Elk M1 Contact ID reporting via fixed wireless terminal. Boldnet troubleshooting help


Hello, I have an Elk M1 Gold and M1XEP. Internet is the main central station reporting method, and phone (Contact ID) via a fixed wireless terminal (WF720 in the attic) is the backup. Now Alarm Relay told me the backup reporting signals coming into central station are garbled. I am confused because when I call into the WF720 I can gain remote access to my ELK via touch tone, all of which are recognized, and the ELK voice prompts sound fairly clear. So why would the contact ID tones to central station be garbled? Would it help to upgrade my fixed wireless terminal to a 4G VoLTE one? Should I switch to a different CS reporting protocol, SID or 4+2? What is the Pager protocol option offered by the M1 Gold? It's an option, but what equipment would I need to use the Pager reporting protocol?

The WF720 fixed wireless terminal is 3G, unlocked, and has a T-Mobile sim card in it. They recommended I upgrade to a C1M1 but it's expensive and also costs more per month. Any recommended solutions that do not require increased monthly fees other than the cost of the sim card?

I have login to Alarm Relay boldnet and can see my account, but I don't know how to see signals coming in from my panel. Any ideas? This would also aid troubleshooting. Thanks for any suggestions.
Hasn't T-Mobile shut down 3G? I'm guessing that your device is falling back to 2G (which I think may still be up). Your local 2G infarstructure might not be enough for what you're trying to do. Hopefully others can chime in about better options.
According to T-Mobile, the last of their 3G network was supposed to shut down as of June 30, 2022. If there is still some place that is operational, it probably won't be there for long. So sometime in the near future, you are going to need to replace the WF720 no matter what. That is what I would start with.
Here originally used an Ericcson W25 (3G) with a T-Mobile 3G SIM card and it worked well for years as a failover dial up.

In 2020 purchased Yeacomm 4G LTE CPE Router on Amazon and installed an external antenna. Today it continues to work fine for me.

I use it today as backup to my XFinity internet and telephone line.

A couple of weeks ago purchased and tested and returned the

Amazon Tenda 4G06 300 Mbps 4G Volte Cat 4 Mobile Wi-Fi Router, 4G LTE Router, Sim Slot Unlocked, No Configuration Required, RJ11 Ports Voice.

Worked fine with the T-Mobile SIM card. Had to configure it with IPv6 only to get it to work. It did not have as many features as the Yeacomm modem.

Take a look on Ebay for used LTE modems used for ship to shore communcations (LTE with WLAN, NIC ports and RJ11 ports).

You can test the two mentioned Amazon products and if they do not work for you the return them.
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Thanks for all your terrific ideas. I will look into the lte modems you mentioned. Since the wf720 worked out so well for me while 3G was still around, I ordered a zte wf723ca. Testing showed that outgoing dtmf works and incoming dtmf didn't. It was working in VoLTE mode and the voice quality was great so it was disappointing the dtmf handling was lacking. I tested reporting to AlarmRelay and signals did not get to Central Station.

Given the state of voice wireless today I now understand my cellular backup needs to be data rather than voice. So my primary will be ip reporting via wired (fiber) and backup also ip, via LTE.

I also have a T Mobile hotspot which supports USB tethering. My router can support this tethered hotspot as an additional wan connection, so I will try that too.
Good news on your plans @guho.

Kept copper here for a while for the alarm until I purchased an Ooma box ...then switched over to using it for my alarm system here.

I have two VOIP boxes. One is Ooma and using that line for the alarm company. The Ooma box does work with the LTE connection. My firewall autofails over to the LTE modem is the internet goes down or I can utilize the Obi VOIP box for same.

That said just noticed that Ooma sells an LTE failover or primary device for their box at around $5 a month which is cheaper than my T-Mobile sim card at $25 / month.

Update: I found a very inexpensive LTE router on eBay: Teltonika RUT240. Seems a perfect match for the M1XEP. M1XEP to RUT240 LAN port, RUT240 WAN port to home LAN. Data sim inside RUT240 serves as failover connection just for the ELK M1XEP. For now I have the M1XEP and RUT240 on my home server PC UPS but next thing is to get a proper supervised ELK battery backup for these two devices.

Update 2: fully working now. First I bought a Tello sim (T-Mobile network) but this was problematic because T-Mobile is IPv6-only. Both the M1XEP and AlarmRelay IP reporting only support IPv4. The Rut240 router does not offer 464xlat. Now I just received a RedPocket GSMA SIM (AT&T network). I got the $60 per year plan on eBay which offers 500 MByte per month (plenty for alarm backup signals). AT&T still gives out IPv4 addresses (CGNAT but that's fine). With this setup it's very easy to test whether the cellular backup reporting is working. The RUT240 router sits behind my main router (double NAT). In the firewall rules of my main router I can block internet access of the RUT240. Then I do a communicator test on the ELK panel and see whether it succeeds. If it does I turn the firewall rule off again.

I can highly recommend this device as long as you choose a mobile service that assigns IPv4 addresses. RUT240s go for only about $50 used on eBay. Much cheaper than a C1M1. Monthly cost of $5 is also way below that of a C1M1.
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