Cisco 887G and PCEX-3G-HSPA with Telstra NextG

Before starting any configuration, it would be an idea to check with Telstra and find out what agreement the client has as i’ve had troubles with basic data packs not agreeing on an IP via the telstra.internet APN; and forget support from Telstra as they will yell at you telling you they don’t support Cisco routers. If your faced with this situation, ask the rep to add the extranet service (Please note; YOU WILL NEED TO BE ON A POSTPAID/PLAN TO HAVE THIS SERVICE ADDED) and use the telstra.extranet APN.

We’ll then need to confirm the IOS as i was caught out by an earlier IOS not recognising a module; on bootup, i would see an event;

*Jun 24 10:01:39.927: %CISCO800-2-MODEM_NOT_RECOGNIZED: Cellular0 modem not RECOGNIZED.         Carrier id not available or invalid! Replace it with Cisco supported modem and         reload the router.

The IOS on the above router was c880data-universalk9-mz.150-2.T1.bin. I’d upgraded it to c880data-universalk9-mz.151-2.T1.bin and we were good to go. Another gotcha on new 3G cards is to make sure the SIM is not locked via PIN. If so, you can unlock by either inserting it into a phone and unlocking that way or  by using the following command via the Cisco;

 Cisco887#cellular 0 gsm sim unlock <4digitpin>

When all the above is said and done, we need to establish which APN the service will be making a call to. Most typical data plans are for the telstra.internet APN however as mentioned, i’ve had trouble with this APN and instead used the telstra.extranet APN with no probs (once again, you’ll need to have this service added to the plan). Once we agree on an APN, we create a profile. Further note, ALL commands are done at the global level.

Cisco887#cellular 0 gsm profile create 3 telstra.internet ipv4 chap dummy dummy

You’ll notice  i’ve added authentication; this isn’t required however in the event that you need to use an APN such as telstra.corp (which requires authentication), you can modify the profile accordingly. Once the profile is created, we can view. Here you’ll see what IP you’ve been assigned, which APN your connected to etc;

Cisco887#show cellular 0 profile

Next we need to configure the old age AT (Attention) commands which the dialer will impose on the WIC. Please note, this command is CASE-SENSITIVE.

Cisco887#chat-script internet "" "ATDT*98*3#" TIMEOUT 30 CONNECT

If we had created a GSM profile with number 7, our chat-script would look like this

Cisco887#chat-script internet "" "ATDT*98*7#" TIMEOUT 30 CONNECT

Now we need to configure the line interface which will be making the call; on the 800 series, this is typically line 3. I had the below TX and RX speeds, you can throttle as required.

line 3  
exec-timeout 0 0  
script dialer internet  
modem InOut  
no exec  
transport input all  
rxspeed 7200000
txspeed 5760000

Now we need to configure a Dialer interface; this will simply negotiate an IP with Telstra. The key to this interface is the Dialer string <chat-script>. In our case, Dialer string internet.

interface Dialer1 
ip address negotiated 
ip virtual-reassembly 
encapsulation ppp 
dialer pool 1 
dialer idle-timeout 0 
dialer string internet
dialer persistent 
dialer-group 1 
no cdp enable

Now we need to configure the Cellular interface as below

interface Cellular0 
no ip address 
ip virtual-reassembly 
encapsulation ppp 
load-interval 60 
dialer in-band 
dialer pool-member 1 
dialer-group 1 
async mode interactive

Before we finish up, Telstra recommend running AT commands on the HWIC. In order to do so, we’ll need to telnet to the HWIC module. This can be accomplished by creating a loopback interface (on any address) and telnet to that interface on port 2003; Please note, this port number is not a global as i’ve seen documentation for the 1800 series routers requiring port 2002. Typically though, you’ll find that the port number corresponds to the line number. With some 887 routers that have integrated AP’s, you’ll find you can telnet to the AP on port 2002 as it corresponds to line 2. First, we’ll create a loopback interface.

Cisco887(config)#int loopback0
Cisco887(config-if)#ip address

Now, we’ll need to telnet to this address on port 2003. On success, you should see that the port is “open” and you’ll be presented with a blank menu. Begin typing in the commands as below; again, these commands are case-sensitive.


Also just lastly, Telstra recommend locking the GSM card to the 850MHz Next G Network for best performance. We can either set this via the IOS CLI or AT commands.

 Cisco887#cellular 0 gsm band WCDMA-V-850
 Or using AT commmands:

The last command will reset the module and all things equal, when the cellular interface comes up, you should see it bind to the Dialer profile and pickup an IP address from Telstra. You can verify by using either sh ip int brief orby using the sh cellular 0 profile command as above. You’ll then obviously need to configure the appopriate NAT rules, default routes etc;

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