Any out of the box working pcie LTE modems found?



  • Hi,

    I have tried multiple internal LTE modems but not succeeded with any of those. This is only thing that I can't get to work in pfSense but I can see that that this is normal... With Linux there is no issues at all - just zero, but this is totally opposite of that even this should be OS for networking. It's other vise super great software but this LTE 4G/5G support is catastrophic failure and need to have serious attention from developers.

    Is there any reason why not focus on this so that we could be at the same level as Linux distros are with these modem hardware? They are true plug-and-play to use there. What's wrong here?


  • Netgate Administrator

    So what modems did you try?

    The usual difficulty is that there is no MBIM driver for FreeBSD. Modems need to present an AT interface to be usable. The Sierra 7355 and 7455 will work as long as they have not been set to mbim only mode.

    I think you may be exaggerating the catastrophe! 😉

    Steve



  • I'd imagine that anything that works in FreeBSD should work with pfSense.

    I found this. It is pretty old, but it might be helpful:
    https://technotation.com/2012/08/15/freebsd-and-mobile-broadband/



  • @Clouseau said in Any out of the box working pcie LTE modems found?:

    Is there any reason why not focus on this so that we could be at the same level as Linux distros are with these modem hardware? They are true plug-and-play to use there. What's wrong here?

    Also,

    pfSense being built upon FreeBSD relies entirely on FreeBSD for driver support.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that use of LTE modems in Unix servers is a pretty rare thing to do, so it just hasn't been a priority for the FreeBSD project.

    In the almost 30 years the GSM standard has been around, I've never heard of anyone providing internet connectivity to a network using it. I've seen some laptops provide an option for GSM style mobile connectivity, but I've never actually met anyone who used it. LTE is primarily for phones and tablets.

    If you can't get it working with the suggestion from Stephen, or in reading that old post above, maybe just use a dedicated WLAN box that connects via wired Ethernet?



  • @mattlach Hi, some comments on your post.

    @mattlach said in [

    In the almost 30 years the GSM standard has been around, I've never heard of anyone providing internet connectivity to a network using it. I've seen some laptops provide an option for GSM style mobile connectivity, but I've never actually met anyone who used it. LTE is primarily for phones and tablets.

    If you can't get it working with the suggestion from Stephen, or in reading that old post above, maybe just use a dedicated WLAN box that connects via wired Ethernet?

    Really? Some facts from Finland here we have Mobile LTE Internet access 0.72/person and fixed line Internet access 0.31 persons. That said we have every 1 wired connection 2 LTE based mobile connections! Minority is fixed line connections. 92% of finish household has at least 100 Mbit/s mobile broadband access. That not only a laptop/tablet interface to Internet it's main interface to Internet on all devices! We are taking down wired old copper lines and replacing those with LTE and / 5G routers plus of course we are building fiber optic networks as much we can. So copper networks will be seen in local lan's but not main access to Internet.

    (Source Ficom: [https://www.ficom.fi/ict-ala/tilastot/kiinteiden-ja-mobiilien-laajakaistaliittymien-määriä])

    I can see that FreeBSD driver support is terrible (still living in late 90's stage with serial modems). pfSense is great peace of software but it's definite weak point is mobile board support. It's still practically at the same level when Internet started to boom in 90's.



  • @mattlach Yes - this is good site for working on this issue. As you can see it's a struggle to get LTE modem to work as it should be.


  • Netgate Administrator

    I had a GSM modem in the 90's and I assure you it's not that bad. 😉

    I agree it could be a lot better. The best thing you could do to improve matters is to port umb(4) driver from OpenBSD to FreeBSD, or persuade someone else to port it.

    Steve


Log in to reply