New LTE modem add-on board for Raspberry Pi eases IoT deployments


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The Japanese firm MechaTracks has introduced a 4G LTE add-on board (generally known as a HAT) for the Raspberry Pi known as 4GPi. The 4GPi is the primary commercially produced add-on board which gives CAT4 LTE connectivity for the Raspberry Pi, with 150 Mbps obtain and 50 Mbps add speeds. Different present options are bandwidth restricted, or are adapters for LTE modems utilized in laptops, with smaller antenna connectors.

MechaTracks notes that driver assist for the 4GPi add-on board is on the market for Raspbian, the Raspberry Pi particular variant of Debian. Moreover, the 4GPi contains extension pins for the Raspberry Pi GPIO connector, making it doable to make use of at the side of different HATs. The add-on is suitable with any Raspberry Pi mannequin which has a 40-pin GPIO header. Presently, this contains the Pi 1 A+ and B+, Pi 2 Mannequin B, Pi three Mannequin B and B+, in addition to the Pi Zero and Zero W.

SEE: Enterprise IoT analysis: Makes use of, technique, and safety (Tech Professional Analysis)

Gross sales of the 4GPi will begin on November 1, for ¥25000 JPY ($222 USD / €195 EUR). It will likely be out there from Amazon Japan (with worldwide transport doable), in addition to RS Elements and SwitchScience. Of be aware, the chipset used on the 4GPI helps LTE bands 1, three, eight, 18, 19, and 26, that are bands extra generally utilized in Japan, Korea, Thailand, India, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout Europe and South America. In accordance with the chipset documentation, this variant doesn’t have fallback capabilities for UMTS / HSPA or GSM / GPRS / EDGE networks.

Whereas the worth of 4GPi is sort of a bit steeper than that of the bottom Raspberry Pi board, the mix of the 2 continues to be considerably extra reasonably priced than different LTE-connected improvement units available on the market, making it a sexy possibility for tasks which require cell community connectivity, notably digital signage, safety and asset monitoring, and agricultural/environmental use circumstances, the place counting on a relentless Wi-Fi connection is impractical.

As cell community operators put together for large deployment of 5G, present IoT units, which depend on legacy 3G networks can be in want of a substitute so as to keep connectivity with the servers which push updates and obtain updates from these units. In July, Verizon stopped activating units which solely assist 3G, making new deployments of units which depend on their legacy 3G CDMA community unimaginable. Verizon is planning to decommission their 3G CDMA infrastructure on the finish of 2019. Different cell carriers within the US and worldwide are anticipated to do the identical, although AT&T and T-Cellular haven’t but disclosed their plans for community administration.

The proliferation of IoT units and the accompanying connectivity calls for, which these deployments require has additionally prompted motion by the FCC to open extra spectrum for medium-range communications. On October 23, the FCC voted unanimously to open 1200 MHz of spectrum within the 6 GHz band for unlicensed units, similar to Wi-Fi routers, child screens, cordless landline telephones and others.

The massive takeaways for tech leaders:

  • The 4GPi can be out there beginning November 1, 2018, for ¥25000 JPY ($222 USD / €195 EUR).
  • Regardless of being dearer than the bottom Raspberry Pi board, the mix continues to be probably the most reasonably priced and extensible LTE connectivity options out there.

Additionally see

The 4GPi hooked up to a Raspberry Pi.


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