After several months of headaches with T-mobile and their horribly restrictive 50gb data plans, I finally changed service to Verizon. Verizon has an unlimited data plan for hotspots that one line is $110 plus fees and taxes. The more lines you add, the cheaper it is per additional device.
After much research, I arrived on using the Teltonika RUT240. Just a word of caution, there are multiple versions, the one linked in this article is specifically for use with the Verizon Network. Teltonika does make a version that works with AT&T and T-Mobile.
Some of the reasons I went with the Teltonika are the ability to remote manage a connected device via the webgui and the voltage of the Teltonika makes it a clear choice for using in a solar powered application. When I say this device is cool, I may be understating the facts a bit. But, it is not easy to configure. The only downside I could find is that many people gave up and sent it back because of the configuration difficulty – hence, the reason I am posting what worked for me.
Note – When ordering your Teltonika RUT240, make sure to check compatibility with Verizon. Upon receipt, you can verify by checking the IMEI of the device on the Verizon webpage. If the IMEI checks out, then you may proceed with getting a SIM card and configuring the device for service.
Once you have connected the antennas, inserted your Verizon SIM card and plugged in the power adapter, you should see the lights blinking on the device. Let that sit for a few minutes while you go out and find the latest firmware to download.
(It is very important to download the latest firmware and update the router prior to configuring.)
You can find the latest firmware at the Teltonika RUT240 downloads page.
Then, using the information on the bottom of your device, connect to the RUT240’s wireless address. Once connected, you will want to navigate to 192.168.1.1 in a web browser. (If your home network has the same address, you will need to disconnect your ethernet connection prior to this step)
After the initial login and changing the admin password, you will want to go to System–> Firmware
You will upload the firmware that you downloaded earlier and then wait. Once the device hits 100%, you may have to reestablish your WiFi connection because the device will reboot. It is extremely important not to power the device off during this process, you could damage your router.
Now, it is time to configure the network settings for the Verizon network. Go to Network –> Mobile settings and copy the below settings:
Once you have copied the settings in the picture, press Save. Any time you press save, several files will be updated, please give the device time to write the changes prior to moving forward.
Now, we will go to the Network Operators Tab:
Here, we will hit the button to Scan for Operators:
When finished, select Verizon and Save. Again, this will take a some time, so allow the device a minute or two to save the changes.
If you have all of the settings copied above, we can move forward with registering the device on the Verizon Network. Go to Status –> Network.
At the bottom of the page, you will then click (Re)register and the device will attempt to connect the Verizon Network. If you have followed the instructions above, it should now be connected to Verizon.
Remote Management of Helium Hotspots via a GUI
Did you know the Teltonika has a remote management portal that not only shows the Teltonika device, but also allows you to connect to a webgui for an attached device? How cool is that!! I will put out a separate blog article about the remote management portal soon.