I recently had the pleasure of installing my first 3G enabled routers in a production environment. To my pleasant surprise, the process and configuration is very simple. I was able to follow Cisco’s documentation to the letter. From zero to DMVPN took about 3 hours.

Although the configuration is simple, I still got confused about a couple of parts on my first try … basically just over thinking.  Also, there were a few issues maintaining  solid connectivity but I will just chalk that up to inexperience.







For more information on Cisco’s site, go to http://www.cisco.com/go/3g

For the detailed configuration guide I used, Click Here

Other nice articles


Short Version


cellular 0 cdma activate otasp *22899

chat-script cdma “” “ATDT#777″ TIMEOUT 60 “CONNECT”

line 3
  exec-timeout 0 0
  script dialer cdma
  modem InOut
  no exec

access-list 1 permit any

dialer-list 1 protocol ip list 1

interface Cellular0
  ip address negotiated previous
  encapsulation ppp
  dialer in-band
  dialer idle-timeout 81400
  dialer string cdma
  dialer-group 1
  async mode interactive
  ppp chap password 0 cisco

!

ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 Cellular0




Full explanation



This writeup is specific to Verizon Wireless.


  1. Order service

    • Contact your 3G wireless vendor and purchase service.

    • Make sure 3g cell coverage is available.
      Verizon was able to verify 3g Coverage by zip code.

    • Provide your Sales rep with the ESN number.
      The ESN number should be on the box of the router next to the serial number.

  2. Activation

    • Once the sales rep gives activates the service, you need to type the following command exactly as it is stated below. I tried entering the phone number instead of *22899 but it did not work.


      Router#cellular 0 cdma activate otasp *22899
      Beginning OTASP activation
      OTASP number is *22899
      OTA State = SPL unlock, Result = Success

  3. Configuration

    • Configure a chat script to dial #777 into the cellular network.


      chat-script cdma “” “ATDT#777″ TIMEOUT 60 “CONNECT”


    • Identify the Cellular line with the ‘show line’ command.
      (options will be configured on the line in the next step)

      Notice the “Ce0” in the Int column. In this example, line 3 is the line associated with the Cellular Interface.


      Router#show line



      3 TTY – inout – - – 6 0 0/0 Ce0



    • Configure line options for the cellular line.


      line 3
        exec-timeout 0 0
        script dialer cdma
        modem InOut
        no exec


    • Configure an access list permitting all IP traffic
      (This will be referenced by the dialer list in the next step)


      access-list 1 permit any


    • Configure a dialer-list referencing the access list you just created.


      dialer-list 1 protocol ip list 1


    • Configure the Cellular interface.

      You might configure the IP address if you were given a static address. Otherwise, you can copy the commands below exactly as they are below. Just in case you are wondering, cisco is not the real password but apparently, the ‘ppp chap password’ command is needed even though the password is not used..


      interface Cellular0
        description *** VerizonWireless ***
         ip address negotiated
        encapsulation ppp
        dialer in-band
        dialer idle-timeout 81400
        dialer string cdma
         dialer-group 1
        async mode interactive
         ppp chap password 0 cisco


    • Create a static default route.


      ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 Cellular0





  4. Troubleshooting

    Although the configuration was simple, troubleshooting was a little tougher. I am a novice here but would like to pass along some information that helped me a lot.


    • Verifying signal strength

      As part of this being a first install, two of the three kiosks we installed wireless into had issues and it was related to signal strength. Unfortunately, common sense did not trump in this case. I thought if my cell phone works in here…so should the router.

      Use the ‘show cellular radio’ command to check the RSSI signal strength and C/I ratio.

      The router I was working on had an average of -125dBm. The recommended range is supposedly -90dBm to -60dBm (at least for Verizon).

      You can also use the ‘show cellular 0 radio history all’ command to see a graph of historical RSSI readings.

    • Antennas

      Initially, I was not able to find an outdoor antenna for the PCEX-3g-CDMA-V card that comes with the 881. However, there is a pigtail adapter (3G-ACC-SSMB-TNC) that converts the SSMB connection to the larger TNC connection used in the HWIC cards. This opens lots of antenna options.












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