I have a Quectel EC25-V MINIPCIE approved module for North America US that I need for an IoT project. When attempting to assign or register my EC25-V to the Verizon network Verizon is reporting the device is ineligible. I contacted support and was given the following explanation which does not seem right. According to a prior post the IMEI number for the model I have should have been preloaded in a TAC file to the Verizon DMB after fabrication and testing. There is a overly complex process for large IoT deployments which does not apply to my case. I simply need a single EC25-V IMEI number inserted into the Verizon DMB which I have not way to do.
it is customer responsibility to declare the range of IMEI on Verizon DB to activate those IMEIs to connect to its network.*
Verizon Customer Service Response The device is currently not showing registered and approved for service on the Verizon network. Due to this we are unable to load this unit. The manufacturer would need to test and have approved this specific model. If this has already been done then the device manufacturer would need to use their system to submit to Verizon this unit to be added to our database and have this unit listed as approved. At this time we are unable to assist further until this step is completed. Thanks for contacting support.
So the problem herein lies with how Verizon certifies modules but also requires certification of the “end device.” In other words, it is not possible to simply take the Quectel EC25-V mini-PCIE module which is certified and approved only for Verizon’s network and register it with a Verizon Thingsportal SIM card. Unlike many other mobile carriers, Verizon has a stringent requirement that the “end device” go through some kind of Verizon certification process. For small IoT projects that brings in quite a few complications since the end device certification process is not a simple procedure. There are three different programs available for certification.
Although Quectel uploaded the IMEI number to Verizon for the EC25-V Verizon specific certified module, Verizon will not load IMEI into their DMB database of authorized modules without first requiring certification of the end device.
From Verizon’s Open Development Device FAQ
“Verizon Wireless has certified a number of external test labs to conduct Open Development Device approval testing. The device manufacturer is responsible for working with the external test lab to complete the approval testing.”
“Verizon does not charge developers for device certification. However, there may costs incurred in completing the testing requirements for OD certification, including costs that may be imposed by Verizon for accessing lab facilities. Costs are determined by the external testing lab and are paid by the device manufacturer or agent who is seeking to obtain approval for the device. Developers are encouraged to use Verizon approved modules to reduce development, testing, and validation cost.”
Below are the different programs available through Verizon certification.
Early Network Access Program (ENAP)
Application in TECC
Solution must be reviewed by the Network Device Evaluation Test (NDET)
Maximum of 20 units with limited time on the live Verizon network.
Safe for Network (SFN)
Intermediate step to allow devices on the network that have not been fully certified.
Subset of the full certification testing, primary focus is on protecting the VZW network and RF
Allows up to 500 devices on the network.
VZW Application Innovation Center / VZW LTE Innovation Center
Allow for customers to use real networks that are not part of the live network.
One workaround is to get a certified end-device “Development Kit” which contains an approved module and certified end-device (the development kit hardware). The problem with this solution is most kits appear difficult to obtain and are proprietary by design with an unknown cost factor. In fact I previously used a development kit from another manufacturer. Sadly it was unreliable, difficult to work with, and eventually stopped working all-together. Now the vendor no longer even makes the development kit. It is unfortunate that there is not a simpler and more cost effective way to use an approved Verizon module like the EC25-V without the huge overhead and expense required to simply transmit tiny packets of data through the Verizon network as required by an IoT device.