GW301 Cellular Gateway FAQ

Roles: Admin, Technician, and Billing Manager
Last Updated: January 2020
This article contains FAQ details related to the GW301 Cellular Gateway.

Can I use my own SIM card and provider on the Cellular Gateway?

The Cellular Gateway does not have a slot for a removable SIM. The cellular service is managed by NextCentury and can be turned on or off in the Web Portal (or using the Mobile App). A flat rate is charged for any month in which the Cellular connection was turned on.

This managed cellular service ensures high reliability and ease of use with cellular usage and settings right in the NextCentury Web Portal.

Usage of the cellular connection is optional. The Cellular Gateway also features and ethernet port and wifi capability.

Which cellular network does the Cellular Gateway use?

Cellular Gateways purchased for use within the US will toggle between network providers (T-Mobile and AT&T) depending on signal coverage.

Does the cellular antenna have to be attached to the Cellular Gateway if I am not planning on using the cellular connection?

It is recommended that the cellular antenna always be installed with the Cellular Gateway even if the primary connection will be Ethernet or WiFi. There is no ongoing cost unless the cellular is enabled as the primary connection.

Two of the primary reasons for installing the cellular antenna even if a Cellular Gateway will utilize Ethernet or Wifi connection are:

  • Cellular would be able to be enabled remotely if the Wifi or Ethernet connection experience temporary problems.
  • NextCentury Support can sometimes use the cellular connection to help diagnose issues.
Which users can enable or disable the cellular plan for a Cellular Gateway?

The billing company admins can determine and enable access to disable or enable the cellular plan based on User Roles. For example, a Billing Company admin can allow company Endorsed Technicians to enable/disable cellular but not allow Field Technician Users to enable/disable cellular plan.

Can a property or property management company directly pay NextCentury directly for the monthly cellular fee?

The monthly cellular fees are invoiced to and paid by the top tier company (Billing Company) as listed in the NextCentury system. A monthly invoice is available in the Company Settings. The monthly invoice includes a line item for each property management company and property that is incurring cellular charges.

What permissions do I need in order to enable cellular plan for a Cellular Gateway?

Billing Company Admin users have the authority/ability to both enable/disable cellular for Cellular Gateways and also to give permission to users to enable/disable cellular plan based on User Role types. The Admin user can update Cellular Plan permission on the Users page for each user role type.

When do we get billed for monthly cellular usage fees when the cellular plan is enabled?

Automatic billing occurs on the 1st of each month. The first monthly fee will be billed on the first 1st of the month after the cellular plan is enabled for a property and will be billed on the 1st of each following month until the cellular plan is disabled (or property is transferred to a different Billing Company).

Can I enable the cellular plan for a property before having payment information entered into the NextCentury web portal?

Yes, cellular can be enabled at any point. However if payment information is not entered in the NextCentury Web Portal after the 30 days then the cellular plan will be disabled for the property.

What is the maximum number of units/apartments that can be monitored using the Cellular Gateway Lite (GW301-L)?

The quantity limitation on a Cellular Gateway Lite GW301-L is 50 transceivers (or 50 transmitters if installed on a 3rd party property), regardless of how many units or apartments that represents.

The Cellular Gateway Lite does not have any additional limitations on Repeaters over what is possible using hte standard Cellular Gateway.

Why isn't there a touch screen on the Cellular Gateway (like the LCD Gateway)?

Improved communication protocols as well as the prevalence of smartphone devices has allowed us to provide an easier-to-use and more dynamic display of Gateway information using your own phone or mobile device. In this way, the Cellular Gateway's "touch screen" is now your Android or iOS phone.

Using the NextCentury Mobile App, your phone or tablet can directly interface with a Cellular Gateway. Device programming, statistics and troubleshooting information is also displayed on mobile devices. Our Direct Connect feature on the Mobile App allows any supported Mobile Device to utilize Bluetooth (BLE) technology to directly connect with a Cellular Gateway and view all settings and make changes.

Can the Gateway connect to a public unsecured wifi network?

No, the Gateway can only connect to password-protected Wifi networks. This ensures that all information is kept secure.

Will meter usage still be recorded if transceivers have been installed on meters but the Gateway is offline or hasn't been installed yet?

Transceivers manufactured after January 2017 will 'wake up' after they receive a first pulse (from a meter). They will then start recording pulse data. That data will be saved by the transceiver and will be visible after the Gateway is installed or powered on and the Transceiver has checked in to the Gateway.

How do I find the MAC or network ID for a Gateway?

The MAC address for a Cellular Gateway can be found in the following ways:

  • The MAC address is displayed on the Gateways's barcode label located on the back of the unit.
  • The MAC address is displayed on y our mobile device when using the Direct Connect feature on the NCSS mobile app.
  • The MAC address is displayed on the Web Portal on the Equipment Network / Gateway tile page. Simply navigate to the Gateway tile on the Equipment/Network page and then after the Gateway tile has expanded, click on 'Action' on the bottom blue strip of the expanded Gateway tile and then click on 'View Network Information'.
What power supply should be used for the Cellular Gateway?

The Cellular Gateway is only compatible with the included 15v power supply. The Cellular Gateway should only be used with the included 15v power supply, and not the older 12v power supply that was included with the LCD Gateway 201.

Can a Cellular Gateway use an LCD Gateways's (12v) power supply?

The Cellular Gateway should only be installed using the included 15V 1A power supply. While the Cellular Gateway will power on with the LCD Gateway 12V power supply, the lower voltage may cause long-term performance issues.

What protection is required if a Gateway is installed outside?

If a Gateway is installed outside, it must be installed in an appropriate NEMA enclosure. See the NextCentury NEMA Enclosures document for more information.

How much data does the Gateway store?

Once reads are uploaded to the cloud they are kept on the Gateway for an additional 24 hours and then cleaned up/cleared out of the Gateway memory. If the Gateway is not able to connect to the cloud and upload/sync reads, then it will store them until a connection can be made and a successful upload occurs. The GW201 and GW301 models have sufficient storage to run an average size property offline for about a year.

What are the minimum network or internet connection requirements for the Cellular Gateway?

The Cellular Gateway requires one of the following data/internet connection types:

  • Ethernet
  • Wifi
  • Integrated 3G/LTE Cellular

The chosen connection must provide a speed of at least 1mb/sec. A 150 mb monthly data transfer is to be expected on an average 500 unit property. Any firewall or proxy present on some networks must include policies allowing the Gateway to communicate with the NextCentury servers. (Contact support@nextcenturymeters.com for more details)

If Gateway loses connection to the NextCentury cloud, when will an alert be created?

A "Gateway Connection Error" alert is created after a Gateway has not connected to the NextCentury servers for more than 72 hours.

What is the RF range of the Gateway?

The "line of site" range or the LCD gateway (and cellular gateway) is 4+ miles.

*Note: This range is for "line of site" measurement with a direct free-space path between the two points. Actual ranges of installed equipment will be reduced depending on the installation location, building material and other RF obstructions in the environment in which it operates.
Can you remotely reboot or reset a Gateway?

Yes. To remotely reset the Gateway, navigate to the Equipment/Network page and select the Gateway tile. The tile will expand to show specific information about the Gateway. Next click on Action (bottom blue strip of the expanded Gateway tile) and then select Reset Gateway.

What do the LED light indicators on the Cellular Gateway mean?

There are four LED light indicators on the Cellular Gateway: Power Indicator, Setup Indicator, RF Activity Indicator and 3G/LTE Indicator.

Power Indicator

LED Pattern Description
Solid Blue Powered on AND connected to NextCentury Cloud
Solid Green Powered on but NOT connected to NextCentury Cloud
Solid Red Power has been disconnected and the unit is running is shutting down
No Light Power is off

Setup Indicator

LED Pattern Description

Solid Green

Programmed to a property

Green Blinks

Programmed to a property: Mobile App directly connected to Gateway

Yellow Blinks

Not programmed to a property: Mobile App directly connected to Gateway

No Light

Not programmed to a property


RF Activity Indicator

LED Pattern Description

Blue Flash

Programmed NCSS device communicating

Green Flash

Unprogrammed NCSS device communicating

Yellow Flash

Programmed 3rd party device communicating

Red Flash

Unprogrammed 3rd Party device communicating

No Light

No Real-time RF activity


3G/LTE Indicator

LED Pattern Description
Solid Green Good Cellular Signal
Green Breathing Cellular enabled, Good Cellular Signal
Solid Yellow Fair Cellular signal
Yellow Breathing Cellular enabled, Fair Cellular Signal
Solid Red Poor Cellular Signal (Not recommended)
Red Breathing Cellular enabled, Poor Cellular Signal (Not recommended)
No Light No Cellular Signal
*Note: If the Cellular Indicator is on (red, yellow or green) then the Gateway has a cellular signal and is actively able to ping (communicate with) the NextCentury Servers
What type of surge protection does NextCentury recommend for Gateways and Repeaters? What is built into them for protection?

Clients may use any 3rd party surge protector, however, we have both an automatic resetting fuse and diodes for protecting the Gateway and Repeaters from surges. The wall power supply also has built-in protection. If a large surge does occur, it should take out the power supply before the Gateway or Repeater is damaged.

What happens when a Gateway loses power?

When a Gateway loses power, it will immediately use its reserve power to save and close ongoing operations and then send a power-loss alert.

The Gateway has built-in self-healing technologies, so when power is restored it will boot up and automatically reconnect to the NextCentury web server.

How many Transceivers can be programmed/read through one Gateway?

The database for one Gateway has been tested with up to 2,000 Transceivers.

The NextCentury system features automatic network-balancing. The Gateway is able to dynamically adjust the check-in interval for a single Transceiver in order to balance the communication of all equipment on a property. This drastically reduces dropped messages and allows the equipment to service much larger properties.

Can the Gateway use a wifi hotspot device as an internet connection?

A smartphone or cellular hotspot device can be useful for providing a temporary wifi connection but are unreliable as a long term solution. Many consumer-grade cellular hotspot devices are not designed for persistent device connection. When used with the NextCentury Gateway, the hotspot device may drop the internet connection after a few days or even hours and require an on-site visit to restart.