Internet Service Providers Offering Cellular Network for Vehicles

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BACKGROUND

The majority of vehicles in operation do not come with pre-installed internet services and hotspots due to the future inconvenience of offering remote maintenance and support services to deployed devices. In addition, unique features requested by customers require a different pre-installed network hardware in vehicles, such as supporting VPN services for end users’ remote work applications, extended connectivity range for remote locations, or the need to offer public hotspots for taxis or privately owned transportation service vehicles.

In response to the challenges of requiring unique applications, the deployment of cellular network, data subscription and remote maintenance or support services are often a separate service offered by internet service providers instead of pre-installed by automobile companies. Currently, there are lots of internet service providers in the market offering cellular services tailored for different scenarios, some of the unique features are such as register portals for public service vehicles, VPN split tunnels for business vehicles, and SIM card file sharing for family cars.

Project Requirements

Our partner, an internet service provider company, is looking to provide LTE broadband deployment, data subscription and remote support services to RVs, and cross state or country personal vehicles. The device should have the following requirements:

Reliable connectivity

The network devices must be easily configurable for supporting their add-on services using their unique software interface. In addition, part of our partner’s service is helping the end users deploy and configure the network hardware. The setup procedure must be simplified by pre-configuring all necessary features before deployment.

Configurable firmware

The network devices must be easily configurable for supporting their add-on services using their unique software interface. In addition, part of our partner’s service is helping the end users deploy and configure the network hardware. The setup procedure must be simplified by pre-configuring all necessary features before deployment.

Remote Access

The end users’ vehicles can be anywhere. A physical maintenance solution is impractical, and some users may not be familiar with the network device to follow over-the-phone instructions. Software support services including maintenance, firmware update, and network settings must be configurable remotely by our partner’s engineers.

TOPOLOGY

Solution

The most suitable device for this scenario is Spitz GL-X750v2, our 4G LTE dual-band wireless router, providing 300Mbps (2.4G) + 433Mbps (5G) Combined Wi-Fi Speed, long-range connectivity, and comes with a remote device management platform. In a Wi-Fi environment, Spitz supports most modem modules including the most common Quectel EC-25AF - Category 4 modem and Quectel EP06-A - Category 6 LTE-A modem.

Reliable Connections

Spitz is an AT&T IoT certified device and is also compatible with most major telecommunication companies in the United States. Our partner can select between an optional BLE or ZigBee IoT module upon manufacturing, and it also supports interchangeable CAT4/CAT6 data modules, and a global EG25-G version. The LTE-capable router utilises a mini-PCIe slot for the cellular modem, allowing the input of additional modules such as USB expansion cards, SATA, or a separate internal Wi-Fi adapter.

We selected this device for our partner to not only provide reliable cellular network connectivity but also for recreational vehicles to connect to various IoT devices such as thermostats, energy tracking sensors, leak & smoke detectors, and security systems.

Spitz comes with four antennas for extended cellular and Wi-Fi range connectivity in remote locations. It has two external full-band 4G antennas with a maximum distance of 700m at 2.7GHz, an internal 2.4GHz Wi-Fi antenna at 3dBi and an internal 5GHz Wi-Fi antenna at 6dBi.

Customizable Firmware

Spitz runs on OpenWrt highly customizable firmware. Spitz’s firmware is pre-installed with various security applications, including OpenVPN and WireGuard supporting 30+ VPN services for encrypting all data traffic within the connected network, and Cloudflare providing a secure web browsing experience.

All of GL.iNet’s OpenWrt supported devices also include Imagebuilder, a user-friendly interface for tailoring the device to run our partner’s third party service applications. Using Imagebuilder, our partner has designed and integrated a new user interface for Spitz’ admin panel.

Remote Maintenance & Support

Spitz comes with GoodCloud, our remote device management platform for our partner to perform maintenance and support services.

Using GoodCloud, our partner can perform independent or batch firmware updates remotely upon requests, to ensure the latest security settings are implied, import new features and debug device issues if any.

Our partner can also respond to support requests by remotely accessing the admin panel for network and application settings or accessing the device terminal via SSH for in-depth diagnostics and settings configuration.