Tag Archives: gate opener sim card

PAYG SIM Card Deactivation

When using Pay As You Go (PAYG) SIM cards in equipment such as dialers and gate openers you should be aware that the network may chose to deactivate your SIM card should you not meet the minimum usage requirements.  In the UK the strictest networks require at least a call or text message to be sent once per quarter – Lebara Mobile require 1 call/SMS per 3 28 day calendar months.

For details of the terms and conditions for each network I recommend following this link with an excellent article written on the subject:

http://kenstechtips.com/index.php/payg-inactivity-account-termination-and-credit-expiry

Further details can be found here on the basis for these policies:

https://community.giffgaff.com/t5/Blog/Recycling-mobile-numbers-giffgaff/ba-p/8211666

Our GSM equipment has two SIM card Keep Alive functions which automatically send an SMS or dial a number to keep your SIM card within the terms and conditions of the network.  All products have the Keep Alive Text feature which sends an automated SMS message at user specified intervals to their chosen number.  This is set up as follows:

KAT 07000000000,28.       Sends a keep alive message every 28 days to 07000000000

Dialers and Gate Openers with firmware version 3.18 or later additionally have the ability to dial numbers where a voice call is a requirement.  This is set up using the following command:

KAC 01512834306,80.      Dials 01512834306 every 80 days

Should the call go unanswered it unit will retry 4 times and will then send an SMS to the first master number with the following text ‘KAC@Fail’.  In this case a manual call should be made with the following command:

Dial 01512834306.     …or the number of your choice

Where your network requires a call to be made but your device has firmware prior to F3.18 we recommend setting the Keep Alive Text message to remind you to make a manual call for your required interval using the dial command.  Ensure the call is answered.

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SIM Card Selection for GSM Gate Openers and Auto-Dialers

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We get asked a lot ‘what SIM should I use’ and ‘will X-brand SIM work?’ with our Alpha GSM boards.  Well the simple answer is any apart from 3 mobile.

Our board is a quad band board (http://www.adventcontrols.co.uk/gsm-gate-opener.html).  In the UK and Europe (indeed most of the world) the ‘2G’ standard GSM frequencies are 900/1800MHz and established networks, such as Vodafone, O2, Orange all have the infrastructure to support these bands.  The reason ‘3 Mobile’ doesn’t work with this type of equipment is because they never invested in it and just went straight to the 3G frequency of 2100MHz thus limiting their compatibility to 3G only equipment.  ‘3’ is the only network which does not have a 900/1800MHz infrastructure.

In the Americas they had a slightly different set of frequencies at 850MHz and 1900MHz making older ‘dual band’ equipment incompatible with the rest of the world.  Quad band products like ours mean no matter where you are in the world you will be able to find a network to support our products.

The final word on frequencies is that the 4G network operates at 800MHz and 2600MHz and if an operator started up who only offered 4G compatibility they would also not work with traditional GSM gate openers and auto-dialers (and all but the very latest phones!).

Vodafone, O2, Orange and T-Mobile all own 2G network infrastructure and also the licenses to operate on these frequencies so any of these networks will be compatible with our products – even if they offer 3G services.  The board will select the 900/1800MHz frequency from the SIM card and find the network using one of these bands.

Then we have the MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) that resell the major network’s products as their own.  These are companies like Virgin Media (T-Mobile), Talk-Mobile, Vectone (EE which is in turn T-mobile and Orange) and so on.  You can often find a better deal using these MVNOs than you can through the major networks directly.

There is one MVNO you should avoid and they are called ‘shebang’ – they exclusively use the Three Mobile 3G only network!

Up to now we have been recommending Vectone mobile simply because they provide good value and also offer a £1 per month contract with up to 50 minutes.  You can find this deal on their website at:

http://www.vectonemobile.com

If you have any queries please get in touch.

Michael