Cellular gateway board takes up to five 4G mini PCIe cards, one 5G M.2 module, seven SIM cards

One Banana Pi customer asked them to customize Banana Pi BPI-R64 Linux router board based on MediaTek MT7622 WiFi processor as part of their “BPI 4.0 server” OEM/ODM customization service. Specifically, they were asked to design a cellular gateway board with the same five Gigabit Ethernet ports as on the original board, but adding five mini PCIe sockets and SIM card slots for 3G/4G cards, and one M.2 socket plus two SIM cards for a 5G module. Here’s the result! Banana Pi “GrassRouter” cellular gateway board specifications: SoC – MediaTek MT7622E dual-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.35GHz System Memory – 1 or 2GB RAM Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card slot Connectivity Cellular 1x 5G via M.2 Key-B module (USB 3.0 or PCIe bus), 2x SIM card slots. Up to 5x 3G/4G LTE via  mPCIe expansion socket, 5x SIM card slots Ethernet – 5x Gigabit Ethernet ports (4x LAN + 1x WAN) WiFi – Optional 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFI 5 […]

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GSM repeater & signal booster extends 2G/3G/4G cellular coverage in your house or building

If your WiFi router range does not cover some of your rooms what do you do? You install a WiFi repeater or some of the more recent WiFi mesh networking solutions. What I did not know is that you can do something similar for cellular connectivity if you don’t quite get a reliable signal from your telco’s base station. Specifically, I’ve just come across a 900 MHz GSM repeater & signal booster that claims to be able to extend the 2G, 3G, and 4G cellular signal in a 100 to 300 m2 area, and sold for $59 on Banggood. Here are the specifications listed for the GSM repeater: Operating Frequency Band – GSM Uplink: 890-915Mhz Downlink: 935-960Mhz Gain: 70dbm Outdoor Directional Antenna Gain – 8dB Compatible with 2G / 3G / 4G cell phone signal Power Supply – 12V DC via 110-240V DC adapter Dimensions – 135 x 105 x 23 mm (Aluminum Alloy) Temperature Range – -10 to 60°C […]

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Cost of Mobile Data Around the World

Cost of mobile internet per country

The price of products often vary around the world due to taxes, regulations, and cost of living. In many cases, that’s just a few tens of percents, but in some others the price may vary a lot more, as in many folds. For example, medicines are usually way more expensive in developed countries – and harder to buy -,  and based on a study by Cable.co.uk, the price of 1GB mobile data varies massively across the world with India having the cheapest average cost of $0.26 US, and Zimbabwe the highest at $75.20. Price varies a lot even for neighboring countries. So if you live in Geneva in Switzerland where the average price for 1GB is $20.22, it may pay off to get signal from France (if possible) where the average cost is only $2.99. One should bear in mind that determining the average price of 1GB of mobile data is not that easy. The company gathered information from retail […]

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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 at both the current trends and the future. We can […]

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Orange Pi 3G-IoT Board Finally Gets a Linux Image

Orange Pi 3G-IoT Linux

Shenzhen Xunlong has launched several cellular IoT boards over the last few years with Orange Pi 2G-IoT, Orange Pi 3G-IoT and Orange Pi 4G-IoT, but each time, they are launched with Android support only. Linux support on the 2G board has never been great, while the Android 8.1 SDK for Orange Pi 4G-IoT was released earlier this year, but no Linux image are available. This leaves us with Orange Pi 3G-IoT board that just got its first Linux based firmware images released today on both Baidu and Google Drive cloud storage storage services. Four images are available for Orange Pi 3G-IoT-A (256MB DDR2) and Orange Pi 3G-IoT-B (512MB DDR2) boards with images booting from eMMC flash or micro SD card. A shell script (tar_image.sh) is provided to flash the image to the micro SD card since the latter for follow a specific partition layout. Sadly, there’s no mention of the distribution used, or whether the company used buildroot or the […]

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Giveaway Week – ThaiEasyElec 3G Raspberry Pi HAT

3G-GPS-Tracker-Raspberry-Pi-Board-Configuration

You’ll need a 40-pin Raspberry Pi board for this giveaway. Quectel UC20 based ThaiEasyElec 3G Raspberry Pi HAT adds 3G / 2G connectivity to the popular development board. I”l send the board with the full kit include GPS/GLONASS antenna, cellular antenna, headers and spacers. I explained how to use the board in “How to Use 3G and GPS on Raspberry Pi” post, and I found that it was pretty easy working with GPS and 3G using Hologram SIM card by following the instructions provided by ThaiEasyElec. I could also find alternative connection method for this type of board on the Internet. To enter the draw simply leave a comment below. Other rules are as follows: Only one entry per contest. I will filter out entries with the same IP and/or email address. Contests are open for 48 hours starting at 10am (Bangkok time) every day. Comments will be closed after 48 hours. If comments are open, the contest is still […]

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Orange Pi 3G/4G Cellular IoT Development Kits with Touchscreen Display Launched for $35 and Up

Orange Pi 4G-IoT Set5

Earlier this year, Shenzhen Xunlong introduced two new Orange Pi cellular IoT boards running Android – but no Linux distribution just yet – with Orange Pi 3G-IoT and Orange Pi 4G-IoT boards, with LTE bands suitable for Asia and most part of Europe, but not the US. But boards are quite cheap, the 4G-IoT model recently got Android 8.1 Oreo support, if you’d like a display with the board, you can now buy various kits with touchscreen display and in some sets a power supply as well for $34.80 and up plus shipping, or the displays only for $14.80 and up. Four kits have been launched so far: $34.80 Orange Pi 3G-IoT-A Set1 with Orange Pi 3G-IOT-A board powered by  Mediatek MT6572 dual core Cortex A7 processor + 256MB RAM/512MB eMMC combo chip, and a 4.98″ TFT LCD touchscreen display (854 x 480) $39.80 Orange Pi 3G-IoT-B Set1 with Orange Pi 3G-IOT-B board powered by Mediatek MT6572 dual core Cortex […]

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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 in Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10, as well as Linux and Android operating […]

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