Hello all. Just getting a grasp on this technology and gonna throw out some basic questions. I have been trialing some IOT equipment which consisted of a gateway and the MQTT principle. This was all heavily dependent on internet access LAN/WAN, VPN’s, Firewalls etc. It looks like this is all cellular? What sort of costs (or is it just a regular SIM with contract etc) or is there a purpose made service for this? I am looking to develop an app to report on sensor status. Is that easily achievable with this platform? Sorry if any are obvious, but I have a little knowledge (enough to be dangerous LOL)
I am hardly an expert on this but here are some things I do know about these boards:
- It doesn’t have to be cellular. For instance, the one right next to me is currently connected to the Internet over WiFi.
- There is a read-made SIM service from Sierra Wireless for this device. I am not sure of the costs. The SIM I have is just the demo and for some reason, the costs beyond the first 100MB aren’t listed. I don’t know much about the ready-made service (AirVantage) since I don’t plan to use it, but I’m sure someone else here can fill you in.
- It is also able to accept any normal SIM card that is provisioned for whatever cellular technology the module you purchase is. For instance, I have a WP7702 module which is intended for LTE-CAT-M1 and NB-IOT. I have a Hologram SIM card which costs $1/month for the first megabyte and $0.40 cents/MB after that. However, this was specifically a SIM optimized for costs for low-bandwidth use (which is what my application is). I could have put the SIM from my AT&T phone in and used that plan if I wanted to.
- There are two types of modules that can plug into the MangOH platform. One is a more traditional cellular module that has an AT command interface. The other also has an ARM7 application processor running Linux. Full source is provided for the Linux side, which is actually why I selected this platform.
- Assuming you plan to use the “WPxxxx” modules with Linux, for what you are looking to do, get familiar with Yocto Linux. You’ll need to add the MQTT broker to the base build as well as whatever else your application requires. The good news is that while they took a few liberties, the Linux on these modules is pretty standard (standard enough that I can use a Debian based chroot environment for my development with no problems).
Well, of course - the ‘I’ in “IoT” stands for Internet !
While you probably can get away with a “regular SIM”, I would strongly advise against that.
You will get absolutely no support whatsoever when (not if) connectivity/SIM issues arise. If you try to call the customer support line, you will be stuck at the very first question: “what phone are you using?”.
Yes, there are very many “purpose-made” services specifically designed for IoT (aka “M2M”) applications.
Sierra Wireless offer both a SIM service and the AirVantage cloud platform.
Other providers are available
https://mangoh.io/buy-boards shows a number of options to buy a mangOH red complete with a SIM.
Thank you. Very helpful.
I guess I should have been more specific. It was the route to the Internet I was trying to make less complex. Dealing with corporate IT/VPN’s etc isn’t always straightforward if possible so the cellular route to the ‘internet’ is what appealed to me. I will need to figure out long term costs though to ensure clarity to potential users. Hopefully the ‘ Sierra’ purpose made service also comes with that competitive edge over a traditional cellular provider. Thanks for your input.
Ah - I see.
Yes - although it superficially looks attractive, the logistics of getting access to corporate networks is often the killer.