The Keycafe SmartBox connects to the cloud using a cellular module and a sim card provided by Keycafe. A connection is necessary for the SmartBox to function. The device is designed to operate with minimal data overhead and will function even in challenging signal environments, however, we recommend installing your SmartBox in an environment with strong signal reception. Once setup, the device will check in to the Keycafe server on a regular basis and you will be notified if it loses its connection. We provide a number of tools to monitor the signal of your SmartBoxes so you can optimize and understand the connectivity of each of your SmartBoxes over time.
Importance of Connection Quality
Most operating aspects of the SmartBox require a cellular connection, including key exchanges and diagnostic reporting to your account. Every SmartBox will have a different quality of connection. Even if there is a great signal, in some environments or areas of a city there may be more frequent periods of connection drops in which there is no connection. You should monitor and compare the connection quality of your SmartBoxes and relocate them as necessary. Keycafe is continuing to develop additional features to measure provide transparency into the connection quality of each of your SmartBoxes.
To mount the SmartBox at a spot with strong reception, use the signal strength status on the SmartBox.
- When Setting Up The SmartBox - Plug-in the SmartBox. The signal strength screen is displayed automatically after the initialization process has completed.
- After Linking the SmartBox to a Location - Tap the ? button on the bottom right of the screen. Tap on Device Status to see a similar page as below. Please note that the signal strength is updated every 5 seconds.
To check the SmartBox's signal status from your account, go to your Keycafe Dashboard. Select SmartBoxes from the side menu to see the list of all your linked SmartBoxes.
You can find the Signal Strength status of each SmartBox under its serial number. Please note that the signal strength on your account will update every 15 minutes. The signal strength reading you are seeing is not real-time. It is the signal strength that was reported during the last successful full booking which occurs every 15 minutes.
SmartBox Heartbeat and Full Bookings
Each SmartBox checks in with the Keycafe server every 7.5 minutes. There are two types of routine bookings:
- A Heartbeat booking occurs every 7.5 minutes and is the SmartBox simply confirming it is online.
- A Full booking occurs every 15 minutes and is the SmartBox reporting health information about itself including its signal strength, power source and other data.
During a full booking, the SmartBox updates its configuration information if necessary, so any updates or customizations you send to the SmartBox may occur after the next full booking.
Move the SmartBox to a spot with stronger signal reception by reading the signal strength status.
If your SmartBox is not able to connect to the cellular network after being plugged in, you can use the LED light to indicate the issue.
1. Normal - The LED one-touch button will go through the following process upon start up: (i) blink green for several minutes (looking for cell tower), (ii) rapidly blink cyan (connecting to Keycafe), (iii) breathing cyan (connection established), (iv) solid blue (ready).
2. Failing to Connect to the Cellular Network - If the LED blinks green but it never blinks cyan, the SmartBox is unable to connect to the cellular network. In this case:
- Restart the device and wait for at least 10 minutes.
- Ensure that the antenna is properly attached to the motherboard. In rare cases, having the antenna disconnected or damaged causes the SmartBox to fail to connect to the cellular network.
- Check for any cellular outage reports in your area.
3. Failing to Connect to Keycafe - If the LED passes the green blinking stage, but stays on the cyan blinking stage, the SmartBox is unable to negotiate a connection with Keycafe.
- If you notice an occasional red blink amidst the rapid cyan, this means the device has lost its security key and is unable to authenticate (it can be caused for example by an internal memory failure). The SmartBox will reset itself and reload its credentials. The process may take several resets.
There are two major patterns you may notice in the event of a poor connection.
1. Poor Signal Issue - If you have a generally poor signal at a location and interactions such as key pickups often timeout, require multiple attempts, or do not result with the right outcome in your account, you should consider testing the SmartBox in another place with a better connection.
2. Connection Drop Issues - The application on the SmartBox screen will freeze if the SmartBox looses its cellular connection. In some cases if this state persists for a period, the firmware will not be able to recover after the cellular connection has been reestablished and the screen will remain frozen. You must reset the SmartBox for it to begin operating normally again. If you encounter a frozen screen frequently, the area the box is located is prone to connection drops and you should considered a different placement.
Expect a Higher Support Requirement at Locations with Lower Quality Connections
A SmartBox with a good placement will only see the above symptoms on very rare occasion (perhaps a few times per year). SmartBoxes placed into challenging connection environments may be inoperable or require more on the ground effort to support. The good news is Keycafe is adding new offline and troubleshooting capabilities that we expect will allow boxes to function in marginal locations with fewer disruptions.
Keycafe SmartBoxes work in over 100 countries. Each series of SmartBoxes such as the MS100 Series has various models (e.g. MS100, MS101 ,MS110, MS111, MS120) that may contain a cellular module specific to your country. If you wish to know which countries a particular model will function in, please reach out to our support team.
In the list below, you can find our comprehensive network of carriers in each country, and the bands on which our SmartBox models operate.
Don't see your country? Hang tight. Keycafe is always improving its hardware and geographic reach. Please note that you may not operate the SmartBox in any country under embargo by the US or Canada.
Telefonica O2 UK
Telefonica Moviles Argentina
Orange Austria Telecommuniction GmbH
JV Mobile Digital Com. Ltd.
BASE NV/SA Belgium
Airtel Burkina Faso
Telefonica Moviles Chile
Telefonica Moviles Colombia
Telefonica Costa Rica
VIPnet d.o.o., Croatia
Telefonica O2 Czech Republic
Compania Dominicana de Tel.
Otecel S.A. Ecuador
Telefonica Moviles El Salvador
Tele2 Eesti AS
Telefonica O2 Germany
Telefonica Moviles Guatemala
MTN Guinea Bissau
SERCOM Honduras - Claro
XL Axiata - Robi
Telefonica O2 Ireland
Jersey Telecoms UK
Korea, Republic of
TANGO Mobile SA
Go Mobile Malta
Telefonica Moviles Mexico
Two Degrees Mobile
Telefonia Celular de Nicaragua
Telenor Mobil Norway
Warid Telecom (Pvt) Ltd
Telefonica Moviles Panama S.A.
Telefonica Moviles Peru
Globe Telecom Philippines
AT&T (Puerto Rico)
Societe Reunionnaise du Radio.
Orange Romania SA
Etihad Etisalat Company
Airtel Telecom Seychelles
Airtel Sierra Leone
StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd.
Telefonica O2 Slovakia
Cell C (PTY) Ltd.
Telefonica Moviles Spain
Dialog Telekom Ltd
Telenor Sverige AB
Taiwan Mobile Co., Ltd.
Airtel Zambia Limited
Updated 11 months ago