Pico 2G Expansion adds GSM/GPRS & GNSS to Raspberry Pi Pico (Crowdfunding)

Raspberry Pi Pico 2G Expansion Board

You may have heard about the 2G/3G sunset with the older cellular networks being phased out in many countries. But it’s not always straightforward, as telecom operators may have to obtain regulators’ permission for the shutdown notably because of the eCall emergency services integrated into cars in Europe. Eventually, eCall will be migrated toward IMS Voice and 2G M2M services to 4G LTE IoT and 5G LPWA, but in the meantime, 2G networks are still operating in parts of the world, and UK-based SB Components has just introduced the Pico 2G Expansion board for Raspberry Pi Pico based on the SIM868 module. Raspberry Pi Pico 2G Expansion specifications: Compatible with Raspberry Pi Pico board Display – 1.14-inch LCD Cellular & GNSS Connectivity SIM868 module with GPRS multi-slot class 12/10, mobile station class B GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GNSS – GPS/GLONASS/BDS Bluetooth 3.0 with audio support SIM card holder 2x SMA antenna […]

$15 TTGO T-Call Board Combines ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth SoC with SIM800 GPRS Module

TTGO T-call Pinout Diagram

LilyGo has launched several TTGO boards usually based on Espressif ESP8266 or ESP32 over the years. Here’s another that could be useful if 2G cellular networks have not sunset in your country: TTGO T-Call. The new board combines ESP32 WiFi & Bluetooth WiSoC with SIMCom SIM800L GPRS module, and also happens to rely on a USB-C port for power and programming instead of the more common micro USB port on this type of hardware. TTGO T-Call board (BLINK_V1.3) specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROVER-B based on ESP32 dual core Xtensa processor @ 240MHz with 520kB SRAM on-chip, 4MB QSPI flash, 8MB PSRAM Connectivity – WiFi 4 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz) up to 150 Mbps Bluetooth 4.2 Classic + LE Cellular  – 2G GSM/GPRS via SIMcom SIM800L module + Nano SIM card slot USB – 1x USB-C for power and programming (via CP2104) Expansion – 2x 21-pin headers with UART, SPI, SDIO, […]

Cellular Forecasts for 2024 – 1.5 Billion 5G Subscriptions, 4 Billion Cellular IoT Devices

Mobile subscription forecast 2024

5G has yet to really take off, as it’s only available in a few cities,  but a recent report publishes by Ericsson provides some forecasts for the future of 5G and cellular IoT connectivity, as well as interesting numbers of the current state of cellular networks. There are now 7.9 billion mobile subscriptions, more than humans, including 5.7 billion mobile broadband subscription, with Asia clearly dominating the field due to its much larger population. Asia also accounts for most of the recent growth in subscriptions, and interestingly people in Central and Eastern Europe (including Russia) especially appears to need more than one mobile subscription with 142% penetration, which means on average one person has 1.4 mobile subscriptions. There are more subscriptions than people in most of the continents/countries, but to a lesser extent, and India (87%) and Africa (82%) are the only exceptions. The chart above allows us to look […]

Tiny NanoPi Duo2 Board Comes with WiFi, a Camera Interface, an Optional 2G-IoT Dock

NanoPi Duo2 2G IoT Carrier Board

NanoPi Duo was launched last year as an ultra-cheap ($8+) Arm Linux board that fits into a breadboard. The board was powered by Allwinner H2+ processor coupled with 256 or 512MB RAM, and the infamous XR819 802.11b/g/n WiFi chip. FriendlyElec has now launched NanoPi Duo2, that’s still breadboard compatible, but with a slightly longer form factor, Allwinner H3 processor, 512 MB RAM, better WiFi thanks to an AP6212 module, and an extra camera interface. As we’ll see further below the company also developed a carrier board for 2G cellular IoT applications. NanoPi Duo2 specifications with highlights in bold showing differences again NanoPi Duo: SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 SDRAM Storage – micro SD card slot, footprint for SPI flash Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Ampak AP6212  module) with chip antenna, […]

LEORY 3G USB Dongle Sells for Just $9.99

When Orange Pi 3G-IoT SBC was launched, I looked at 3G USB dongles to make a comparison with a similar setup based on a Raspberry Pi Zero W board and an inexpensive 3G USB stick, and the cheapest I could find was a refurbished HUAWEI E3533 model now selling for around $16 shipped. But I’ve just found one fairly cheaper with LEORY 3G USB dongle offered for only $9.99 including shipping on Banggood. Specifications listed on Banggood: Cellular Connectivity 3G UMTS/ HSDPA + 2G GSM/EDGE Frequency bands 2G – 850/900/1800/1900MHz 3G – 2100 MHz (Band 1) Transfer rate -7.2Mbps downlink SIM card slot Storage – micro SD card storage up to 16GB USB – 1x USB 2.0 port Dimensions – 9 x 3 x 1 cm Temperature Range – Operating: -20°C ~ +55°C; storage: -30°C ~ +65°C Relative Humidity – Up to 93% The dongle is said to be supported […]

Tail it is a Family of WiFi & Cellular GPS Trackers for Things, Pets, and Bicycles (Crowdfunding)

Tail It Cellular GPS Tracker

We’ve previously written about Ping, a tiny Cellular GPS tracker that promised to last 3 months on  a charge. The raising money part of the crowdfunding campaign itself was successfully with over one million dollars raised, but as with many such campaigns there have been delays, and some people still have to receive theirs, not to mention people complaining about poor battery life and other issues. But there seems to be another option now with Tail It Technologies now offering four different “Tail it” cellular GPS trackers (with WiFi too) for things, pets, and even one designed specifically for bicycles. The company has already sold their devices to thousands of customers in Norway, so they should be working, and on-time delivery should hopefully not be an issue. All four GPS trackers come with 2G, 3G, 4G, and WiFi connectivity,  a 5-meter accuracy, and share the same electronics and firmware. Here’s […]

hIoTron Modular & Enterprise IoT Development Kit is Designed for Fast Prototyping

Hi-Nodes

hIoTron modular & enterprise IoT development kit is described by the company has a “fully pre-programmed prototyping kit for quickly building and testing your IoT concept” with plug-n-play module allowing for flexible prototyping. Beside the hardware comprises of a gateway and nodes, the kit also integrates with the company’s enterprise IoT Platform enabling easy design of custom mobile application & GUI dashboard. The company offers standard, advanced, and custom kits, but to keep things simple, let’s focus on the content of their standard kit first: Hi-Gate IoT gateway: WiSoC – Texas Instruments CC3200 Arm Cortex-M4 @ 80 MHz with 1MB flash, 256KB RAM Storage – 1MB serial flash, 512KB EEPROM Connectivity 802.11 n/g/n Wi-Fi,  2G GSM/GPRS (optional 3G/4G), ZigBee, BLE 4.0, sub-1GHz RF/NON RF to REST/MQTT gateway Expansion – 2x GPIO port pins, 2x analog port pins Power Supply – 9-12V DC 3x modular Hi-Nodes (up to 25 supported per […]

1NCE to Offer a 10 Euros Plan for 10-Year of Cellular IoT Connectivity in Europe

For the Internet of Things to be successful, prices need to come down sharply, and eventually LPWAN connectivity should be possible with $1 to $2 modules, $5 to $10 development boards like we can get for WiFi today. Cellular IoT hardware is likely to be a bit more expensive – even when using NB-IoT – but hardware prices have to come down to acceptable levels, and so is connectivity. 1NCE brings us in the right direction for the latter with a SIM card selling for 10 Euros offering 10-year of 2G/3G/NB-IoT connectivity (1 Euro per year) with 500MB data included.  That’s about 140KB of data per day, which should be OK for applications like smart meters. There are no other fees, except if your device goes over the limit,  but the company has not provided any pricing details for the extra data. The service will cover 30 countries in Europe. […]