Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:19 am

3G/4G/LTE modem for CM3 and I/O board

Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:31 am

I'm working on a project that needs cell network Internet connectivity. I know that I can use a USB dongle for this but, some of these areas are remote and will have marginal cell service so I really need the ability to connect a high gain or directional external antenna to the modem. Something like the Pi Anywhere 4G hat ( ... ry-pi-hat/) would be a good solution except that it's a little outside my budget for this project and I don't think it will work with the CM3 and I/O board combo.

Does anybody have a hardware suggestion that would be a good fit?

Thanks in advance!

Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:26 am

Re: 3G/4G/LTE modem for CM3 and I/O board

Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:26 pm

There are plenty of devices you can buy that provide a USB interface which you can utilize.

For instance:

Please keep in mind that most 4G LTE modems like this are still fairly expensive. You can maybe find some cheaper TELIT modules from China and such. 3G is also usually cheaper.

On our board we use a LAN9514 hub to split the CM USB lines out to a 4G modem, WiFi module, and Ethernet port.

Edit: Just realized you wanted something that worked with the I/O board. I know of nothing purpose-built for the I/O board. Generally you'd want to design your own carrier board if you are using the Compute Modules.

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Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:19 am

Re: 3G/4G/LTE modem for CM3 and I/O board

Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:40 pm

Thanks for the reply. I do ultimately plan to have a board built with what I need on it and had come across the Nimbelink stuff in my research. I could probably get away with at 3G modem but, then I need 2 different versions, one for Verizon and one for GSM. I'd ideally like to have an LTE version that could use either carrier but, I don't think it's going to be practical since some of the areas I'll have devices in will not have 4G/LTE service available anyway, so a 3G is probably a better option for now.

Right now, we're using the Raspberry I/O board for a proof of concept and to nail down exactly what interface ports we'll need on a designed board and I'm thinking of trying one of these with it - ... ND/6612636. What isn't clear to me though, is if this is just a case and I need to add the modem module to it or if it's part of the kit, I've seen some conflicting documentation. Gumstix offers the Nimbelink as an option on their board design service so I'm leaning towards it right now.

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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:54 pm

Re: 3G/4G/LTE modem for CM3 and I/O board

Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:19 pm

I am also searching for this functionality. Adafruit sells these ones: and I just found this one as well ... gLO4fD_BwE. If there are any others in the US I'm interested. Adafruit only carries 3g, not 4g and I'd like to leverage 4g where I am.

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