Z1 (or Z3) and USB Cellular Modems

Building a reputation

Z1 (or Z3) and USB Cellular Modems



Does anyone in the community have a Verizon USB card that they use with the Meraki Z1 or Z3 units that works well (or at all)?  We were using the UML290, but support for that ended with 14.x firmware.  So we moved to the USB730L, but it apparenetly has 2 USB IDs, but Meraki only supports one, and has now moved even that off of the supported list.  I have tried the Connected IO and the Feeney Skyus-DS, but neither work in the Z1s (but work fine in non-Meraki hardware).  I'm now stuck with over 200 Z1 units that I can't upgrade from 13.36, as the UML290 cards won't allow the upgrade to complete and I con't simply replace the UML290 cards with anything, as nothing seems to be dependable.  I still have to install about 400 more units, but I've put it on hold, as I have zero confidence in Meraki, at the moment.  Yes, we can look at embedded, but that is not our preference and that is not what we were sold when we committed to Meraki.


I appreciate any insight that you may have.


Thank you,



Kind of a big deal

Can you get a USB hot spot with an Ethernet interface? 

Kind of a big deal

Best practice is use an LTE device that can do ethernet handoff (opengear/cradlepoint). The next best option is internal sim (Z3C) and then your last option UBS modem.


One thought would be to use an unlocked usb modem that supports Verizon, possibly it will work. I am not sure this one will work, but it might be worth a try.




I do know this works on MX devices with T-Mobile Sim cards.



Building a reputation

Does Meraki realize how dumb it sounds to offer USB for failover connectivity but not actually use it for a best practice???  It is crazy to me that it it seems acceptable to Meraki to need an additional router that can actually use a USB card to perform an Ethernet hand-off to the Meraki.  I didn't have to do that with SonicWALL or CradlePoint.  Don't offer a USB port, if you can't depend on using it.  Of course, I'd never have gone with the product, if they didn't support USB modems.  Especially with the significant price jump from the Z1 to the Z3, it is asinine that I can't depend on using the product, as advertised.  We have 300+ sites using USB cellular modems, due to cost and versatility.  I'm really regretting my commitment to Meraki, as they have underwhelmed in multiple areas now.  I keep waiting for their developers to "figure it out", but I can't hold my breath that long.  They have way too many things that are controlled on the back end or can't be done in general.  Lots of nice features, for sure, but definitely many poor decisions have been made, too.  

Here to help

I feel your pain here -  We have many Z1 and Z3 units out in production and numerous very remote sites, running Cell only, mostly Verizon.  The old Pantech 295s work great for us, but are discontinued, and long in the tooth obviously.  We have also had success with a couple of the 620Ls we have out there.  We have NOT had any success with the 720L...tried them, and have a couple out there...but they are very unreliable and go down for hours at a time...then magically start working again for a week.  We've gotten to buying 295s off Amazon to get some of these emergency sites up!


The Z3Cs didn't support Verizon carrier when I tested them (which seems crazy....), but I had it working on Verizon fine.  But they are much more expensive, not to mention the maintenance a lot more expensive.  And until they are officially supported on Verizon, that kills it for us anyway.  But some sites will balk at the price tag anyway.  However, more and more it is looking like the likely solution for us once Verizon is officially supported.  We have some newer Feeney modems in for testing, but I am very wary of USB modem solutions and meraki right now.  


That is interesting the 730L has been removed from compatible list...I didn't know that until reading it hear.  It was still on the good list when i opened a ticket with them and stumped several of the techs, most didn't want to mess with the issue at all.  Agreed...if you are truly not going to support it, then don't put the port there and market its ability for this.

Here to help

Did anyone ever come to a resolution on USB modems?  Currently trying to get one of these Inseego / Feeny modems to work without much luck.

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