AnyNet Service Change Notification: APN timeouts

Do you use Eseye’s AnyNet connectivity management solution? After October 2021, the AnyNet service will introduce timeouts on all APNs that don’t currently have a timeout. This change affects customers with devices that don’t use the eseye2 APN.

What’s happening

To ensure that we can provide optimum connectivity for all devices, we are changing the AnyNet service with respect to timeouts on our APNs. With the increasing complexity of global networks and new localization options, it’s best practice for devices to reconnect regularly to the APN to ensure that all intermediate network components are refreshed.

From October 2021, we are introducing a timeout of 28 days for all our APNs that don’t currently have a timeout.

Background

An Access Point Name (APN) is the name of a gateway between a cellular network and another computer network, such as the public internet. Like a broadband router in a home, it acts as a gatekeeper between individual end devices and the internet. The role of an APN in IoT is to allocate IP addresses to devices and route data between devices and destinations, such as cloud applications and backend systems.

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AnyNet APNs

As part of the AnyNet solution, Eseye provides a number of private APNs to meet the needs of different IoT deployments and applications. For example, one of our APNs is configured to support high data volumes, another to provide regionalised routing for low latency requirements. Our Technical Consultants advise on which APN best meets each customer’s requirements. The package we create for a deployment includes the selected APN as well as the mobile networks to use, billing rules, and security options.

To send or receive data, a device first connects to an APN using a process known as authentication. While the device remains connected, it can transfer data with a cloud application or backend system. If the device closes its connection, it has to reauthenticate with the APN when it next needs to communicate. Some devices close their connections as soon as they can, particularly if they need to conserve power. Others keep connections open for long periods (many hours or days) even if they only transfer data periodically.

APN timeouts

APNs can impose timeouts on device connections. Our eseye2 APN terminates all connections after an hour of inactivity or after 24 hours, whichever is soonest. Our other APNs do not currently terminate connections, even if the devices are not transferring data.

However, with the increasing complexity of global networks and the new localization options, our analysis shows that it’s best practice for devices to reauthenticate with the APN regularly. This ensures that all intermediate network components are refreshed.

Change to AnyNet service

To ensure that we can improve our service and provide optimum connectivity for devices, we are changing the AnyNet service with respect to APN timeouts.

From October 2021, we are introducing a 28 day timeout for all our APNs that don’t currently have a timeout.

Requiring devices to reauthenticate with the APN at least every 28 days will reduce the risk of problems caused by glitches or interruptions to intermediate network components.

What you need to do

Our analysis shows that only a tiny proportion of devices maintain connections of longer than 28 days (fewer than two in every million devices that we service), so this change won’t affect most customer deployments. However, we recommend that you review your device to verify that a forced reauthentication won’t have an adverse impact on your device or application.

We often advise customers that a device (or device modem) should reset every 24-72 hours, as this helps to ensure optimum device connectivity and behaviour. When reviewing your device functionality, we recommend you assess whether this would be a beneficial enhancement to your device.

Verify changes with the Eseye device onboarding service

Our device onboarding service includes a rigorous process to ensure that your device connects and operates successfully within the AnyNet ecosystem. This service includes a test to observe how your device behaves with the APN. If you’ve already onboarded your devices, we can re-run tests to verify any changes you’ve made to how your device authenticates with the APN.

Next steps

For more information about this change or guidance on using the AnyNet APNs, or to arrange onboarding tests for your device, contact your Account Manager or email us at support@eseye.com.

Lucy Holden Senior Marketing Executive

Lucy is passionate about how IoT is used for the greater good to change the world and save lives.

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