Important News regarding Cat-M1 and NB-IoT Cellular range


  • administrators

    Dear all,

    We have been working hard to resolve the issues that some of you have been experiencing with our cellular range including the Sequans chip upgrade process (NB-IoT / Cat-M1) as well as band support outside the current 6 bands configured on the first generation of cellular modules.

    MONARCH FIRMWARE UPGRADE
    We have already set-out a comprehensive and robust firmware upgrade process which will remove the risk of bricking of the module as some early day customers were experiencing. We are confident those instructions (if followed) removes such risks completely. If, however, you are still experiencing issues please email support@pycom.io

    BAND SUPPORT
    Finally, those of you whom have purchased cellular modules and whom required those additional bands, please fill out this form requesting support. We will email you the instructions and require you send us back your device. We will then upgrade your module to work on the new bands.

    I am also pleased to confirm that we will be taking much awaited new stock of cellular products late October which now have an upgraded firmware to ensure bricking isn’t possible during the Monarch firmware upgrade process. The firmware now has in-built recovery mode which it will default to in the event of a problem taking place.

    In addition, I am also pleased to say that Sequans has released the last bands to us and all new modules will support an additional 11 bands taking the total number of bands supported to 17. To confirm, the bands supported as of late October will be:

    Previous supported bands: 3, 4, 12, 13, 20, 28
    New additional bands:    1, 2, 5, 8, 14, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 66

    Best wishes Fred



  • @elizar Thank you for confirming this!



  • @kevin They do. I already received some upgraded Gpys last week with band 8 support.



  • @dan Will new GPy orders placed through the Pycom webshop automatically include the additional band support?



  • @eric-waai Thank you for the info.



  • @rskoniec
    my modules are at pycom for some days now. the request is being processed



  • @rskoniec I can't comment on their requests' status, but currently all RMA requests are processed.



  • @Elizar, @Eric-Waai How is your RMA procedure going? Any progress?



  • @elizar
    same here
    i got one response to fill in details after that nothing
    maybe they get flooded with RMA requests?



  • @fred We tried to contact RMA@pycom.io but didn't receive any answer. This is a sad situation for all of us who desperately wait for band 8 support.



  • @dan OK, thank you. Everything is clear now. ;)



  • @rskoniec @Eric-Waai No, you can't upgrade it yourself. The band information is written in an area on the modem that can only be overwritten with a production programmer and proprietary software. It is the same modem as the previous modules



  • @dan
    I need band 8 support for my local provider.
    so if the modules have to ga back to pycom i don't need to take the gamble and try unbrick the module myself.
    i contacted the RMA and will send the modules in for an update.



  • @Fred
    I would like to sum up issues I am experiencing with FiPy and G01 (Sequans FW NB1-38729, Pycom FW 1.18.1.r2 ) connected to NB-IoT network of Slovak Telekom (band 20, in-band, Ericsson eNodeB).

    1. Connection stability
    After some time (several hours to a day) it is not possible to establish TCP socket connection any more. LTE.isattached() and LTE.isconnected() always return True. This state remains unchanged until next reset. Current work-around is auto-restart when this happens.

    2. DNS is not working over NB-IoT connection
    Issue is described here:
    https://github.com/pycom/pycom-libraries/issues/57

    3. NTP client is not working reliably
    Not directly related to LTE connectivity, but it is related to 2.
    NTP sync client seems not to work properly when IP address is defined instead of FQDN. It sometimes works and sometimes not.
    There is a forum thread which may be related to this issue:
    https://forum.pycom.io/topic/1079/rtc-ntp-time-server-not-working-on-static-ip/17

    4. Availability of PSM and eDRX
    This is not really and issue but a feature request as battery-powered applications are almost impossible without these features. I am already in email contact with Abigail regarding this request, but I am mentioning it here as other users are interested in these features as well:
    https://forum.pycom.io/topic/3394/psm-edrx/2

    I would like to ask you or your colleagues for a statement.
    I would also like to ask other users to provide their experience.



  • @dan Fred wrote "We will then upgrade your module to work on the new bands." You wrote "(...) we'll replace it and ship it back." So upgrade or replace? If upgrade - isn't it possible to upgrade the firmware ourself? (1st part of the 1st question of @Eric-Waai). Also no answer for his 3rd question.



  • @rskoniec when we've confirmed the issue with your returned board, we'll replace it and ship it back. However, you'll cover the shipping cost of the module to us. When your RMA request is approved, you'll get the details of the shipping process.



  • @eric-waai you might be able to fix the bricked modem yourself, but it's a difficult process. We'll write it up next week, so in case you want to try, you'll be able to. (Note: you can permanently damage the board and if that happens, we can't replace it for you)

    I have asked the team about guard band networks.

    The modem needs to be recalibrated. If you need to use the additional bands, you'll have to open a RMA request.



  • @eric-waai I've got the same questions, so thanks. ;)

    • and one more: What about RMA shipping costs? Who will pay?


  • Great news!

    Few questions directly pop up in my mind, questions other people also might have.

    1. on this
      "Finally, those of you who have purchased cellular modules and require those additional bands, please email us on RMA@pycom.io requesting support. We will send you an RMA form to complete and need you to return your current device to us. We will then upgrade your module to work on the new bands."

    isn't it possible to upgrade the firmware ourself? or is this for bricked modems only? I need those bands but are capable of updating them myself. i also have one with a bricked modem, i'm happy tot test some sort of unbrick method.(or zend it back)

    1. it's nice that all bands are supprted now. are guard band networks also supported?

    2. on this " am also pleased to confirm that we will be taking much awaited new stock of cellular products late October which now have an upgraded firmware to ensure bricking isn’t possible during the Monarch firmware upgrade process."
      do the new modules have a different modem? or the same modem just with other firmware. in the latter case we can all upgrade our modems to this version?


 

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