Cisco Wireless Gateway for LoRaWAN

Cisco Wireless Gateway for LoRaWAN

This page guides you to connecting the Cisco Wireless Gateway for LoRaWAN to The Things Stack.

Technical specifications for this gateway can be found in Cisco’s official documentation.

Cisco LoRaWAN Gateway


  1. User account on The Things Stack with rights to create gateways.
  2. Cisco Wireless Gateway for LoRaWAN with latest firmware (version 2.0.32 or higher), connected to the internet (or your local network) via ethernet.
  3. Console cable from USB to RJ45.


Create a gateway by following the instructions for the Console or the CLI.

The EUI is derived from the MAC_ADDRESS that can be found on the back panel of the gateway. To get the EUI from the MAC_ADDRESS insert FFFE after the first 6 characters to make it a 64bit EUI.

If your MAC_ADDRESS is 5B:A0:CB:80:04:2B then the EUI is 5B A0 CB FF FE 80 04 2B.

The Gateway Server Address is the same as what you use instead of in the Getting Started guide.


Plug the RJ45 end of the cable in the Console port at the side of the gateway, and the USB port to your computer.

If you are using MacOS or Linux, connect to the Gateway by opening a terminal and a executing the following commands:

$ ls /dev/tty.usb*
This displays the list of available USB serial devices.

Once you have found the one matching the Cisco console, connect using the following command:

$ screen /dev/tty.usbserial-AO001X6M 115200

Use PuTTy if you are using Windows.

You are now in the gateway’s shell, called standalone mode.

System setup

First you need to enable the privileged mode.

Gateway> enable


To configure your Cisco Gateway to your network, type the following commands:

Gateway# configure terminal 
Gateway(config)# interface FastEthernet 0/1

If your local network has a DHCP server attributing IPs:

Gateway(config-if)# ip address dhcp

Otherwise, if you know the static IP address of your gateway:

Gateway(config-if)# ip address <ip-address> <subnet-mask>

Next, type the following to save the network configuration of your gateway:

Gateway(config-if)# description Ethernet
Gateway(config)# exit
Gateway# exit
Gateway# copy running-config startup-config

You can test your Internet configuration with the ping command, for example ping Google’s DNS server

Gateway# ping ip

To see more information about the gateway’s IP and the network, you can use

  • show interfaces FastEthernet 0/1
  • show ip interfaces FastEthernet 0/1 or
  • show ip route

Date and Time

To configure your system’s date and time, you can use ntp:

Gateway# configure terminal
Gateway(config)# ntp server address <NTP server address>
Gateway(config)# exit


Gateway# configure terminal
Gateway(config)# ntp server ip <NTP server IP>
Gateway(config)# exit

If you don’t have production-grade ntp servers available, you can use‘s servers.


If you needed to update your gateway firmware previously, your FPGA will need ~20 minutes to update once the new firmware is installed. The packet forwarder will not work until then, so we recommend at this point waiting until the FPGA is upgraded.To show the status of the FPGA, you can use the following command:

Gateway# show inventory

When the FPGAStatus line indicates Ready, this means you can go forward with this guide.


If you have a GPS connected to your Cisco gateway, enable it with the following commands:

Gateway# configure terminal
Gateway(config)# gps ubx enable
Gateway(config)# exit
This command may return the message packet-forwarder firmware is not installed, which can be ignored.

Enable Radio

As a final step before setting up the packet forwarder software, we’re going to enable the radio. You can see radio information with the show radio command:

Gateway# show radio 
ORA_PN: 95.1602T01
ORA_SKU: 915
ORA_CALC: <NA,NA,NA,50,31,106,97,88,80,71,63,53,44,34,25,16-NA,NA,NA,54,36,109,100,91,83,74,66,57,48,39,30,21>
SSI_OFFSET: -204.00,-204.40
SSI_OFFSET_AUS: -203.00,-204.00

radio status:

If the radio is off, enable it with

Gateway# configure terminal 
Gateway(config)# no radio off
Gateway(config)# exit
The show radio command also shows you more information about the LoRa concentrator powering the gateway. For example, LORA_SKU indicates the base frequency of the concentrator.

Enable Authentication

To prevent unauthorized access to the gateway, you’ll want to set up user authentication. The Cisco gateway has a secret system, that requires users to enter a secret to access privileged commands.

To enable this secret system, you can use the following commands:

  • Gateway# configure terminal to enter global configuration mode.
  • To set the secret, you can use different commands: Gateway(config)# enable secret <secret> to enter in plaintext the secret you wish to set, instead of <secret>. Note: Special characters cannot be used in plain secrets. Gateway(config)# enable secret 5 <secret> to enter the secret md5-encrypted. Gateway(config)# enable secret 8 <secret> to enter the secret SHA512-encrypted.
  • Gateway(config)# exit to exit global configuration mode.
  • Gateway#copy running-config startup-config to save the configuration.


Before we install the packet forwarder, let’s run verification to ensure that the gateway is ready.

  • Type show radio to verify that the radio is enabled. The result should indicate radio status: on.
  • Type show inventory to verify that the FPGAStatus is Ready.
  • Type show gps status to verify that the GPS is correctly connected. You can get additional GPS metadata by typing show gps info.
  • Verify that the network connection is working. You can test this by pinging common ping servers with ping ip <IP>, if your local network does not block ping commands. For example, you can ping Google’s servers with ping ip

If some of those checks fail, go back to the appropriate section earlier in order to fix it.

Then save the configuration by executing

Gateway# copy running-config startup-config

Packet Forwarder Configuration

Keep in mind that the pre-installed packet forwarder is not supported by Cisco for production purposes.

To run the packet forwarder, we’ll make use of the container that is running on the gateway at all times.

Gateway# request shell container-console

You will be requested to enter the System Password. By default this is admin.

Create the directory to store the Packet Forwarder configuration:

bash-3.2# mkdir /etc/pktfwd

Copy the packet forwarder to /etc/pktfwd:

bash-3.2# cp /tools/pkt_forwarder /etc/pktfwd/pkt_forwarder

Retrieve configuration from the Gateway Configuration Server The Gateway Configuration Server can be used to retrieve a proper global_conf.json configuration file for your gateway. Follow instructions here.

Copy the downloaded global_conf.json configuration template as config.json to /etc/pktfwd

bash-3.2# cp config.json /etc/pktfwd/config.json

You can now test the packet forwarder by executing:

bash-3.2# /etc/pktfwd/pkt_forwarder -c /etc/pktfwd/config.json -g/dev/ttyS1

Your gateway will connect to The Things Stack after a couple of minutes.

Now that we know the packet forwarder is running, let’s make it run automatically. Use this command:

bash-3.2# vi /etc/init.d/S60pkt_forwarder
Press the i key on your keyboard to start insert mode. Once finished editing, press ESC and enter :wq to write the file and quit.

Then copy paste the code below.

Replace with the name of your network after nslookup.


export NETWORKIP=$(nslookup | grep -E -o "([0-9]{1,3}[\.]){3}[0-9]{1,3}" | tail -1)
sed -i 's/[0-9]\{1,3\}\.[0-9]\{1,3\}\.[0-9]\{1,3\}\.[0-9]\{1,3\}/'$NETWORKIP'/g' "$CONFIG"

start() {
  echo "Starting pkt_forwarder"
  start-stop-daemon \
        --start \
        --make-pidfile \
        --pidfile "$PIFDILE" \
        --background \
        --startas /bin/bash -- -c "exec $SCRIPT -- -c $CONFIG -g /dev/ttyS1 >> $LOGFILE 2>&1"
  echo $?

stop() {
  echo "Stopping pkt_forwarder"
  start-stop-daemon \
        --stop \
        --oknodo \
        --quiet \
        --pidfile "$PIDFILE"

restart() {
  sleep 1

case "$1" in
    echo "Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart}"
    exit 1

exit $?

Then make the init script executable:

bash-3.2# chmod +x /etc/init.d/S60pkt_forwarder

To enable it immediately, execute

bash-3.2# /etc/init.d/S60pkt_forwarder start

You can now reboot the gateway, it can take up to 4 minutes.


If the gateway does not connect to the The Things Stack after a few minutes, you can check the log file to see if the packet forwarder started properly.

bash-3.2# tail -100 var/log/pkt_forwarder.log
GPS warnings may appear, which means the packet forwarder started.

If the radio failed to start, disconnect and reconnect the power supply to power-cycle the gateway.

For further information and troubleshooting, have a look at Cisco’s Configuration Guide.