OzChemist
Level 3: Gumshoe

Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

Answered

Hi Crowd!

 

We've recently suffered a problem with our NBN FTTC unit (which we are awaiting an NBN technician to fix - booked and fingers crossed) - but that's not the issue.

 

Whatever blitzed the FTTC unit appears to have KO'd the SIM in the Telstra "Smart" modem.  It won't go into 4G fall-back mode.

 

Have spoken to the Telstra Faults people (multiple times) who keep saying that the problem will be solved when the FTTC is fixed - but the whole selling point of these modems is that they are designed for 4G backup when the FTTC falls over!

 

So this is a tale of 2 modems - I have one that appears to have a faulty SIM and one that has not been initialised (fresh out of box) - both are Telstra Gen 2 DJA0231. 

 

Modem 1 - which I suspect has a fried SIM - With the original SIM in place, I can connect to the modem over WiFi, but modem won't enter 4G fall-back mode at all. Front panel light is solid WHITE, all lights on the back are dark, except WiFi. Advanced view shows no Mobile signal.

 

Modem 2, the "uninitialized" modem - when turned on will boot and end up in 4G backup mode - mobile signal present  - but isn't connecting to the Internet. WAN appears to be in DNS mode. 

 

I have tried replacing the SIM in Modem 1 with the SIM from  Modem 2.   Doing this, I can connect locally to Modem 1 via WiFi and the "Mobile" mode is enabled - but there's no IPv4 internet access (though the modem shows IPv6 as enabled). WAN is in BDS? mode

 

Light on the front of the modem is Blue.

Lights of the back of the modem show Online (green) WAN/DSL (off) Mobile Mode (green) Mobile Signal (green).

Advanced Mode shows Broadband - but only IPv6 / Mobile enabled in LTE mode / WAN DHCP "connecting" but looks like it's looping / WAN connected in IPv6 mode only.

 

1. Is it possible to get a new SIM to replace the original NONOP one in Modem 1? It's clear the first SIM is shagged as it is entirely nonop - modem won't  show a mobile signal at all with the original SIM. Just shows "No Service".

 

2.  Why isn't the "replacement" SIM (the one hijacked from a similar device) connect to the 'net - IPv4 - in either configuration? It shows a signal (which SIM 1 doesn't) and shows as Broadband connected, but won't access the 'net - are they hard coded to a given modem? BTW - it won't connect to the 'net in the original modem either, but is shows same lights, etc. And that modem has never been used.

 

3. Why is the Modem saying it's connected to Broadband IPv6 but there's no active internet connection at the computer?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

OzChemist

There are old fluorine chemists and bold fluorine chemists - there are no old, bold fluorine chemists!
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OzChemist
Level 3: Gumshoe
Accepted Solution

Re: 6Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

So - went to the Telstra Shop Tech Bar.

They tried to be helpful - but I think the system stymied them.

I came away with a new contact number, which I think was a Telstra Faults contact, and a new incident number.

Calling the number, and after 2 more I dropped calls, I finally got attached to a very nice Telstra person (VNTP) in Townsville (I am in Brisbane) who looked through the logs  and basically went "WTF?".

 

The VNTP has arranged for a new modem to be sent out (apparently it's easier to get a new modem than a new SIM card - ?) and put 25GB of extra data onto an existing 4G dongle I have so that I can connect to the 'net until the FTTC is fixed. She said they would continue to "top up" the dongle on request until the FTTC is up and working again. (I hate to tell her that 25GB will only last 2 days at my usual burn rate).

 

So - a fix, of sorts. 7 phone calls, a store visit, a new modem (so now I have 3 Gen 2 modems), some credits to the account and  I'm back!

There are old fluorine chemists and bold fluorine chemists - there are no old, bold fluorine chemists!

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cf4
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

The reason their is on an IPv6 address and no IPv4 address is that by default the modem on has an IPv6 address on the WAN when in 4G backup mode.

 

If your computer doesn't have IPv6 enabled this could be the reason its not connecting to Internet.

 

You could set up a new Profile that will also provide an IPv4 address and then selecting this profile. To do this 

Go to the profiles tab.
Click on Add new profile.
Enter a name, select IPv4v6 as PDP Type and select Add.
Go to the Configuration Tab, go to Interfaces and select edit
Select the new Linked Profile created previously and select apply.

 

See profile section of section 25 in document linked in this post.

 

https://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/Modems-Hardware/Telstra-Smartmodem-Gen-2-Technicolor-version-...

 

I don't think changing modem settings to enable an IPv4 address will solve the problem but you could try.

 

Is the phone light on the back of the modem on?

 

 

 

 

 

 

OzChemist
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

Hi!

Thanks for the information.

Things have progressed (a little).

I have put the original SIMs back into the corresponding modems and am now trying to connect to the 'net from Modem 2.

 

I tried to add a new profile on the modem - this produced a recognisable IPv4 WAN address - still no available connection to the internet though (even though "Broadband" shows as "Mobile connected", but still no WAN DHCP connection).

 

So it looks like I have a WAN connection to the 'net that the router can see. Trying to log directly to the WAN address brought up the Modem sign-in page (is that typical?).

 

Thinking I might take Modem 1 (the one with the bricked SIM) to the Telstra Shop and see if they can get a new SIM for it.

There are old fluorine chemists and bold fluorine chemists - there are no old, bold fluorine chemists!
cf4
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

6Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

The PDP type is on the profile Tab.. Where you on the profile tab of thr mobile settings?

 

You want see a WAN DHCP connection until the NBN link is fixed.

 

It is typical that if you try to navigate to the WWN address of the modem the modem's login page will open in your browser. This is due to NAT loop back. The modem recognizes that the address you are navigating to is its own public IP address and loop you back to modem's LAN  IP address.

 

Hope you have success at the Telstra store but I don't think they will be able to help you.

 

Have you tried old SIM in the new modem?

OzChemist
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 6Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

Thanks for that - found the PDP header and edited reply above.

 

That being said ... yep, tried the old SIM in the new modem.  No signal, no connection - I'd say the SIM is either bricked or fried.

 

I don't really expect a lot of success at the Telstra Shop - but at least it's a human face.

 

I tried the Telstra 132200 number last night and got dropped 5 times in the middle of what was, essentially, the same conversation : (After 5 mins each time to get access to an agent)

 

Agent - "Your NBN FTTC is down .... that's an NBN issue"

Me - I know NBN is down - why isn't 4G fallback working?

Agent - "It's because the NBN FTTC is down"

Me - No - it's supposed to go into fallback mode when the FTTC drops

Agent - goes through the turn on/turn off/ reset/ etc loop - 10 mins lost

Me - No - still not working - I think the SIM is fried

Agent - Oh - we can fix that - Plug it into the NBN FTTC

Me - The FTTC is down, remember?

Agent - "Your NBN FTTC is down .... that's an NBN issue. Do you want me to book an NBN Technician?"

Me - Look at your log - an NBN Tech is already booked.

Agent - "Good. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

Me - .................

 

There are old fluorine chemists and bold fluorine chemists - there are no old, bold fluorine chemists!
cf4
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: 6Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

The "agent" in the conversation was that an robot or an actual person?

 

The SIM might not be fried but just disabled. The SIM gets disabled if used for a long period of time. If you didn't notice NBN was down the modem might have been working on 4G backup for a long period. If SIM is disabled support should be able to re enable the SIM.

OzChemist
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 6Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

The agent was a person in each case.

Quoted them the INC each time. Each time, same conversation.

 

I had considered the possibility that the SIM was just disabled - but I doubt they can fix it from their end unless it WAS connected to the FTTC unit as, at least on Modem 1, the was no mobile signal whatsoever and I think they would need an active signal to send a patch. Simply "enabling" the SIM at the Telstra end wouldn't trip it into an active mode, would it?

 

There are old fluorine chemists and bold fluorine chemists - there are no old, bold fluorine chemists!
cf4
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: 6Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

If SIM is disabled they can enable it from there end. The disabling is not done on the SIM itself but the mobile network. Next time you speak to support ask them to check if SIM has been disabled.

 

The conversation you had sounded more like it was to a robot. I would have expect that an actual person would have realized there was a problem was with the 4G backup and would have tried to fix it.

OzChemist
Level 3: Gumshoe

Re: 6Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

Nope - these were phone conversations - and pretty much followed the pattern outlined above.

It sounded like they were just following a script and when it went "off rails" (i.e. when I would ask for network tech support or a more advanced network technician) the call would drop. This happened 4 times over a period of two hours.

There are old fluorine chemists and bold fluorine chemists - there are no old, bold fluorine chemists!
OzChemist
Level 3: Gumshoe
Accepted Solution

Re: 6Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

So - went to the Telstra Shop Tech Bar.

They tried to be helpful - but I think the system stymied them.

I came away with a new contact number, which I think was a Telstra Faults contact, and a new incident number.

Calling the number, and after 2 more I dropped calls, I finally got attached to a very nice Telstra person (VNTP) in Townsville (I am in Brisbane) who looked through the logs  and basically went "WTF?".

 

The VNTP has arranged for a new modem to be sent out (apparently it's easier to get a new modem than a new SIM card - ?) and put 25GB of extra data onto an existing 4G dongle I have so that I can connect to the 'net until the FTTC is fixed. She said they would continue to "top up" the dongle on request until the FTTC is up and working again. (I hate to tell her that 25GB will only last 2 days at my usual burn rate).

 

So - a fix, of sorts. 7 phone calls, a store visit, a new modem (so now I have 3 Gen 2 modems), some credits to the account and  I'm back!

There are old fluorine chemists and bold fluorine chemists - there are no old, bold fluorine chemists!

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selim
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

I have just been through a similar sort of experience as a consequence of the severe storms we had in Dandenong Ranges on 9th June which brought down the NBN fibre cable which serves our fttc connection and took the grid electricity supply to blackout for 15 days.

 

The Telstra Gen2 (DJA0231)  eventually went into fallback mode once I found a sport for it outside where there was a "poor: mobile signal (orange light for signal strength) as we are in a real "black hole" as far as mobile phone signal strength goes.

So here is the chronology.

June20 --

SmartmodemGen2 in fallback mode and giving us internet and voice-landline services.

 

June21 - 

Smartmodem died (hw fail) .... probably zapped by a surge from petrol generator were were reliant upon.

Smartmodem exchanged for identical model at Telstra shop, supposed "configured/provisioned" and "ready to go".

Plugged in replacement,  went into fallback mode, giving an Internet service, but no voice-landline (pone light out, no dialtone etc)

Investigated its internal settings and all the Telephony / VOip were "empty" ie, no Tel #, No SIP server etc etc when compared to neighbours identical modem, operating in fallback mode and providing internet and voice-landline service.

 

Long fruitless discussions with Telstra support ... some who claimed they could fix, other saying I had to wait for NBN cable to be fixed .... when???    No on offered CLEAR reasons why it would not give me a voice landline service. Frustration level was increasing severely with "run arounds"

I was then supplied with another new in box modem ... Arcadyn LH1000.

Same issue ... in fallback mode, internet only and no voice-landline service.

More angst and frustrations and official escalations & referral to TIO

NBN cable repaired on 22 July (took 6 weeks) and everthing then 'sprung to life and started to function properly with internet and voice-landline service.

 

Now that the BNB line was once again functional, I did some 'tests' and 'observations'.

 1. The Arcadyn went through 4 firmware upgrade cycles (from 0.9 to 0.13 version firmware) over a period of about 3 hours once connected to NBN. (I have read elsewhere that some of the earlier firmware versions had significant issues).  No firmware updates were delivered whist operating in fallback mode.

 

2. Both the DJA0231 and the Arcadyn  appear not get proper config payloads via the TR-69 management protocol when operating in fallback mode ...hence not being properly configured to give a voice-landline service.

 

3. Once they have obtained their voice-landline config data via the NBN, they will then CONTINUE to give voice-landline service if they go into fallback mode, even across reboots.

 

4. As a result of lodging formal complaint to TIO, I had dealing with a Telstra case manager who explained that he had (someone at last) taken the matter to more senior technicians/engineers and that what I had experienced was on of "the known problems" to them (config, inability to download firmware updates etc) when these Smartmodem Gen2 devices were in fallback mode.  Its not nice scene when they are shipped and come out of box with "buggy" firmware and really rely on getting up-to-date firmware installed "pronto".

It is a pity that this information is not "better known" to Testra customer tech support ... as it was only after a 4 week excruciating time I was at last provided with PROPER information.

Most of the time one was just "stonewalled" by people who had little understanding of the issues and would not allow access to tech staff with greater depth of knowledge.

The Case Manager advised that the issues were 'being addressed" and that a Gen3 device was in "in the pipeline"  and hopefully "upgrades/retrofits" to Gen2 devices would be avail  by end 2021.

Here

 

SteveW_52
Level 22: Superhuman
Level 22: Superhuman

Re: 6Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

A new modem is probably a safe move (but it needs to be properly provisioned before being sent to you)..  it is unlikely that a lightning strike would have passed theough the modem only affected/damaged the SIM card in the modem..  it is not connected to any external points..it also is more of a memory device than an active component...

Stevo 52
Too many devices, probably an addict 🙂 also a tinkerer and developer of stuff..
Not with Telstra, just another customer like you!
cf4
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

Be interesting to see if Telstra does develop a modem or updates the current firmware on the modem so that it can be preloaded with the customers phone numbers. I can see a disadvantages if Telstra does do this.as it would result in not being able to swap modem's from one service to another service with a different phone number. Also customers will not be able to use second hand modems.

selim
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

Not so much a matter of preloading modem with phone numbers prior to shipping, but allowing modem to download firmware updates whilst in fallback mode and allowing landline config data to be automatically loaded when in fallback mode via the TR-69 protocol (in worst case remotely only by Telstra support). 

As it is now, it would appear that ones NBN connection credentials are being used to ‘authenticate’ modem prior to downloading SIP config. If, like my situation, one does not have working nbn line (for 6 weeks due to storm event), one is ‘snookered’ until that happens.

I am not sure what ‘details’ of my modem Telstra links to my account/services, but obviously some significant details as  exchanging modem took ‘significant time’ of someone in Telstra shop backroom (much more than ‘Take box & go’), so I suspect modem serial number &/or sim card number are linked my account/service and its credentials (eg username, landline number etc).

 

I think full details of landline service and its activation SHOULD be loadable (either automatically via mobile network, or by manual remote access by Telstra support staff ) without the need for an NBN connection in the event of extended NBN network outages in emergency situations following storms, bushfires, floods etc.

 

 

cf4
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

The problem with allowing landline config data to be automatically loaded when in fallback mode is the Telstra does now that the modem is the right modem to config the landline number too. When modem is connected to a fixed connection Telstra knows that the modem connected to the fixed link is the correct modem to configure.

 

As far firmware updates are concerned these should occur on 4G back. They should even occur when modem is  connected to a non Telstra  internet service.

 

The shop would have recorded the modem's serial number for warranty reasons. I doubt that they would record the SIM details.

 

 

selim
Level 2: Rookie

Re: Telstra Gen2 Smart Modem - 4G Fallback Fail

Can assure you that the Arcadyn firmware did  not update while in fallback mode ... it was running in connectedin fallback  mode for nearly 2 weeks...so there is big difference between 'should' and actual.

Firmware updating only commenced once it had nbn connection.

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