Review and sugestions on the FusionSIM solutions (SIM Injector & SIM Cloud and tying into the full range)

Overall the concept of the PepXIM SIM Injector (formally call the SIM Bank) as part of the FusionSIM solution is a great concept. However, it currently lacks the finesse, user-intuitive and integration refinement that is so much a hallmark of equipment from Peplink|Pepwave. To us these are minor shortcomings that can be resolved through evolving the firmware further and improving the solution and integration with the various web admin for the routers and also importantly the platforms of InControl2, SDWC & SIMCloud.

Equipment used with FusionSIM tests and deployment:
2 x SIM Injectors (both badged as PepXIM SIM Bank)
1 x HD2 Dome (customer of @Venn with remote SIMs supplied for AU from @mldowling)
1 x HD4 MBX
1 x PDX with 1 x SFE (HW Ver2) in expansion bay
1 x SFE-CAM (HW Ver1)
1 x Balance Router (Remote SIM Injector hosted behind this)
1 x FusionHub (as an alternative pathway to get the SIM Injector)

Firmware Versions used:

Existing Support Tickets (know about):

Reference materials from Peplink Forum:
Search for “SIM Injector” sorted by date

Articles (in acticle # order, generally representative of post published order)

Platforms

  • InControl2
  • SDWC
  • SIMCloud

The following are our thoughts after an intensive 24+ hours (over the weekend) working at refining some SIM Injectors working across multiple models of equipment:

  • Ability to use the remote SIM as a C, the same as using the current A & B SIMs, and there are multiple available remote SIMs, be able to set them up like the A & B SIMs (going A, B, C, D, E, F, …) all with unique options
  • Ability to start with off with an internal SIM to establish the connection to remote SIM, collect required details from remote SIM and then switch over to remote SIM
  • Ability to enter into the “Remote SIM Host” multiple IPs and domain names for when a device needs to access various FusionSIM Systems
  • Ability to use a domain name instead of an IP for the remote FusionSIM system (SIM Injector) such as remotesims.companydomain.com rather than the Public Facing IP
  • Ability to define a custom port number for the remote FusionSIM system (SIM Injector)
  • Ability to define the APN and other SIM related settings at the SIM Injector to get passed along to the Modem
  • Remove the “Remote SIM Management” page within the Advanced Menu and streamline the options within the Cellular Modem settings instead
  • Be able to have the SIM Injector/FusionSIM Server work across VPN Technologies such as PepVPN, SpeedFusion, IPSec & OpenVPN
  • On the SIM Injector, have the blue circle with the question mark (?) throughout the web admin with helpful information
  • Be able to have Trunks and VLAN (differing subnets) on the Ethernet port of the SIM Injector
  • Be able to have multiple PepVPNs directly into the SIM Injector
  • Be able to isolate/lock SIM Ports to specific devices
  • Be able to have a text readable log that can be downloaded from the SIM Injector (current log is scrambled when we attempt to download)
    image

With InControl2 (get this sorted then mirror into SDWC):

  • Be able to see the APN details (like the regular A & B SIMs) and other information such as the ICCID of the remote SIM
  • Have the event logs of the SIM Injector available with the device on InControl2
  • Have the status of the SIMs for the SIM Injector show in InControl2
  • Be able to remote web admin the SIM Injector from InControl2
  • Be able to set the SIM Injector admin Password using the InControl2 Password Group Policy
  • Be able to see on both the web admin and InControl the status of the Ethernet ports
  • SIM Injector Configuration Backups are not available within InControl2
  • From InControl2 be able to remote reboot the SIM Injector

With SIMCloud:

  • Why is not all the information about the SIM Injector being pulled directly from or via InControl2?
  • Add on the website Feedback feature (Usersnap) so that issues and questions can be raised directly to the development team as we see on the other web/cloud platforms from Peplink
    image

Missing documentation (or information not found crawling through the forum):

We have done our best to make the most of this technology development, and we wish to actively encourage the Peplink team to develop the FusionSIM solutions to the level, and integration that is seen with so many other systems from Peplink|Pepwave range.
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

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@mldowling very nice write up.
This might help you , upgrade to 1.1.65 on the injector. Let me know if you can’t guess at the link.
It helped us with connectivity issues on br1 hw3.

Use this link for details of a subscribed devices actions from simcloud.
https://simcloud.peplink.com/device/diagnosis

I have been testing the following devices with either fusion Sim or remotesim for the better part of 13-18 months with mixed results.

-Balance 20x with add-on ltea and soon to test add on cat 18 module.
-Transit mini with contenthub
-BR1 classic hw3
-SFE
-HD1 dome
-HD2 dome

For review of remotesim actions I use ic2 event log wan category , it needs a lot more detail but it helps.

I think the technology ideas are amazing but I would like to see more details of what happening and how selections are made.

We have after some period of effort mapped a remotesim “remotely” using a balance20 (could be any additional peplink/pepwave) , and setting up a layer 2 tunnel. This let our hd1 dome remotely map a Sim with the simbank not in the same location.

I also have other write-ups that I talked with @sitloongs , @Tim_S and @Eddy_Yeung about to have virtual wans added to hd1 dome , hd2 dome ,SFE . This could help bring fusionsim to these devices along with being able to remotely diagnosis a unit over vsat, DSL , or some other connectivity means.

I think the hd2 dome with a single cable , lan, virtual wan , managed switch and vsat connection makes a lot of sense on a construction site and other applications.

I think there are some limitations to what’s possible on the simbank as far as I have been able to gather it uses some proprietary os or vxworks and not Linux under the hood. So with that I think we could instead place a managed switch between the pepwave and the simbank and still get most of what we need.

Like to discuss more , let me know if this helps.

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Hello Jonathan,
Updated to 1.1.65 (link was easy to work out).


Would like to see some release notes, we will keep an eye on its performance.
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

2 Likes

SIM Injector Firmware Version 1.1.65 has improved some of the reporting within the SIMCloud platform


We at now have reported the Total SIM Slot quantity correctly, though the zero values for the rest are all wrong (should be showing Using 2, Available 6, Plugged 8, Total SIM Slot 8)
Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

2 Likes

@mldowling - I think you have hacked me (joking), just about word for word on some of the things I was writing and about to post!

We have been mainly using it with MBX and a few domes.

One of the main issues we see is the inability for the router to hold onto the SIM and stay connected to the network as if the SIM was in the router. We have done some tests with two SIMs on the same providers and plans. One in the router and on in a SIM Injector. Over 24 hours, the SIM in the router reconnected to the cellular network once. The SIM in the SIM Injector would be dropped from the router and reloaded then reconnect to the cellular network at least once an hour. This router was static but we have seen it much worse when the router is on the move.

I strongly agree with the following points and believe they should be worked on s a priority;
-Documentation and User Guide
-Firmware download page and notes on each firmware
-Bringing all remote SIM functions into the main cellular details on the dashboard. Treating the SIMs as C,D,E etc would work nicely. (the additional SIMs should be visible across all modems e.g. SIM C would be configured on cellular 1 but could then be used on cellular 2.
-Allow more than two remote SIM servers
-APN settings defined on the SIM Injector then passed to remote router when set to auto APN
-Turning the SIM Injector into a managed switch would be amazing
-Locking a SIM to a device on the SIM Injector
-Full support for InControl2

@Jonathan_Pitts
The Virtual WAN would be great and something that is desperately needed on the Dome. Been able to use the dome as the main router with a ethernet WAN would be great. My thought was to turn port four on the SIM injector into a WAN port which feeds back unto the Dome via VLANs.

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Not sure how to do proper repost (I am a noob at forums)

But I’ve got another suggestion/idea for the sim injector:

2 Likes

Another good related question from @Harry_Thompson


Happy to Help,
Marcus :slight_smile:

1 Like

Something else, on the SIM Injector GUI, when a SIM is assigned to a remote router, Peplink have taken the Cisco numbering convention of starting at 0 rather than 1.
Screenshot 2020-07-29 at 21.39.12
In the example above, the SIM is in Cellular modem 2 but (1) is displayed. When I only had one SIM connected, I was scratching my head for a while to figure out what was going on but it became clear once a few SIMs where up and running!

Could Peplink please consider them been numbered 1-4 rather than 0-3 ?

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Can someone confirm that the 20X internal modem support Fusionsim/sim injector?

Thanks!

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@Venn, believe you are referring to Balance 20X with the embedded LTE-E module. Yes, we have tested provision a SIM card via FSC (FusionSIM Controller) and it gets connected.

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correct, ok thanks

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@Venn, I should be more specific with the setup I did. It is a B20X -LTE-E + Flex Module Mini installed, then the internal modem (LTE-E) is able to accept SIM provision from the FSC.

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I have a WAN connected, that should be enough, no?

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The Flex Module Mini is require to enable the FusionSIM capability of the Balance 20X.

So, you can have the B20X-LTE-E + Flex Module Mini (CAT6/CAT12) with only WAN1 connected (no physical SIM) to utilize the SIM provisioning from FSC.

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Ok that was far from obvious from the documentation I had.

Very strange and annoying that the embedded cannot support fusionsim when there is no extension…

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Is there an option to have a LTE-A embedded module that supports remotesim , or a Flex module mini module that just enabled the remote sim and had no cellular modem in it?

I guess I don’t quite understand why the flex module mini is required for remote sim , the BR1 Classic HW3 with a single modem has remote sim capabilities, but we are wanting to deploy the 20x instead because of the increased throughput.

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The Flex Module Mini (cellular type) has the RemoteSIM component that enables the function.

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Is there a plan for a lower cost remotesim only mini module?

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We would also like this.

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