Configuring a Custom Carrier APN and Security

Mobile devices operating on cellular networks (such as LTE) use cellular frequency bands to communicate with carrier cell towers. They also require you to configure an APN for the carrier to set up a connection to the gateway between your carrier’s cellular network and the Internet. Many carriers support auto-configuration of the band and APN as it is programmed on the SIM card. However, many carriers require you to manually configure an APN, band, and security for the cellular device.

Monnit ALTA and ALTA XL 1W IoT Gateways are programmed to default to auto-configuration. Generally, this will configure the gateway to operate on bands similar to those used in the United States. Typically, the carriers that use these bands auto-configure the gateway with an APN during provisioning. However, you may need to manually configure the gateway if the band or carrier needs to be changed, which is often the case for international use.

The ALTA and ALTA XL 1W IoT Gateways support CAT-M1 or NB-IoT LTE networks around the globe that operate using bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31, 66, 71, 72, 73, and 85.

Connecting the Gateway to Ethernet

If your gateway can’t connect to the cellular network in your region using auto-configuration and thus can’t report to out of the box, you can connect it to Ethernet. The commercial IoT Gateway’s Ethernet port can help you complete the band and APN configuration.

Configuring Using iMonnit

To configure your gateway through iMonnit, you must connect to the Internet. Connect your device via Ethernet and meet the same conditions as the Ethernet Gateway (listed below):

  • Confirm the device has been added to an iMonnit account.
  • Confirm the gateway is connected to power and completes the startup test.
  • Confirm the gateway is operating on the local Ethernet network with a valid IP address.
  • Confirm the network allows for traffic to the Internet over outbound TCP port 3000 (inbound port is not specified) and that the DNS server on the network can resolve
  • Update the gateway’s firmware if an update is available after connecting to iMonnit.

Configuring Using the HTTP Interface

The IoT Gateway also offers the same HTTP Interface as the Ethernet Gateway, with the addition of cellular carrier configurations. This allows for the manual configuration of the bands and APN over the HTTP Interface. The steps for accessing this interface are the same as the Ethernet Gateway 4.

*Industrial IoT Gateways don’t support configuration over Ethernet as they don’t have Ethernet ports. Therefore, auto-configuration of an Industrial IoT Gateway may not be supported in some areas.

Configure The Gateway’s Carrier Preference Manually

To begin configuring your gateway’s Carrier Preference, log in to your iMonnit account. Navigate to Gateway > Settings > Cellular > Carrier Preference > Manual (as shown in the image below).

Gateways - IoT - Configure APN
Gateways - IoT - Configure APN
  • Carrier APN: Identifier which will assist the carrier in determining what kind of network connection should be created. If the APN isn’t auto-configured by the carrier, you will need to request the APN address from them. For any carrier that provides the APN automatically, you may leave the Carrier APN field blank, set the SIM Authentication to None, and select the desired Bands before saving.
  • SIM Authentication Type: By default, this field will read None. If your carrier requires SIM Authentication, select the authentication protocol used by your carrier (PAP or CHAP) and enter the appropriate Username and Password. Many carriers don’t require SIM Authentication, so this is set to None in many cases.
  • Active Bands: Select the correct bands for the LTE protocol (CAT-M1 or NB-IoT) for the carrier in the specific region. If the correct bands are not selected, the gateway will not connect to the cellular network. To determine what bands the carrier uses in the region, you will want to contact your carrier. Alternatively, selecting all the bands will allow the gateway to scan all available bands. While this will ensure scanning for any available CAT-M1 or NB-IoT cellular network in the area operating with the SIM on supported bands, it may take several hours for the scan to complete.

If active carrier bands in the region are known, but the APN is unknown, and the auto-configuration mode isn’t successful, one may consider attempting the following configurations:

  • Set the Carrier Preference to Manual.
  • Leave the Carrier APN field blank.
  • Leave the SIM Authentication Type set to None.
  • Select the desired bands.
  • Confirm the Connection Preference is set to Ethernet Preferred (this enables both the Ethernet and Cellular connections).
  • Select the Save button.
  • Power the gateway off with the switch.
  • Disconnect the Ethernet port from the gateway.
  • Power the gateway on; watch for all three LEDs to go solid green.

The gateway will attempt to retrieve the APN automatically without authentication on the selected bands. If this is unsuccessful, contact the carrier to retrieve and apply the correct APN and authentication configurations.

In some cases, the IoT Gateway’s cellular module may be eligible for a Cellular Module firmware update. Please reach out to to request a cellular module update.

Using the IoT Gateway with a Monnit-Provided AT&T International SIM

In most cases, an IoT Gateway with an AT&T International SIM will not auto-configure to the bands specific to a region outside of the United States. For this reason, you may need to determine the bands used for CAT-M1/NB2 and manually configure them on the gateway, as noted above. If you have an AT&T International SIM card provided by Monnit, please reach out to to confirm the plan is activated for International use.

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