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Contributor I

4G Yet????

I noticed in 2007 that a contributor responded that 4G was "problematic" at that time and that Aruba had no workable solution fo rusing 4G on RAP-5s. I'm asking 3+ years later if Aruba has made any advances in 4G uplink for remote APs. Our enterprise is phasing out the legacy 3G usb modems and going to the 4G technology. Has Aruba made any progress in this realm of service privisioning?

Thanks!

Bruce
Guru Elite

Re: 4G Yet????

Please contact your local Aruba sales team for status on this.


Colin Joseph
Aruba Customer Engineering

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Aruba Employee

Re: 4G Yet????

Hey Bruski...

I'm pretty sure the person who posted about 4G modems was me--and I'm quite sure it wasn't 2007--I'm not sure we even supported 3G back then.

Anyway, most people view 3G modems and 4G modems as similar because the interface to the client device (or the Aruba AP) happens to be USB. But that is where the similarity ends.

With 3G modems, the interface is basic serial connectivity--and thus the communication between the modem and the device is very easy to do and doesn't depend on drivers. That's why we can support pretty much any 3G modem just by entering AT commands (like a modem) even though the system may not support it natively.

With 4G modems, the interface over the USB is generally ethernet over USB...which requires complex driver interactions between the client device and the modem. When installing a 4G modem on your laptop for example, there is a lot of logic that takes place on the laptop OS itself--things that also need to take place on the Aruba RemoteAP when using 4G modems--vs the use of 3G modems which do not require this complexity.

That's why it's not just a simple "turn it on" even though it seems to be because both devices (3G and 4G) look the same from a physical form factor sense and both use USB--their interfaces are COMPLETELY different.

All that being said, we have been making strides on this but it also makes the RemoteAP to 4G modem device a more coupled system--and only certain ones will be supported although I'm sure more will be added over time. We have at least a handful of 4G modems supported in Alpha and maybe even Beta situations....so we are making progress.

Colin suggests getting with your account team and I agree 100%. You want to be sure that if you require support for a certain 4G modem that you communicate that to your account team so they can work on your behalf with Aruba engineering. The device I'm familiar with is the Sprint U600. I know we're working on that one.

I hope this helps.
Contributor I

I Was in Error...

Apologies...I did a cursory glance in the upper left of the post I was referring to and actually quoted someone's "join date" which I mistook for the actual post date. I appreciate you taking the time to give a detailed response relating to the differences between the two technologies. It makes better sense when "explained" instead of a courtesy "check back soon".

We're all fighting to promote our technologies to our enterprises so they remain on the radar of upper-management. With the way that cuts are being made across the IT globe, its a necessity that we remain in the forefront ie, a progressive mode in being able to provide newer technologies to our customers. When we hit such plateaus as exists in the migrational capability between 3G and 4G, it doesn't promote a sense of "necessity, much less active interest by management" when other integration teams around us are making huge strides toward introducing newer services while we sit back and "wait" for our niche to gel. We're all IT sharks swimming in an ocean who's own innate ability to sustain us ($$$) is dwindling at an exponential rate!

Thank you and Colin both..!
Aruba Employee

Re: 4G Yet????

I totally hear what Bruski59 is saying. My biggest problem with 4G right now is that I'm trying to promote RAP as much as humanly possible and the 4G question keeps coming up and I just have to kind of sit and take the criticism.

I can imagine that it's insanely difficult to integrate 4G into a RAP and I try to explain that to people, but I keep getting devices like Cradlepoint thrown back at me. They are a really small company, which gives them a lot of flexibility around innovation, but they've had 4G support for about a year now.

One other thing that I sincerely hope Aruba developers understand is that "simultaneous" 3G and 4G support is an absolute must. Meaning, a RAP must have the ability to not only support 4G devices but must have the ability to fall back to 3G on those 4G devices if they are not in a 4G coverage area - WITHOUT re-provisioning the RAP.
Guru Elite

Re: 4G Yet????


I totally hear what Bruski59 is saying. My biggest problem with 4G right now is that I'm trying to promote RAP as much as humanly possible and the 4G question keeps coming up and I just have to kind of sit and take the criticism.

I can imagine that it's insanely difficult to integrate 4G into a RAP and I try to explain that to people, but I keep getting devices like Cradlepoint thrown back at me. They are a really small company, which gives them a lot of flexibility around innovation, but they've had 4G support for about a year now.

One other thing that I sincerely hope Aruba developers understand is that "simultaneous" 3G and 4G support is an absolute must. Meaning, a RAP must have the ability to not only support 4G devices but must have the ability to fall back to 3G on those 4G devices if they are not in a 4G coverage area - WITHOUT re-provisioning the RAP.




Here are just some of the problems with 4G, in general:

- There is no standard, so each Carrier/Modem Maker/Handset/tablet manufacturer is free to implement whatever they want to call "4G".
- That means device manufacturers will have different implementations depending on what carrier they choose, even for the same hardware/handset company.
- Since 4G is NOT standard, each carrier will require you to load a great deal of software on your device for EACH DIFFERENT MODEM YOU WANT TO SUPPORT and that will force you to test it against software that you already have deployed.
- This additional testing requires considerable QA for device manufacturers that provide many more services than basic connectivity on top of 4G
- It also requires those same companies to provide a consistent layer of debugging, visibility and troubleshooting for all those non-standard methods of connectivity, whch also increases QA time
- 3g to 4G roaming is not seamless for any carrier. There are some carriers that even drop randomly while it seems they are connected over 4G. Depending on the device, whether it is laptop or phone, it requires you to re-connect manually to roam; This is even after "4G" has been deployed in some locations for over a year. There are many users of 4G that have increased speed with 4G, but very few if any deploy in mission-critical situations, have five-9s uptime of devices or have increased battery life.
- Carriers are still debugging/optimizing/tuning their networks, so that turns 4G into a live testbed, in many cases.
- Any device manufacturer that wants to deploy on 4G for its customers has to accept the limitations and drawbacks introduced by the approach embraced by the carriers. Those limitations and drawbacks will certainly get passed on to customers of those device manufacturers.
- Those same device manufacturers also have to risk providing a suboptimal experience to their customers, increased QA time, longer time to fixing issues as a result. That is truly unacceptable to most end-users.

To be fair, Cradlepoint is a manufacturer that focuses solely on connectivity with 3g/4g products, but they also lack the enterprise management and reporting that most companies would require for something like a hard VPN client so the bar is lower for them to support their products. You could plug a RAPs ethernet into a Cradlepoint, but then have no visibility into why the connection has failed or is suboptimal.

Like BJwhite said, we do have 4G modems that we are testing with and if you speak to your local Aruba sales team, they can get an idea of what modems you are using so we can know what to focus on and keep you up to date on progress for your specific situation. Aruba is very focused on the experience of the end-user and it would be hard to deploy something that would provide a poor experience.


Colin Joseph
Aruba Customer Engineering

Looking for an Answer? Search the Community Knowledge Base Here: Community Knowledge Base

Aruba Employee

Re: 4G Yet????

I think we all get the point about Cradlepoint being a narrow vendor solely focused on 3G/4G routers/mifi devices. The problem is, upper management doesn't care about that. They know there are devices on the market that do what Aruba can't with respect to 4G. It stinks, I know, but that's the reality.

Your points about 4G standards, reliability, tuning, etc. are well taken. It comes down to one of those is some user experience (even if it's not very good) better than no user experience.
Guru Elite

Re: 4G Yet????


I think we all get the point about Cradlepoint being a narrow vendor solely focused on 3G/4G routers/mifi devices. The problem is, upper management doesn't care about that. They know there are devices on the market that do what Aruba can't with respect to 4G. It stinks, I know, but that's the reality.

Your points about 4G standards, reliability, tuning, etc. are well taken. It comes down to one of those is some user experience (even if it's not very good) better than no user experience.




Please speak to your local Aruba sales team to see if there is a beta program for the product that you would like to support, then.


Colin Joseph
Aruba Customer Engineering

Looking for an Answer? Search the Community Knowledge Base Here: Community Knowledge Base

Contributor I

Re: 4G Yet????

Well stated Mike!

At the end of the day our users don't really care about the technical challenges, especially if another vendors is providing a similar service / feature that is of interested.

Everything from features (4g to 3g fall back) to a supported device list is a HOT topic these days. There are many locations across the country that have REALLY bad broadband services options and the 4g cellular technology is actually a better option.

I am having the same internal conversations as Mike described. To help keep momentum and confidence high in Aruba, we need some real solutions soon.

Vinson
Aruba Employee

Re: 4G Yet????

FYI, Sprint 4G is now supported in 6.1.2.1.
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