Setup FreedomFi Outdoor Metro Cell

Plug-and-Play Setup Guide

Prerequisites: This guide assumes that your FreedomFi gateway is already set up and is running. FreedomFi gateway software is updated to 1.11.4 or later.

Initial Connectivity Setup

To start, we will be placing the Outdoor metro cell inside near a window and next to your network gear to confirm a set of preliminary checks. This validates that things are working before the outdoor metro cell is deployed to its permanent location where it may be difficult to access.

Step 1 – Connect Power Terminal

Connect the power terminal to the positive and negative leads coming from your power supply. The colors may differ depending on your shipment, look at the label on the power supply to determine + and – wires. Connect per the guide image below.

Step 2 – Open the weather door to expose power and ethernet ports

Open the weather sealed door using an allen wrench to expose the power and ethernet connections for the radio.

Step 3 – Connect Power and Ethernet cables to the Radio

Connect an outdoor rated ethernet cable to the port labeled “DATA/MGMT ETH”. Connect the Power Terminal to the power port. Screws on the power terminal should be facing the inside of the compartment. Depending on the location of your nearest power outlet, you may need to extend the power cables. The length of this cable should be long enough to reach the permanent location where you want to deploy the metro cell. Ethernet cables may be up to 100m/330ft.

Here is an example: Outdoor Rated Cable

Step 4 – Connect the Ethernet cable to the Gateway

Connect the other end of the ethernet cable to the port labeled eNB1 the FreedomFi Gateway. Two additional CBRS small cells are supported on the eNB2 and eNB3 ports.

For now, don’t worry about the location of the outdoor metro cell. We will be moving the outdoor metro cell to a permanent location at a later point, but we want to connect the cable inside to make sure things are working.

Step 5 – Verify Connectivity status

Visit the metro cell dashboard using:http://freedomfi-gateway.local If all goes well, you should see the following in the metro cell dashboard. Spectrum Status will be “trying” and On Air will be OFF until the metro cell registration is submitted and approved.

Outdoor Metro Cell Install and Registration
Location Selection

To start, make sure you select a good place for the Outdoor metro cell. Obstructions will decrease coverage. CBRS signals have less range than LoRa. Similar to Wi-Fi they can be weakened or blocked by obstacles like walls, trees, and buildings. To capture the most data you can, you want your metro cell to point towards a populated area, a place with a lot of people and phones e.g. a park, a playground, an outdoor cafe/coffee shop.

For purpose of improved coverage area, it is recommended to mount your outdoor small metro as high up as reasonably possible. This often means on a roof, or near the roof line of a building. Roof mounting examples for a home or metro business:

Requirements: The outdoor metro cell will require installation CPI approval before it can go on air and allow users to connect. The CPI process requires the following:

NOTE: How to get and submit this information along with sample photos will be covered in the metro cell registration section below.

Metro Cell Registration

To enable the outdoor metro cell, you’ll need to complete the CPI flow and get approval. The process starts with registering the metro cell location.

To register the outdoor metro cell, you’ll need the following information along with photos to prove it.

Step 6 – Recording Height

You will be required to submit the height of the installation and a photo to verify it.
Here are some ideas on how to get the height:

Take a photo that shows the radio and the ground. Sample Verification photo:

Step 7 – Recording Azimuth Angle
Azimuth is a fancy name for the compass direction in which the center of the antenna is pointing. NOAA has a free website that uses any phone accelerometer + compass to find azimuth.
Steps to collect this photo:

The sample picture is showing azimuth angle of 176 degrees.

Step 8 – Recording Elevation Angle

The elevation angle is a fancy name for “is it pointing up or down from level.” The reference point is the middle of the antenna. You can again use a free app on your phone to find this value:

Steps to collect this photo:

The sample image is showing -4 degrees of down-tilt elevation angle using Apple Measure.

Step 9 – Capture the Antenna Product Badge Photo

To verify the antenna model used, take a picture of the product badge on the unit. This should show the manufacturer and model number. Example photos below.

Step 10 –Capture the overall Antenna photo

To verify the antenna installation, take a picture of the overall antenna in it’s mounted location. Example photos below.

Step 11 –Register Metro Cell

Now that you have the metro cell information and photos, you will need to submit them for CPI approval.Access the metro cell dashboard by pointing your web browser to http://freedomfi-gateway.local from a device on the same network as the FreedomFi Gateway.

You will be notified by email with the status of your submission within 3 business days.

Step 12 –Verify metro cell is Online

Once you get the CPI approval notification, your metro cell should be ready to go.
To check, navigate to the Radio Dashboard and verify that the registration status is approved, and the statuses are all Green.


Appendix - Troubleshooting Metro Cell Status

To access the local dashboard, point your web browser to http://freedomfi-gateway.local from a device on the same network as the FreedomFi Gateway. Click on Radio Dashboard.

Symptom Remedy
GPS Status Red
Make sure the GPS antenna is installed.
Make sure the antenna connectors are tight.
Move the metro cell to a location with a clear view of the sky.
Core Status Red
This status indicates if the connection between the core in the FreedomFi Gateway and the metro cell is not established. In this case, you should just wait and do nothing.
Spectrum Access Status Red
If SAS is “Connected” do not reboot, keep waiting for it to change to “Success” If you have been stuck over 16 hours after CPI approval with SAS not “Success” then reboot the Gateway and metro cell.
On Air Status Red
eNB cannot connect to MME/S1
Reboot AGW & reboot metro cell, check again after 15 minutes.
Symptom Remedy
Check your power connection. Try plugging directly into the wall if you are currently connected to an extension cable. If you are using POE, ensure the “POE” side of the power injector is connected to the WAN port of Small Cell.
Check the connections made in Step 3 and Step 4. Verify that both the Freedomfi and Small Cell are powered on. Verify that the cables are in the correct ports. Lastly, try a different ethernet cable.
Make sure the connection between the GPS antenna and Small cell is secure, and should be firm finger tight. Try a different location for the GPS antenna, e.g. closer to a window to help it get a GPS lock. If you are having trouble, we recommend using a cell phone app such as GPSTest to find a location where you can get a GPS lock.
First thing to do is wait, it can take time for the SAS to authorize your small cell, rebooting resets the clock and will make it take longer. Check the Local Dashboard Radio tab and make sure the status for SAS, GPS, and LTE are all Success/InSync/Happy. If SAS is “Connected” do not reboot, keep waiting for it to change to “Success” If you have been stuck over 16 hours with SAS not “Success” then reboot the Gateway and small cell.

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