Getting Started

Introduction

NB|EASY is a software tool developed to control the USB Connect LPWA device via PC. After successful connection establishment, the device is able to perform end-to-end-connectivity tests. After successful connection establishment, the device is able to transmit and receive data via the NB-IoT network.

 



Version History

The following table shows the changes done with every NB|EASY documentation version:

Version

Date

Changes

Version

Date

Changes

1.5

Jun 22, 2021

  • Update install instructions for Linux

1.4

Oct 15, 2019

  • Support of Vodafone USB connect LPWA device

1.3

Aug 16, 2018

  • Add installation instructions for SARA R410M devices

1.2

Jul 6, 2018

  • Add installation instructions

1.1

May 1, 2018

  • Add performance tab description

1.0

Apr 11, 2018

  • Initial Version

Software Installation

Basic software requirements

Windows

  • Use windows executable from the Software & Drivers to install NB | EASY software.

  • The installer will take care of installing the Java environment and the required drivers.

  • Start the program via desktop shortcut or start menu entry.

Linux

  • Linux distributions provide separate packages for the Java 8 runtime environment and JavaFX.
    Make sure you have installed all basic software requirements or the NB|EASY tool won’t start.
    For example, to install Java 8 and JavaFX on Ubuntu you need to run:
    apt-get install openjdk-8-jdk openjfx

  • The required UART drivers are usually distributed as part of the Linux kernel since v4.4.132.

  • Check whether the required kernel module is loaded: lsmod | grep option.

  • Check whether you have read/write access to USB-UART bridge: ls -la /dev/ttyUSB*.

  • Download NB | EASY jar-file from Software & Drivers.

  • Start the program via command line: java -jar Vodafone-NB-EASY-x.x.x.jar.

Linux setup & troubleshooting

Currently, the ModemManager package (confirmed for version 1.10.0-1~ubuntu18.04.2) detects the USB Connect LPWA (R410) as a general QMI-WWAN modem and tries to configure it. Besides failing this task it blocks any "user" AT commands, e.g. using minicom.

The following shell commands stop and disable the ModemManager service:

Device Selection

After starting the application, the Device Selection tab is shown first. Here, the connected NB device can be selected.

(1) The Refresh button starts a new search for all USB-connected devices. An ongoing search is indicated by a progress bar below the button.

(2) After the search is finished, all available devices are displayed. By clicking on the device, it will be is selected for usage. After that, the Quick Start tab is shown.

Quick Start

The Quick Start tab controls the connected USB Connect LPWA device.

“Attach to network” attaches the USB Connect LPWA to the cellular network. A drop down menu to select the NB-IoT network to attach to. Here the local network can be chosen. Alternatively automatic option can be selected.

“Update” lists the UE-statistics (RSRP, SNR, …) measured at the USB Connect LPWA device

“Open IoT Manger” opens the IoT test-cloud

Here, the device can be triggered to attach to the NB-IoT network and transmit sample data to the cloud.

Device Status

The top area of the application shows the selected device and its current state. It contains the following information:

  1. Device specific parameters:

    1. Name of selected NB-IoT device

    2. Modem type number

    3. Modem version, application version

    4. IMEI: International mobile equipment identity.

  2. Modem Status: shows the current status of the device.

  3. Attach to network button: triggers an attach or detach depending on modem status.

Modem Status

The modem status indicates the following values:

Modem Status

Description

Modem Status

Description

Detached

The modem is powered on but not attached to the network.

Attaching

The modem is currently trying to attach to the network.

Attached

The modem is attached to the network

Detaching

The modem is currently detaching from the network.

Transmitting

The modem is transmitting data.

Receiving

The modem is receiving data.

Detached

In the detached state, the device is not able to transmit data to the NB-IoT network. First, an attach procedure needs to be triggered, including the following steps:

  1. Select the NB-IoT network in the drop down menu.

  2. Click on the Attach to network button to start the attachment procedure to the selected NB-IoT network

Note: Be aware that the embedded SIM card requires either "Vodafone-global-roaming", a Vodafone Profile or a Vodafone partner profile, to be selected, otherwise the attach procedure will fail.

Attached

In the attached state, the device is now able to transmit data to the NB-IoT network by the following control elements:

  1. Text field button : to enter text to be transmitted when button (2) is pressed.

  2. Transmit to Cloud button: to start transmission to the cloud of the entered text (1) as well as the current cell information.

  3. Update button (3): to start a cell information update.

  4. Cell information list (4): which shows all received cell information of the last successful cell information update (see Displayed parameters in Table below).

  5. Open IoT Manager button (5): to open IoT Manager website to view all successfully transmitted values as described in figure 6.

 

IoT Manager web site

Control Center

The control center is a more advanced and detailed view of the communication between the NB|EASY tool with the connected IOT device.
Here, the user can send individual messages to the device. The incoming messages are monitored as well.

  1. Switch between "AT" and "Easy" mode (The USB connect LPWA does only support the "AT" mode)

  2. Message log: tracks all messages.

  3. Button to clear the message log (2)

  4. Button to save the current message log in a text file.

  5. List of all possible AT commands

  6. Select a single AT command to be sent to the device. The message string will be copied to message text field (8).

  7. Button to start sending of the AT command (8) to the device.

  8. Message text field. The message to be sent to the device can be edited further.

 

Automatic TX mode

This section allows setting automatic data transmission events. The event interval period is configurable.

The transmission status is displayed as detailed in the Tab 1 and the sent data can be verified on the cloud.

Figure 8: Automatic TX mode

Geolocation

This tab allows the user to display the current location parameters of the NB device (Latitude, Longitude,Accuracy). It uses the characteristics of nearby Wi-Fi hot spots to discover where the host computer is located.

The cell parameters displayed are detailed in the Tab 1 above.

Abbreviations

Abbreviation

Description

Abbreviation

Description

NB-IoT

Mobile Communication standard "Narrowband Internet-of-Things"

NB

Short Version of "NB-IoT"

RAT

Radio Access Technology

Annex

Parameter

Description

Definition

Example Value

Acceptable Range

Parameter

Description

Definition

Example Value

Acceptable Range

RSSI

Received Signal Strength Indicator

RSSI is a measurement of the power present in a received radio signal

-67 dBm

-113 dBm..-51dBm

PCI

Physical Cell Identidy

PCI is an identification of a cell at physical layer. It has similar role as Primary Scrambling Code of UMTS cell.This physical cell ID is determined by Primary Sync Signal and Secondary Sync Signal.

212



EARFCN

E-UTRA Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Number

EARFCN is a unique number given to each radio channel within the frequency bands used by the network . It can be used to calculate the carrier frequency

6374

0..65535

RSRQ

Reference Signal Received Quality

RSRQ is a C/I type of measurement and it indicates the quality of the received reference signal. The RSRQ measurement provides additional information when RSRP is not sufficient to make a reliable handover or cell reselection decision.

-3 dBm

-3..-19.5dBm

RSRP

Reference Signal Received Power

RSRP is the average power of Resource Elements that carry cell specific Reference Signals over the entire bandwidth. It is the average received power of a single RS resource element.

-76.4 dBm

-140 dBm..-44 dBm

TAC

Type Allocation Code

TAC is the initial eight-digit portion of the 15-digit IMEI and 16-digit IMEISV codes used to uniquely identify wireless devices.

AB7D



MCC

Mobile Country Code

MCC consists of three decimal digit and it is used to identify the country. The first digit identifies the geographic region .

262

consists on 3 decimal digits

MNC

Mobile Network Code

MNC identifies the home PLMN of the mobile subscriber. The length of the MNC (two or three digits) depends on the value of the MCC.

02

consists on 2 or 3 decimal digits

Assigned T3412

Assigned Timer 3412

The periodic tracking area update timer to periodically notify the availability of the UE to the network. The procedure is controlled in the UE by (timer T3412). The value of timer T3412 is sent by the network to the UE in the ATTACH ACCEPT message and can be sent in the TRACKING AREA UPDATE ACCEPT message. The UE shall apply this value in all tracking areas of the list of tracking areas assigned to the UE, until a new value is received.

4h

0..35712000 sec

Assigned T3324

Assigned Timer 3324

The T3324 active timer determines the duration during which the device remains
reachable for mobile terminated transaction on transition from connected to idle mode. The device starts the active timer when it moves from connected to idle mode and when the active timer expires, the device moves to Power Saving Mode

6s

0..11160 sec