CradlePoint Clarifies MBR95 Future

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On June 12th, 2014 Cradlepoint released an announcement regarding vulnerabilities within OpenSSL (Heartbleed bug). These issues were mitigated by an updated to Enterprise Cloud Manager on 6/9/2014 at 8pm EDT, but the CBR400/450 and MBR95 weren’t fixed and announced end of life (screenshot above). Shortly thereafter Cradlepoint indicated the MBR95 wasn’t included in the end of life process, but there are no additional firmware builds scheduled for the MBR95 units (recant screenshot below).  The lack of future firmware updates doesn't mean that the MBR95 will no longer be supported by Cradlepoint or 3Gstore, but it DOES mean that future 3G and 4G modems will not be supported, and no new bug fixes or features will be available.

Cradlepoint has released a recommended course of action for anybody currently using MBR95 units which protect against the OpenSSL vulnerability, but limit the functionality of features within the router too.


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MBR95 Mitigation for OpenSSL Vulnerability suggestions:

  • Disable remote web administration*
  • Ensure any web browser used to access the Web GUI (Local or remote) is fully updated to the latest version.

Aside from those two recommendations the only other recourse MBR95 users have is to upgrade to a unit that has received firmware updates to completely fix the vulnerability like the MBR1200B, MBR1400 or IBR600/650 series. All of these units have received updated firmware build 5.1.2 that fixes the security risks of the OpenSSL bug. Depending on your application and how you’re using the MBR95’s it may or may not be worth upgrading to new hardware. Here is our recommendation if you have MBR95 units:

3Gstore Recommendation on MBR95 Units:

If you’re a home user simply using the MBR95 to provide connectivity through your home disable remote admin capability and ensure your browser is up to date. Even though the units will receive no additional firmware updates or features if you don’t change to a newer device your equipment will not just stop working. In fact, there are still lots of customers running legacy routers like the MBR1000 and that model hasn’t received a firmware update in several years. Firmware upgrades will only become an issue for you if you upgrade to newer USB devices that aren’t listed as supported on the latest firmware build for the unit. Normally Cradlepoint releases new firmware every 2-3 months that adds in support for additional modems and/or carriers that provide cellular connectivity - BUT they have announced that the MBR95 will no longer receive these firmware upgrades.

If you’re a business user and have either standardized on the MBR95 or are evaluating it for a larger rollout throughout your company it’s probably time to start evaluating new hardware. The closest alternatives to the MBR95 right now are the MBR1200B or the Pepwave Surf SOHO if you want to evaluate a different manufacturer. These units are unaffected by the OpenSSL bug and receive timely firmware updates to add new features, fix bugs and support cloud management platforms to easily manage hundreds of units deployed out in the field. Most companies are likely going to want remote admin capability and if the main recommendation from Cradlepoint is to disable this feature you’ll lose a crucial feature or ultimately leave your company with huge security risk.

Thinking of switching Cradlepoint models? Contact us to discuss your needs

* Steps to disable MBR95 Remote Web Admin:

  1. Login to your router at 192.168.0.1 through a web browser. If you’ve changed the default IP enter the new IP of the router.
  2. Click “System Settings” on the top right tab and select “Administration” from the drop down window.
  3. On the left hand side click the tab called “Remote Management”
  4. In the main window you will see “Allow Remote Web Administration”. Remove the checkmark and navigate to the bottom of the page and click the “Apply” button.
  5. You have now removed Remote Web Administration
 

Cradlepoint MC400 Universal Modems save deployment costs

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CradlePoint has led the industry by making it very easy for our customers to choose their cellular carrier by virtue of our routers supporting “plug-n-play” modem technology.  Customers can also change their modem (and carrier) to reduce their data costs or improve their connection or service level.  This flexibility allows companies to take advantage of the competitive swings in the cellular market and change carriers when necessary to obtain the best combination of price and signal strength for each of their office locations.

As easy as it’s been for CradlePoint customers to change their modem or carrier on our products, it was still challenging for locations without on-premise IT staff (and for many companies that means just about every remote location).  Remote offices without technical staff would require dispatch of a service truck to physically change their modem.  These “truck rolls” are costly, and difficult to schedule during the slow times (evenings and weekends) when they would be least impactful to ongoing business.

Now, with the introduction of their new MC400 universal modems, customers have even more flexibility in their choice of carriers and can future-proof their network solution—while avoiding those painful truck rolls.

Suppose, for example, that your company has been using Carrier X but then realizes it could lower data costs or get better connectivity by switching to Carrier Y.  With the MC400 modem, you won’t need to go out and buy another piece of hardware to accommodate the new carrier because the ability to handle multiple carriers is built right in!  Second, the switch from one carrier to another can be done remotely across your distributed locations using CradlePoint Enterprise Cloud Manager.

One great feature of Enterprise Cloud Manager is the ability to manage your remote locations by geographic area.  A region manager can use Enterprise Cloud Manager to select all of their locations and tell Enterprise Cloud manager to switch all of the devices from carrier X to carrier Y.  You can even tell Enterprise Cloud Manager to schedule the change in the middle of the night or weekend for the least impact to your business.

In a sense, our new MC400 is analogous to the ability to unlock a cell phone so that is can be used with any carrier. The net effect is to give our customers more choice and lower their network operating expenses.

Companies that use cellular data services may have felt “locked in” to a given carrier after their initial equipment deployment.  That’s because they knew the cost of a service visit for each remote location would consume most of the savings of a carrier switch.  Now, the MC400 combined with Enterprise Cloud Manager removes these roadblocks and enables remote selection of your distributed locations’ cellular carriers.

Our relationship with the carriers has been symbiotic.  CradlePoint was first to bring low-cost, reliable cellular data to mainstream businesses.  We work very closely with the carriers to get our products certified on their networks.  As a result, the carriers know how well our devices work.  One of the things we hear all the time from new customers is that they chose CradlePoint because their cellular carrier recommended our products.

By removing the “lock” on data services, our “universal” MC400 modem might be said to be an industry disruptor. We’re confident the net effect will be good for our customers and the carriers. Our solution will give our customers more flexibility, which can lead to lower costs that over time will enable more businesses to use cellular data.  This brings more customers to our carrier partners, enabling them to continue to grow their networks and drive the technology forward.  We really like these win-win solutions.

Large Cradlepoint deployment? Request a formal quote
 

AT&T LTE network has lowest latency

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Recently Fierce Wireless and Open Signal released a report showing that AT&T and T-Mobile have the lowest latency when compared against Verizon and Sprint’s LTE networks. Open Signal gets their data from a report of over 1 million consumer devices with ICMP pings sent to Google and then averages them out. In the latest report AT&T just edged out T-Mobile with an average latency of 75ms with Sprint bringing up the rear at close to 100ms off their 4G LTE network. The main reason the other carriers have lower latency is because they’re using 10x10Mhz or 20x20Mhz configurations while Sprint is still using a 5x5Mhz configuration. The lower the latency the quicker you have a response for a page to start loading or better voice quality when making a VoIP (Voice over IP).
 

Sprint promises 180Mbps peak speed by 2015

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Sprint recently spoke at the Light Reading Big Telecom event in Chicago and they stated plans to boost speeds beyond their current “Sprint Spark” network upgrades. By 2015 they plan to offer peak speeds of 180Mbps where customers are currently seeing about 60Mbps in Sprint Spark areas. Right now the Spark network is using a combination of 800/1900/2500Mhz frequencies to deliver tri-band LTE support and adding multiple antenna arrays they can boost speed further. This is done by using eight-transmit and eight-receive (8T8R) at each cell site and will boost the speed with Sprints LTE TDD 2.5Ghz frequency.

 

Surecall Force 5 Wins Commercial Integrator’s Best award for cell booster technology

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Judged by a panel made up of industry integrators, SureCall's patent pending Force5 won the 2014 top award from Commercial Integrator for best cell booster technology, presented at the recent InfoComm Show.

The Commercial Integrator BEST Awards program recognizes superlative solutions for an integration business.  The awards highlight the most noteworthy products and services that can impact commercial integrators' businesses in 2014.  The winners of the BEST Awards were chosen by a panel of industry experts, integrators and the editors of CI and sister publication TechDecisions. 

"The goal of CI BEST Awards, as with all of CI's content, is to offer information that can help integrators become more efficient and more profitable, and we think these innovative products do just that," says Tom LeBlanc, editor-in-chief.

Criteria included innovation, functionality, competitive advantages and benefits to the installer. 

Force5's separate uplink and downlink lanes eliminate signal collisions allowing the fastest 4G data rates in the industry. Introduced in May 2012, it was the first self-contained cell booster on the market to support 2G, 3G and 4G service for every major carrier. The Force5 has become the leading choice of professional installers everywhere. Unlike competing boosters, the Force5 is the only booster that offers:

  • Modular design with each booster covering up to 80,000 square feet with the ability to cover more area with additional boosters
  • Ability to support 100+ simultaneous users
  • SureCall's highly linear design
Large Cellphone-Mate Deployment? Request a volume quote
 

Sprint now offering satisfaction guarantee with 30 day risk free trial

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CHICAGO (BUSINESS WIRE), June 23, 2014 - Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced nationwide availability of HD Voice, as well as 28 new 4G LTE markets and three new Sprint Spark™ markets. To mark the milestones and the network’s improved performance, Sprint also announced a satisfaction guarantee inviting users to experience Sprint service risk-free for 30 days.

“We believe customers will be delighted with the Sprint retail experience, our customer service, and the performance of America’s newest network,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint Chief Executive Officer, “so we’re guaranteeing it.”

After a complete rip-and-replace overhaul of its 3G network and the deployment of 4G LTE in 471 markets, Sprint has transformed its network to deliver faster data speeds and improved call quality, with a marked decrease in dropped and blocked calls. New market launches, coverage expansions, and technical network advancements will continue in the coming months.

Today’s network milestones include:

  • Nationwide availability of Sprint HD Voice, a new Sprint standard for crystal-clear voice calls. Sprint’s HD Voice provides a fuller, more natural-sounding voice, plus noise-cancelling technology that virtually eliminates background noise from places like busy roads or crowded restaurants.1 Sprint currently supports 28 HD Voice-capable postpaid smartphones and 33 prepaid phones. The company estimates approximately 16 million customers are currently using an HD Voice enabled device.
  • 4G LTE in 28 new markets, including Seattle, Cleveland, and San Jose, bringing Sprint’s nationwide 4G LTE footprint to 471 cities covering more than 225 million people. Sprint expects to reach 250 million with 4G LTE coverage by mid-year.
  • Sprint Spark in three new markets (St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C.). Sprint Spark is an enhanced LTE service that’s built for data and designed to deliver average wireless speeds of 6-15Mbps and peak wireless speeds of 50-60Mbps today on capable devices, with increasing speed potential over time. Sprint plans to reach 100 million people by year-end with the service. The capability is available in the following 27 cities: Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Fort Worth, Texas; Houston; Jacksonville, Fla.; Kansas City, Kan./Mo.; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Newark, N.J.; Oakland, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Provo, Utah; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; St. Louis; Tacoma, Wash.; Tampa, Fla.; Trenton, N.J; Waukegan, Ill.; Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C., and West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • 8T8R radios will soon be deployed for improved coverage and signal strength. The new 8T8R radios transmit more data and boost network reliability, giving Sprint Spark customers better coverage and higher data speeds at 2.5GHz. Sprint is currently field testing its 8T8R equipment and expects to begin commercial deployment this summer.
  • International WiFi calling, slated to be available in the coming weeks, will enable customers to make calls and send texts via WiFi in more than 100 countries. The service makes mobile communications possible virtually anywhere in the world and in nearly any network situation.
Poor Sprint LTE reception? Get a 4G LTE amplifier
 

Pepwave Max HD2 and HD4 MediaFast models simplified

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Recently Pepwave announced their new Media Fast Content Caching routers that come with a built in SSD drive. Initially there were several models available with different radios for cellular carriers, but Pepwave has decided to simplify this releasing two SKU’s for the HD2 Media Fast and HD4 Media fast models. Now for 4G LTE us in US, Canada and South America customers can select the MAX-HD2/HD4-MFA-LTE-US-T and customers in Europe, Asia and Australia can use the MAX-HD2/HD4-MFA-LTE-E-T model.

The HD2 MediaFast series feature two embedded cellular radios and a 120GB SSD harddrive where the HD4 MediaFast series offer four embedded cellular radios. The hard drive within the units are designed to cache content to save on bandwidth where you might find multiple people viewing the same webpage or video on the web. Rather than re-downloading the video or content for each user it’s stored locally on the MediaFast router and delivered directly to the user at lighting speed. In addition to content caching the MediaFast models will also track popular URLs and file types so you can monitor exactly what websites and/or files people are downloading over your network.

Large Peplink/Pepwave Deployment? Request a formal quote
 


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