Cradlepoint 4G LTE Issues with the Novatel USB551L

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Friday, 05 August 2011

Cradlepoint 4G LTE Issues with the Novatel USB551L

In March, Verizon released the Novatel USB551L, which proved to be one of, if not the most reliable 3G/4G modems. However, there has been growing issues over the past few weeks regarding connectivity with the device in 4G areas, despite excellent 4G signals. At first this issue seemed to revolve around the newer NetBSD based routers, however, it seems customers on the older Ubicom platform are also experiencing problems now. We've been working directly with Cradlepoint to figure out a solution, but so far there hasn't been a lot of success.

When customers insert the USB551L into a Cradlpoint router the USB light will go solid green, which indicates that they've established an internet connection. They can then go into the router interface and the device will indicate that it's connected with a 20% signal strength ranging from -70 to -80dB, yet when they go to launch a webpage they're greeted to a "page can not be display" error. This is assuming your device is recognized with the latest firmware, another issue is customers that need to repeatedly plug/unplug their modems just to recognize the device and get internet access. We've tried every trick in the book to get these customers up and running with little success, other than having the customers swap out their USB551L for a different wireless modem.  

When doing any testing on your own, we recommend recording any signal values directly from VZAccess Manager. The RSSI widget on the Cradlepoint routers don't appear to be accurately indicating signal strength or the correct SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio). We also can't get a direct confirmation if there is a correlation between SNR and successfully connecting your USB551L to the router. It seems some customers have claimed Cradlepoint has indicated that specific values on the modem will result in an inability to connect to their routers. At this time we haven't received a response from Cradlepoint regarding SNR ratios to confirm if there is any validity to their claims. We know that there is some type of issue when their routers won't work, however, customers are able to plug the modem into their computer directly and instantly begin surfing the internet again. 

We hope to see a new firmware release in the near future that will address these issues and give customers the same experience they've grown accustomed to on 3G only modems. If you have a USB551L and a Cradlepoint router we'd like to hear your experience. Some of our EVDOForum members have been posting some issues here: Verizon 4g/3g Novetel 551L Broadband Issues and USB551L and CTR35 - wont stay connected to 3G network

If you're experiencing issues with the Novatel USB551L and a Cradlepoint router please fill out the information requested from this thread to help us solve the problem - Cradlepoint issues with Novatel USB551L [success/failure]?

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 August 2011 )
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