Using a Cellular only connection


(Aaron) #1

Hello all I would like to install some home automation at a second property. I am interested in thermostat, smoke etc alarms, and maybe a still camera motion detector. My problem is there is no broadband available at the property just a cell signal. AT&T which I have works great.
I am trying to figure out if I can build a solution off something like the AT&T unite http://m.att.com/shopmobile/devices/netgear/unite.html.

If anyone has any advice on this is would be greatly appreciated I don’t want to throw a bunch of money at this and then discover it won’t work.

Thank you!


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #2

SmartThings needs an ethernet connection, and the details of this device don’t say that it provides on. I suppose you could use it with a wifi to ethernet bridge, but that seems a little backwards considering ATT most likely offers a cellular router with both ethernet ports and wifi.


(Wallace McClure) #3

Hmm… try looking for a cellular hotspot (essentially a wireless router which connects to the internet via a cell data signal). Then if the hotspot has a standard network jack, you should be able to connect in a Smartthings hub, and proceed to integrate with the devices you want. Essentially the cellular hotspot will replace your wired home wifi-capable router. I’m pretty sure AT&T used to sell these, but I haven’t looked for a while.

Depending upon your data usage, you might be able to put the cellular hotspot under a cellular family plan (sharing like 10 GB a month between a number of devices) for a reasonable monthly fee. However, I’m not sure what data usage of a Smartthings hub is… [Note: I have a cellular wireless modem used with a variety of laptops, and its covered under my “family plan” from AT&T which gives me 10 GB a month for about $10/ month to add it onto the family plan]


(DanG) #4

I have my hub connected to a FreedomPop Hub Burst WiMax router. I am on my second month and it is proving to be an excellent setup. I have about 30 connected things and it only uses about 250MB per month. FreedomPop allows for up to 1 GB per month for free. If you live in a WiMax area check it out. WiMax will eventually go away but for now you can’t beat the price. You can get a Hub Burst for about $50 online.


(Aaron) #5

Thanks I haven’t seen a router for AT&T just Verizon but I will keep looking. Its not on the AT&T site. I also have the family share that is why I want to use their service. I think as long as I don’t have a video camera, data shouldn’t be to bad. BTW HOT TIP right now they have a promo and you can upgrade from 10GB to 30GB for only $20 more a month.

Thanks!


(Aaron) #6

Thanks for the tip but I don’t live in a WiMax area, Whidbey Island, Washington state.


(Aaron) #7

I am searching for a AT&T router if you all know of something please tell me.

Thanks!


(Wallace McClure) #8

Hmm… looks like the hotspots they are currently selling don’t have a RJ45 (network cable) connection. However, you can buy the “Elevate” Mobile hotspot router (made by Sierra Wireless) from a variety of places, and supposedly AT&T will provide a sim card and let it run on their network.

The Elevate was sold by them up to about a year ago, so its not like its something AT&T doesn’t know – just that I suspect they won’t support maintenance on it, since they don’t sell it any more.

Here is one site that sells it – if you do a Google search, you can find several others very quickly. I’m not endorsing the company – just providing the link as example that the hardware is available. .
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/AT-T-Sierra-Wireless-Mobile-Hotspot-WiFi-Elevate-4G-MiFi-Router-Aircard-754S-Free-Shipping-Drop/1985556423.html


(Wallace McClure) #9

Wow… in the 15 minutes between writing that and checking the link, it went unavailable at that site. It’s still available on amazon, though – among others.


(Wallace McClure) #10

And… that might have a USB type connector, instead of the standard squarish LAN type connector. You can buy an adaptor though.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #11

You’ll most likely need to call them as I don’t see anything listed on their site. I don’t see anything listed on the Verizon site either, but have a friend that lives in an area that has no access to cable or DSL. Verizon installed an antenna and router (ethernet and wifi) to provide him internet over wireless. IIRC he pays $60/mo. for it.


(Aaron) #12

Thanks I am checking it out. It looks like it could work I just want to make sure it is supported in my family plan.


(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #13

Hopefully, but I think it’s a fair assumption by the provider that usage patterns would be different for this kind of service, and that it might be under its own umbrella.


(Aaron) #14

Unlimited data is gone now on AT&T so if you use 10G of data you pay for it. It doesn’t matter “how” it was used.


(Aaron) #15

I ordered this supposedly $30 / month to my family plan.

http://www.zteusa.com/att-homebase.html
It has one Ethernet port hopefully it will work


(Aaron) #16

I just wanted to report I set up ST on a cellular connection this week and everything is running great. I have thermostat, 5 smoke alarms, 1 motion 1 door connector looking for more especially a camera setup.

Thanks to all who advised!


(Joel W) #17

I am looking at this in a different way. I have Verizon FIOS as my Internet provider and it has battery backup, I also have WeMo switches that work great since the last ST update. I want the Cellular only as backup if the FIOS line is cut. My question is, is there a way to do this? I want this to work on it’s own not with me having to unplug from the FIOS then plugging in the cellular.


(Matt) #18

I am not sure about all brands but Asus routers allow plugging in a USB or Ethernet device and setting it as a backup internet connection. Some of us have gotten www.freedompop.com devices and configured them as either primary or secondary connections. I have mine as a secondary because I found ST was using 2mb every 30 minutes and I would go way over the 500mb free data.


(Joel W) #19

Can you explain in some detail what equipment you have and details on setup. AS of now I have a FIOS Router just to get Internet into house and TV guide. Into that router I have my Airport Extreme Base Station creating the wireless network all my CAT6 cables go into a switch which is connected to the FIOS router.


(Chris) #20

Hello all. I am looking to purchase SmartThings for my cottage. There is no broadband connection available, however I have great Verizon 4g service in the area. Any recommendations on a cellular router that will work dependably with ST? Reading this thread, I feel confident there is something that is dependable and reliable because I’m using it mainly to control my temperature and provide notifications when the temperature falls below a certain level. And what would be the best solution for notifications of power losses? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.