOJ that will need to give final approval for the deal to go through.

 


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