If for some reasons, none of the many NB-IoT boards launched recently suit your needs, there’s yet another option with Avnet Silica NB-IoT sensor shield, that supports – despite the name – also supports LTE Cat M1 (eMTC) beside NB-IoT (LTE Cat NB1), and comes with Arduino headers, as well as a Pmod connector.
The board relies on Quectel BG96 module, and can be controlled with Arm mbed OS 5 when connected to STM32 Nucleo board.
NB-IoT Sensor Shield specifications:
- Cellular Module – Quectel BG96 LPWA Module
- Multi Modes: Cat.M1, Cat.NB1, EGPRS
- Global bands
- Cat M1/NB1: B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B8 B12 B13 B18 B19 B20 B26 B28 B39 (B39 for Cat M1 only)
- EGPRS: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
- Voice Over LTE support (M1 only) – PCM digital audio interface
- SIM card holder (also optional embedded SIM)
- Optional GNSS – GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou/Compass, Galileo, QZSS
- Expansion – Arduino headers, Pmod connector
- USB – 1x micro USB port
- Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
- Power Consumption – Approx. 10 uA in PSM mode
The board can be controlled in standalone mode using AT commands when connected to a computer over serial, and works with major operating systems such as Android, Linux, Windows. Alternatively, it also support mbed OS 5 open source operating system for integrated embedded development when connected to compatible board such as STM32 Nucleo. The mbed documentation shows how to run an MQTT client when Avnet Silica NB-IoT sensor shield is connected to STM32 Nucleo-L476 RG board and ST X-NUCLEO-IKS01A2 3D Accelerometer and 3D Gyroscope expansion board.
Potential markets for the solution include industry and agriculture (Gas detector, Soil PG tester, machinery alarm system, etc..), public utilities (Water/gas metering, Smart parking system, Smoke alarm…), and the consumer market (asset tracking, person/pet tracking, etc…)