Cellular network compatibility

15 May 2020

Many cellular networks are now limiting their consumer data plans to only function on specific pre-qualified device models. To ensure best network compatibility, carriers prefer that devices be purchased directly through their official store. Even though carriers still state that they allow you to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), you will often find that they limit what model devices you can bring, or they have you enter the IMEI number of your device then tell you that your device is not compatible if it is not a model on their limited pre-qualified list.

When contacting a cellular network provider to activate your device, you may need to specify that the device is for a post-paid data plan or even a business account instead of a pre-paid consumer data plan. You may need to specify that the business data plan is for a "laptop modem" or "USB adapter" even if the rugged handheld device is more similar in appearance to a consumer tablet or smartphone. Also, carrier data plans are continuously changing. One example is as of May 2020 the AT&T "Data Connect for Mobile Hotspot and 4G devices" appears to be compatible, but no guarantees for when this will change. In some cases you may even need to obtaining an inactive SIM card from a local store for the carrier, insert the SIM card, Restart, and then contact the carrier's customer service to obtain a provisional ID for being able to activate.

If a cellular network carrier requests specifications of the device for compatibility, the following information may be helpful.

Mesa 3 Windows (Sierra Wireless EM7455 Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A)

Mesa 3 Windows AU (Sierra Wireless EM7430)

Mesa 3 Android (Qualcomm SnapDragon X12)

Cedar CP3

Cedar CT8