Saturday, December 19, 2009

The UNDP-1 Gobi 1000 Part II

I'll start out this post with a list of OEMs/manufacturers that are using UNDP-1 module (Sierra Wireless may be making their own module, it's sold OEM only so there is no information on the Sierra website about it)

  • Acer HS-USB 9212
  • Dell Dell wireless 5600
  • HP UN2400
  • OQO Novatel Expedite Gobi
  • Motion Computer Novatel Expedite Gobi
  • Panasonic Gobi Mobile Broadband
  • Lenovo Gobi 1000 3G
  • Sony HS-USB 9222
  • General Dynamics CRMA-Express
  • Toshiba Sierra Wireless Gobi
  • Novatel Wireless Novatel Expedite Gobi
  • Sierra Wireless Sierra Wireless Gobi

A very important and unique part of this 3G WWAN is that it loads in a configuration program and operating program. There is a lot of confusion in Linux as to which you need to use. Basically there are really only two different programs, one for CDMA and one of GSM. All the rest are one or the other with a little carrier specific information so you don't have to enter it yourself which I'm not sure even works in Linux. So a Linux 3G connection manager would really only need the two generic programs, one for CDMA and one for GSM.
  • 0. Vodafone
  • 1. Verizon
  • 2. AT&T
  • 3. Sprint
  • 4. TMobile
  • 5. UMTS EU generic
  • 6. UMTS NA generic
  • 7. Telefonics
  • 8. TIM
  • 9. Orange
So Qualcomm could load these firmware images in 'real time' the FCC placed a couple of restrictions on Qualcomm. First the images have to have a "2 way BIOS locked" which locks the different UNDP-1 modules to only one computer manufacturer. The second restriction is the FCC wouldn't 'globally' pass the UNDP-1 module, each OEM individually has to send in a sample computer for FCC testing and approval. The FCC doesn't like devices that can be easily modified to work out of band and cause interference, intentionally or unintentionally which is why most RF modems, police scanners, etc. have their frequencies locked in firmware where they can't be tampered with. Theoretically a hacker could disassemble and rewrite the Gobi images and turn the modem into a fast scan jammer, make it transmitt out of band, or create other types of RF interference in and around the various cellphone frequency bands. With the 2 way BIOS lock any unofficial change in the images won't load because they won't pass the encrypted checksum code. Although this is a big pain in the behind for OEMs and especially the Linux Coders, it's really for the best to keep the 3G bands 'clean' and free from bandwidth/reliability robbing interference.

I'll get more into the hardware details of this module in my next post. BTW I have managed to get the GPS in the UDNP-1 module in my Acer One 531h to turn on and have managed to redirect the output to a virtual serial port and port splitter where my GPS mapping programs (Up to 8 at once) can read it. I just need to tie everything together into a neat one click solution.

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