PCIe to 5G HAT+ for Raspberry Pi 5 takes SIMCom and Quectel 5G modules

Waveshare PCIe to 5G/4G/3G HAT+ for Raspberry Pi 5 is a PCIe Gen 2 x1 to M.2 HAT+ designed to take 5G modules from SIMCom and Quectel and a Nano SIM card. The kit ships with a 4-in-1 PCB antenna, associated cables, a heatsink, a 4cm 16-pin PCIe FPC cable, a 40-pin female header, and a fixture set for mounting.

We had previously written about the SixFab 5G HAT for the Raspberry Pi 5 with a Quectel RM502Q-AE M.2 module, but this specific kit still relies on the USB 3.0 interface. The Waveshare kit is the first 5G kit using the PCIe interface from the Raspberry Pi 5 interface and it is offered with Quectel RM502Q-AE, RM530N-GL, RM520N-GL, or SIMCom SIM8262E-M2, SIM8262A-M2 M.2 3042/3052 modules.

Raspberry Pi 5 5G PCIe HAT+

Waveshare PCIe to 5G HAT+ specifications:

  • M.2 Key B socket for 3042/3052 5G modules with PCIe interface
  • 16-pin PCIe FPC connector directly connected to the Raspberry Pi 5 PCIe interface
  • 40-pin GPIO header
  • Nano SIM card slot
  • Antenna – 4-in-1 PCB antenna board with four IPEX antennas
  • USB – USB Type-C port for 5G networking of Raspberry Pi or PC via USB cable, firmware updating, or external power supply input
  • Storage – I2C EEPROM for configuration
  • Misc – Reset button, Power and Network LEDs
  • Power Management – Onboard power monitoring chip for real-time measurement of voltage, current, and power
  • Dimensions – HAT+ form factor

Waveshare PCIe to 5G 4G 3G HAT Raspberry Pi 5Waveshare provides support for five different 5G modules suitable for various regions across the globe:

  • Quectel Modules
    • RM502Q-AE (Global except China) – 3GPP R15, Sub-6 GHz
    • RM520N-GL (Global) – 3GPP R16, Sub-6 GHz 
    • RM530N-GL (Global) – 3GPP R16, Sub-6 GHz, mmWave
    • Bands
      • 5G NR (RM530N-GL only) – n257, n258, n260, n261
      • 5G NR NSA/SA – n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n25, n28, n38, n40, n41, n48, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79; RM520N/RM530N add: n13, n14, n18, n29, n30, n70, n71, n76
      • 4G LTE-FDD – B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B7, B8, B12, B13, B14, B17, B18, B19, B20, B25, B26, B28, B29, B30, B32, B66, B71
      • 4G LTE-TDD – B34, B38, B39, B40, B41, B42, B43, B48
      • LAA – B46
      • WCDMA – B1, B2, B4, B5, B8, B19; RM502Q-AE adds: B3 and B6
    • GNSS – GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou (Compass) / Galileo / QZSS (QZSS is not supported on RM502Q-AE)
    • Data rates
      • 5G mmWave – Downlink 4 Gbps; uplink 1.4 Gbps
      • 5G SA Sub-6
        • RM502Q-AE – downlink 4.2 Gbps; uplink 450 Mbps
        • RM520N-GL/RM530N-GL – downlink 2.4 Gbps; uplink 900 Mbps
      • 5G NSA Sub-6
        • RM502Q-AE – downlink 5 Gbps; uplink 650 Mbps
        • RM520N-GL/RM530N-GL – downlink 3.4 Gbps; uplink 550 Mbps
      • 4G LTE
        • RM502Q-AE – downlink 2 Gbps; uplink 200 Mbps
        • RM520N-GL – downlink 1.6 Gbps; uplink 200 Mbps
        • RM530N-GL – downlink 1.0 Gbps; uplink 200 Mbps
      • 3G UMTS – downlink 42 Mbps; uplink 5.76 Mbps
  • SIMCom modules
    • SIM8262E-M2 (except Americas) – Sub-6 GHz
    • SIM8262A-M2 (Americas) – Sub-6 GHz
    • Bands
      • 5G NR NSA/SA
        • SIM8262E-M2 – n1, n3, n5, n7, n8, n20, n28, n38, n40, n41, n77, n78, n79
        • SIM8262A-M2 – n2, n5, n7, n12, n13, n14, n25, n30, n41, n48, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79
      • 4G LTE
        • LTE-FDD
          • SIM8262E-M2 – B1, B3, B5, B7, B8, B18, B19, B20, B26, B28, B32
          • SIM8262A-M2 – B2, B4, B5, B7, B12, B13, B14, B25, B26, B29, B30, B66, B71
        • LTD-TDD
          • SIM8262E-M2 – B38, B39, B40, B41, B42, B43
          • SIM8262A-M2 – B2, B41, B46, B48
      • UMTS
        • SIM8262E-M2 – B1, B5, B8
        • SIM8262A-M2 – B2, B4, B5
    • GNSS – GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou / Galileo / QZSS
    • Data rates
      • 5G – downlink 2.4 Gbps; uplink 500 Mbps
      • 4G LTE –  downlink 1.0 Gbps; uplink 200 Mbps
      • UMTS – downlink 42 Mbps; uplink 5.76 Mbps
Waveshare PCIe 5G HAT assembly instructions
Assembly instructions

Waveshare provides documentation for each module and how to use them with the PCIe to 5G HAT+, for example for the Quectel RM530N-GL, but each Wiki page is very similar, includes AT commands for both Quectel and SIMCom modules, and configuration steps with Raspberry Pi OS and OpenWrt.

All five Waveshare PCIe to 5G HAT kits can be purchased on Aliexpress for $259.43 to $338.55 depending on the selected model, and you’ll also find those on Amazon or directly on the Waveshare online store.

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5 Comments
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maurer
maurer
1 month ago

what are the cheapest 5g modules nowadays ?

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

I would go with the fibocom fm350-gl, you can get them for under $50 and IMO they are as good as the SDX62 based quectel rm520n-gl which is at minimum $150.

But if you want the broadest hardware comparability the Quectel 502 and 520 are widely supported.

Johnny
Johnny
1 month ago

What are the cheapest SBC-s that take 5g modules?
If i want to build a 5G WiFi6 router, that would need two slots (one for wifi, unless integrated already).
Or should i go with usb wifi.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
1 month ago

There is an sbc from the rock 3 family with m.2 m b and e slots

Khadas VIM4 SBC