This post explains the differences between different cellular modems for Raspberry Pi. Compering Waveshare and Sixfab products.
Time to read:
Usually, when devs are at home, they might connect a Raspberry Pi on WiFi. But, what if they’re in the field and need to collect more data from transmitting to home? A slow hotspot isn’t going to cover it. They’re going to need something more robust with their IoT projects than a mere dongle with a shoddy internet connection: they’ll need a cellular HAT (Hardware attached on top).
Keep reading and explore whether developers can use Raspberry Pi 4G modems to put out more speed we need while they’re out and about. Also, stay tuned to learn how to shop for a HAT in addition to a comparison of a couple of popular models on the market.
As with dongles, the Raspberry Pi indeed works with 4G LTE modems. There are hundreds of Raspberry Pi 3G modems, 4G, and other variations (CAT 1–4) in the market to fit the needs of developers doing field research, streaming videos, or even making calls. As mentioned, these modems potentially offer a lot higher speeds than their dongle counterparts.
The Raspberry Pi Modems are HATs, attachments that add additional capabilities to the device. Since HATs perform better than dongles, they aren’t plug-and-play, meaning a newbie would have to put in a little more work to get these working.
Something that every developer will need to keep in mind is that there’s no way for a USB modem to appear as an Ethernet interface, it will always appear as a USB device.
One of the most significant factors to keep in mind is the operating system the Raspberry Pi’s running. For example, some modems 4G modems might only work on Windows or require special drivers to run. Conversely, most will work fine on Linux-based operating systems.
Also, ensure that the module supports the correct country. For instance, some models only support CAT4 networks in (X) countries, while others could support only CAT1.
When searching, keep in mind that there are many HATS; so, make sure that it’s a modem. HATs come in different shapes and sizes. For example, some HATs serve as humidity, temperature, and sensor pressures.
Not all Raspberry Pi HATs are made the same. Some might support 3- and 4G networks and not include GPS support. Shop based on what the IoT project needs.
Whether it’s working on an in-the-field IoT project or streaming a documentary while at the beach, developers are going to need a HAT to serve their needs. To ease the burden of shopping, here are a couple of Raspberry Pi 4G modems that’ll improve most project’s workflow efficiency.
Before reading on, a point to keep in mind is that none of these modems (or dongle) include SIM cards and support CAT4 networks.
Waveshare offers an affordable 4G HAT with its SIM7600CE-T that can also double as a communications device due to a couple of included accessories.
Their SIM7600CE-T model is ideal for Southeastern countries and China; however, they offer various HATs and LTE CAT (1 and 4) network support for various regions. So, be sure to check their handy chart of available models before purchasing.
For projects requiring SMS, the SIM7600CE-T supports mobile terminated (MT), mobile organized (MO), Protocol Data Unit (PDU), and Text types.
In the package, buyers will receive a pack of screws, two USB 2.0 to micro cables, a GPS antenna, an LTE antenna, and the HAT.
Here are some points that put the Waveshare SIM7600CE-T above its competition:
Some areas where the SIM7600CE-T 4G HAT doesn’t shine:
The newbie-friendly Cellular Modem Kit provided by Sixfab comes with two LTE antennas, a Micro USB 2.0 cable, the 3G/4G/LTE HAT, in addition to the needed module (based on the buyer’s country.)
Speaking of modules, their Sixfab lists all their supported certifications, carriers, supported regions (including global), and GSM frequency bands.
Reviewers claimed that they achieved 30Mbps upload and download speeds while using this kit.
An additional investment of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) will ensure developers that they aren’t interrupted in the middle of tasks by managing the various mediums powering the Raspberry Pi.
Here are reasons why the Raspberry Pi Modem Kit is ideal:
Here are a few reasons why this kit might not serve as a developer’s best choice:
Due to its friendliness to beginners and experts, the Sixfab Raspberry Pi 4G/LTE Cellular Modem Kit reigns supreme in this competition. The kit easier to jump into, offers more flexibility with its multiple antennas, and fits into various IoT projects.
While it requires additional investments to work optimally, it’s worth it in the end with the top-notch quality developers will get from using a kit over Waveshare’s standalone HAT.