Cellular Connectivity

In this article:


If you have an MS4 or MS3 Series SmartBox, your device is equipped with WiFi and Ethernet connectivity. A cellular kit is available as an optional add-on from our store.


How the SmartBox connects

The Keycafe SmartBox can connect to the cloud using a cellular module 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 set up, 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 an internet 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 and provide transparency into the connection quality of each of your SmartBoxes.


Connecting to a cellular network

MS4 Series

  1. Remove the backplate from your SmartBox.
  2. Plug in the cable from the cellular module into one of the USB ports in the back of the SmartBox console.
  3. Route the cable down into one of the cable pass-throughs at the bottom of the SmartBox.
  4. Reset the SmartBox by pressing the Reset button rapidly three times.
  5. The SmartBox will begin searching for an available cellular network. This may take up to 30 minutes the first time the SmartBox connects.
  6. If the SmartBox fails to connect, tap Retry.
  7. Once the SmartBox is connected, tap Continue Now.
  8. You can attach the cellular module to the side or top of the SmartBox with double-sided tape, or mount it to the wall using the provided screw holes.


Signal reading on the device

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.



Signal reading in your account

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:

  • Heartbeat booking occurs every 7.5 minutes and is the SmartBox simply confirming it is online.
  • 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.


Startup & troubleshooting

MS3 Series

Poor Signal or Frequent Disconnections

Move the SmartBox to a spot with stronger signal reception by reading the signal strength status.

Connection Issues

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 startup:

(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.


Common symptoms of a poor connection

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 in 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 loses 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 consider 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 occasions (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.


Countries of operation

MS4 Series

The cellular module for MS4 Series SmartBoxes works in 200+ countries on 470+ carriers. See the full list of countries here.


MS3 Series

In the list below, you can find our comprehensive network of carriers in each country and the bands on which the MS3 SmartBox cellular chip operates.

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.

Country Carriers (MS200 series) Carriers (MS3 series) MS200, MS210, MS200X, MS210X MS3, MS3M
Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, Telus
Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, Telus
2G, 3G, LTE 2G, 3G, LTE
United States AT&T, T-Mobile AT&T, T-Mobile 2G, 3G, LTE 2G, 3G, LTE
Afghanistan Roshan Roshan 2G 2G
Albania - Vodafone - 2G, 3G
Algeria Mobilis - 2G, 3G -
Anguilla Flow Flow 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Antigua and Barbuda Flow Flow 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Argentina Movistar Claro 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Armenia - VivaCell - 2G, 3G
Aruba Setar Setar 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Australia Optus, Telstra Vodafone 3G 3G
Austria 3 (Drei), A1, T-Mobile A1 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Azerbaijan Bakcell Bakcell 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Bahamas Aliv, BTC Bahamas - 2G, 3G -
Bahrain Batelco Batelco 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Bangladesh GrameenPhone Robi 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Barbados Flow Flow 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Belarus A1, MTS - 2G, 3G -
Belgium Base, Mobistar, Proximus Proximus 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Benin - Spacetel - 2G, 3G
Bermuda CellOne CellOne 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Bolivia NuevaTel, Tigo - 2G, 3G -
Bosnia and Herzegovina BH Telecom - 2G, 3G -
Botswana BeMobile - 2G, 3G -
Brazil Vivo - 2G, 3G -
Brunei - DST - 2G, 3G
Bulgaria A1, Telenor, Vivacom A1 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Cabo Verde CVMóvel - 2G, 3G -
Cambodia - Cellcard - 2G, 3G
Cameroon MTN - 2G, 3G -
Cayman Islands Flow Flow 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Central African Republic - Moov - 2G, 3G
Chad - Airtel - 2G, 3G
Chile Movistar Entel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
China China Mobile, China Unicom China Unicom 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Colombia Movistar Claro 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Congo (Brazzaville) MTN CelTel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Costa Rica Movistar Claro 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Côte d'Ivoire MTN - 2G, 3G -
Croatia Croatian Telecom, Tele2, VIPnet VIPnet 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Curaçao Digicel, UTS Digicel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Cyprus Cytamobile-Vodafone, PrimeTel Cytamobile-Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Czechia O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Denmark 3 (Tre), Telenor, Telia TDC 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Dominica Flow Flow 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Dominican Republic Claro, Viva Claro 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Ecuador Otecel Conecel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Egypt Orange - 3G -
El Salvador Telefonica Claro 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Estonia Tele2, Telia Tele2 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
eSwatini MTN - 2G, 3G -
Faroe Islands - Vodafone - 2G, 3G
Fiji - Digicel - 2G, 3G
Finland DNA, Telia Elisa 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
France Bouygues, Orange, SFR Orange 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
French Guiana - Digicel - 2G, 3G
Gabon Airtel Airtel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Georgia Beeline Magticom 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Germany O2, Telekom, Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Ghana Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Gibraltar Gibtel Gibtel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Greece Cosmote, Vodafone, Wind Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Greenland Tele - 2G, 3G -
Grenada Flow Flow 2G 2G
Guadeloupe - Digicel - 2G, 3G
Guam - mPulse - 2G, 3G
Guatemala Claro Claro 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Guernsey - Airtel-Vodafone - 2G, 3G
Guinea-Bissau MTN - 2G, 3G -
Guyana Digicel Cellink Plus 2G 2G
Haiti Digicel Natcom 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Holy See (Vatican City) - Vodafone - 2G, 3G
Honduras Claro, Tigo Claro 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Hong Kong CMHK, SmarTone - 2G, 3G -
Hungary Magyar Telekom, Telenor, Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Iceland Nova, Siminn, Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
India - VI - 2G, 3G
Indonesia Telkomsel Telkomsel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Ireland 3 (Tre), Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Isle of Man - Manx Telecom - 2G, 3G
Israel Cellcom, Hot Mobile, Partner Orange 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Italy TIM, Vodafone, Wind Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Jamaica Digicel, Flow Flow 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Japan NTT DoCoMo Softbank 3G 3G
Jersey Airtel-Vodafone, Jersey Telecom Airtel-Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Jordan - Zain - 2G, 3G
Kazakhstan Beeline - 2G, 3G -
Kenya Airtel Safaricom 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Kuwait Wataniya, Zain Zain 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Latvia LMT, Tele2 Bite 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Lesotho - VODACOM - 2G, 3G
Liechtenstein Mobilkom Swisscom 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Lithuania Omnitel, Tele2 Tele2 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Luxembourg Orange, POST, Tango Tango 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Madagascar Airtel Airtel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Malawi - Airtel - 2G, 3G
Malaysia Celcom, DiGi Celcom 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Malta Go Mobile, Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Martinique - Digicel - 2G, 3G
Mexico AT&T, Movistar Telcel 2G, 3G, LTE 2G, 3G, LTE
Moldova Orange - 2G, 3G -
Mongolia Unitel Unitel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Montenegro Mtel, T-Mobile Telenor 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Montserrat Flow Flow 2G 2G
Morocco Inwi - 2G, 3G -
Mozambique Vodacom Vodacom 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Nauru - Digicel - 2G, 3G
Netherlands KPN, T-Mobile, Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
New Zealand 2degrees, Spark, Vodafone Vodafone 3G 3G
Nicaragua Movistar Claro 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Niger Celtel Airtel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Nigeria Celtel Nigeria, Etisalat, MTN MTN 2G 2G
North Macedonia T-Mobile, Vip operator Vip operator 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Norway Network Norway, Telenor, Telia Telenor 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Oman Omantel, Ooredoo - 2G, 3G -
Pakistan Mobilink Telenor 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Panama Movistar Claro 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Paraguay - Claro - 2G, 3G
Peru Movistar Nextel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Philippines Globe, Smart Smart 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Poland Era, Orange, Play Plus 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Portugal NOS, TMN, Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Puerto Rico Claro - 2G, 3G -
Qatar Ooredoo, Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Réunion SFR SFR 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Romania Orange, Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Russia Beeline, MTS MTS 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Rwanda MTN Tigo 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Saint Barthélemy - Digicel - 2G, 3G
Saint Kitts and Nevis Flow Flow 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Saint Lucia Flow Flow 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Saint Martin (French part) - Digicel - 2G, 3G
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Flow Flow 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
San Marino - Vodafone - 2G, 3G
Saudi Arabia Al Jawal, Zain Zain 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Serbia Telenor, VIP VIP 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Seychelles Airtel Airtel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Singapore SingTel, StarHub StarHub 3G 3G
Slovakia O2, Orange, T-Mobile Orange 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Slovenia Mobitel, SI Mobil SI Mobil 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Solomon Islands - BeMobile - 2G, 3G
South Africa MTN, Vodacom Vodacom 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
South Korea KT, SK Telecom SK Telecom 3G 3G
South Sudan - Zain - 2G, 3G
Spain Telefonica Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Sri Lanka Dialog Mobitel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Suriname Digicel Digicel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Svalbard and Jan Mayen - Telenor - 2G, 3G
Sweden 3 (Tre), Tele2, Telenor Tele2 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Switzerland Salt, Sunrise Swisscom 3G 3G
Taiwan T Star, Taiwan Mobile FarEasTone 3G 3G
Tanzania Airtel, Vodacom Vodacom 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Thailand DTAC, True Move Real Future 3G 3G
Togo - Moov - 2G, 3G
Trinidad and Tobago Digicel, TSTT Digicel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Tunisia Orange Tunisie - 2G, 3G -
Turkey Türk Telekom, Turkcell Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Turks and Caicos Islands - Flow - 2G, 3G
Uganda MTN MTN 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Ukraine Kyivstar MTS 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
United Arab Emirates du, Etisalat - 2G, 3G -
United Kingdom 3, O2, Vodafone Vodafone 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Uruguay Movistar Antel 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Uzbekistan - Beeline - 2G, 3G
Venezuela Movistar Movistar 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Vietnam Viettel, Vinaphone - 2G, 3G -
Virgin Islands (British) Flow Flow 2G, 3G 2G, 3G
Yemen MTN Yemen - 2G -
Zambia - Airtel - 2G, 3G
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