LTE

History

ReleaseModification
4.3.3This feature was introduced

Dual LTE

LTE connectivity is a valuable means of providing an alternate path for multi-path routing; either as a primary path in locations that have no access to circuits or as a path of last resort in the event that the primary circuit has failed.

Dual LTE support is valuable when connecting to two discrete wireless carriers where there is a need for an active/active LTE connection. This is commonly used in remote ATMs or kiosks as a replacement for 56K DSL lines.

Prerequisites

Of the many LTE modules on the market, 128 Technology has standardized on those modules that utilize QMI (Qualcomm MSM Interface Protocol).

When running with a single LTE module, there are no restrictions on how the adapter is connected within the hardware platform. When running with two LTE cards, it is required that the second module be connected via USB interface over MiniPCIe, M.2 or even USB dongle.

Hardware Identification

In order to identify the LTE module we need to know on what bus and device it is connected within Linux. Verify the existence of the second LTE module by scanning the USB bus. At the linux shell, execute the command lsusb to output the list of connected USB devices.

[root@SOL_SCM920420006 ~]# lsusb
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 1199:9071 Sierra Wireless, Inc.
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:07db Intel Corp.
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
info

QMI-based LTE modules that exist within the 128T platform will load the qmi_wwan linux driver.

Scan the path /sys/bus/usb/drivers/qmi_wwan/*/net to detect the QMI supported interface names. It is these interface names that will be used within the 128T configuration.

[root@SOL_SCM920420006 ~]# ls /sys/bus/usb/drivers/qmi_wwan/*/net/
/sys/bus/usb/drivers/qmi_wwan/1-3:1.8/net/:wwp0s21u3i8
/sys/bus/usb/drivers/qmi_wwan/1-4:1.10/net/:wwp0s21u4i10
/sys/bus/usb/drivers/qmi_wwan/1-4:1.8/net/:wwp0s21u4i8
/sys/bus/usb/drivers/qmi_wwan/2-1:1.8/net/:wwp0s21u1i8

From the output of lsusb above, the Sierra Wireless adapter (2nd LTE card), we can tell is connected to Bus 001 Device 003. This corresponds to QMI interface wwp0s21u3i8.

Configuration

Two new config fields have been added to the network-interface with this feature:

  • default-route: enable/disable default-route via LTE interface in linux
  • management-vector contains the following two fields:
    • name: name of the vector
    • priority: the metric of default-route

Below is an example config with two LTE modules configured. The first module has AT&T SIM and the second one has Verizon SIM. Both have default-route enabled; the AT&T interface has a metric of 300 and the Verizon interface has a metric of 500.

device-interface lte-dev-1
name lte-dev-1
type lte
target-interface wwp0s21u1i8
lte
apn-name broadband
authentication
user-name foo
password foo
authentication-protocol chap
exit
exit
network-interface lte-intf-1
name lte-intf-1
source-nat true
dhcp v4
default-route true
management-vector lte-route-1
name lte-route-1
priority 300
exit
exit
exit
device-interface lte-dev-2
name lte-dev-2
type lte
target-interface wwp0s21u4i8
lte
apn-name vzwinternet
authentication
user-name bar
password bar
authentication-protocol pap
exit
exit
network-interface lte-intf-2
name lte-intf-2
source-nat true
dhcp v4
default-route true
management-vector lte-route-2
name lte-route-2
priority 500
exit
exit
exit

When 128T is not running, both LTE interfaces will be returned to linux. Before this handover happens, a default-route will be added to each interface in linux as well as an associated metric to their default-route. This is a result of the management-vector configuration defined above.

After committing this configuration and shutting down 128T, the linux route table will look something like:

[root@SOL_SCM920420006 ~]# ip route
default via 172.17.0.1 dev enp4s0f0 proto static metric 100
default dev wwp0s21u1i8 scope link metric 300
default dev wwp0s21u4i8 scope link metric 500
10.66.101.176/29 dev wwp0s21u4i8 proto kernel scope link src 10.66.101.179
10.195.40.224/28 dev wwp0s21u1i8 proto kernel scope link src 10.195.40.232
172.17.0.0/16 dev enp4s0f0 proto kernel scope link src 172.17.200.166 metric 100

This is the only configuration that is necessary to utilize both LTE adapters. Once the configuration is committed, the LTE interfaces can be use for routing just like any other interface.

Troubleshooting

The output of the show device-interface command contains extensive information in the event of failure regarding LTE connectivity. Of note, the following can be used to determine the cause of any failure:

  • Last known failure type, code, reason, and timestamp
  • Total attempts that have been made
  • An estimate of when the next attempt would be made based on the corresponding backoff configuration
admin@128t-node.128t-router# show device-interface name lte-dev
Thu 2019-12-19 15:22:54 UTC
======================================================
128t-node:lte-dev
======================================================
Type: lte
Forwarding: true
Mode: host
MAC Address: da:d1:54:e1:4e:54
Admin Status: up
Operational Status: down
Redundancy Status: non-redundant
Speed: 0
in-octets: 16450
in-unicast-pkts: 225
in-errors: 0
out-octets: 0
out-unicast-pkts: 0
out-errors: 0
LTE:
Active Profile:
APN: broadband
Auth: none
PDP type: ipv4-or-ipv6
Connection Status: disconnected
Current Ipv4 Settings: Error Retrieving Information
Failure Context:
attempt: 19
code: 33
last-failure-time: Thu Dec 19 15:08:04 2019
next-retry-time: Thu Dec 19 16:08:04 2019
reason: option-unsubscribed
type: 6
Packet Stats: Error Retrieving Information
RSSI Signal Strength: -48 dBm
Radio Interface: lte
Registration Status: registered
Signal Strength: excellent
usb-port: /dev/ttyUSB8
Completed in 0.08 seconds

In additional to the PCLI, standalone qmicli and serial-command scripts are also available for troubleshooting from the Linux shell:

lte-state <interface-name> returns a JSON string that contains dynamic information regarding the LTE connection status, such as IP address, signal strength, carrier, etc.

lte-info <interface-name> returns a JSON string that contains static information regarding the LTE module, such as firmware version, band capabilities, hardware model, etc.

These scripts can be utilized through the salt infrastructure to remotely monitor the health of the interfaces.

A new field, usb-port has been added to the output to show device-interface. This is the USB device to which the LTE adapter is connected. While the majority of the communication between the 128T and the LTE module is over QMI, AT commands are used for certain operations, such as a card reset.

To determine which devices support AT commands, scan the path /sys/class/net/{interface}/device/../*/ttyUSB*/. With the information retrieved from the ls command, you can then create a serial connection to the device to issues AT commands.

[root@SOL_SCM920420006 ~]# ls /sys/class/net/wwp0s21u4i8/device/../*/ttyUSB*/
/sys/class/net/wwp0s21u4i8/device/../1-4:1.0/ttyUSB6/:driver port_number power subsystem tty uevent
/sys/class/net/wwp0s21u4i8/device/../1-4:1.2/ttyUSB7/:driver port_number power subsystem tty uevent
/sys/class/net/wwp0s21u4i8/device/../1-4:1.3/ttyUSB8/:driver port_number power subsystem tty uevent

serial-command port <usb-port> <at-command> to run AT commands. Issue the ATQ0 command and check that an OK reply is returned.

qmicli -d /dev/cdc-wdm0 --uim-get-card-status

To get the firmeware loaded on the adapater, issue the command:

lte-image-preference --interface=wwp0s21u1i8 get

To set the firmware on the adapater, issue the command:

lte-image-preference --interface=wwp0s21u1i8 set ATT

Special Considerations

Prior to 4.3.3, on a single LTE system, a default-route within linux with a metric of 128 was always added. For backward compatibility and consistency of default behavior, after upgrade to 4.3.3:

  • A default-route with a metric of 128 will be added to the 128T configuration if:
    • default-route is not set OR set to false
    • AND management-vector is NOT configured

A validation warning (as shown below) will be issued when these conditions have not been met.

*admin@SOL_SCM920420006.SOL_SCM920420006# commit
Are you sure you want to commit the candidate config? [y/N]: y
⚠ Validating, then committing...
Warnings:
1. System is running a config without a default-route and a management-vector configured, a default-route with a metric of 128 will be added after 128T shutdown. To disable, set default-route to false and configure a management-vector.
config
authority
router SOL_SCM920420006
node SOL_SCM920420006
device-interface lte-dev-1
network-interface lte-intf-1
default-route
Configuration committed
*admin@SOL_SCM920420006.SOL_SCM920420006# q

After the 128T shutdown, you’ll see that default route with metric 128 is set within linux.

[root@SOL_SCM920420006 ~]# systemctl stop 128T
[root@SOL_SCM920420006 ~]# ip route
default via 172.17.0.1 dev enp4s0f0 proto static metric 100
default dev wwp0s21u1i8 scope link metric 128

If you need to disable the default route, within the 128T configuration, you need to:

  • set default-route to false
  • AND configure a not-empty management-vector
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