Boron 3G vs Electron 3G


#1

I’m new here and would like to understand the difference between Boron 3G and electron 3G

I noticed that the Boron module is also available in 2/3G at the same cost as the electron (except it may not come with a sim card as it’s not mentionned). Is the more complete Boron destined to replace the Electron in the near future? Some people seem to blame the lack of deep sleep in this module, but in the Docs, the sleeps modes are probably all, such as the Electron but withoud real information about consumption.

I wish to build a long lasting battery operated 3G module for a simple monitoring station sending data to thingspeak or to cloud every 1-3 hours with deep sleep+handshake every time. I need to use an ultrasonic sensor and I’m not sure the library support the Boron right now. In the future, when LTE-M1 will be avalable in my region, I’m going to move to Boron LTE if possible. I may not need the added feature on the Boron, but I suppose starting with this one will make the transition 3G-LTE easier?

Just to mention, I don’t know right now if I’ll use particle or 3rd party sim card.

My knowledge in this field is limited and would like to have your advice before going any further.
Thanks a lot


#2

For new designs we recommend the Boron. The Boron includes a built-in embedded M2FF Particle SIM card soldered on the board. It can also be used with a standard 3rd-party nano SIM card.

Even though both the Electron and Boron 2G/3G include Particle SIM support, they’re not the same SIM. The Electron generally supports only one carrier per country (except in the United States where both AT&T and T-Mobile are supported). The Boron 2G/3G supports several carriers per country in many cases.

The Electron LTE is not available as a developer device (single unit quantities). It can only be ordered in fleet quantities (50 devices). We recommend LTE in the United States right now, and as time goes on, this will apply to other countries as well.

For up to 100 devices it doesn’t really matter if you use a 3rd-party SIM card or the Particle SIM, however if creating a product with more than 100 devices in your fleet, the device cloud charge comes into play and will add additional costs if you use a 3rd-party SIM card.


#3

Thnaks for your fast reply.
How is Boron 3g power consumption vs Electron 3g? same or better? Some ppl claim the consumption should be improved in the topic “2019 priorities…”

do ultrasonic sensor library works with Boron?


#4

How do we get trial version of the LTE Electron? we need to test it with our carrier here.


#5

The Electron LTE is only available to enterprise customers who have already deployed the Electron 2G or 3G. You should contact your account executive for more information about getting one for testing. To purchase, I believe the minimum order quantity is 50.


#6

Hi @rickkas7

Is LTE available now to the UK and Africa, cause you recommended LTE to be used in the US last Jan.

Also, I am using the electron now and i am about to use more than 50 devices so please your recommendation, shall i move to use boron or LTE and to let you know i am still using the electron with particle sim card so its easy to manage.

Many Thanks


#7

The LTE devices, including the Boron LTE, are LTE Cat M1, the IoT subset of LTE, which is not the same as the LTE used on mobile phones.

The Boron LTE with the built-in particle SIM can only be used in the United States, Mexico, and Canada at this time. It should be possible to use it with a 3rd-party SIM card in the UK, though this is not a supported use case at this time and is not guaranteed to work.

There is little support for LTE Cat M1 in Africa at this time.


#8

Keep in mind, with 3g, major carriers are expected to sunset their service by the end of 2022. If this is to be a long term product, that may influence your decision.

The 2022 dates are for the major US carriers, so your provider may be different, but just keep that in mind


#9

wow, yea its long term product, so what is the alternative then, how can I replace the electron that i am using now with long term product?

Regards


#10

Test your firmware against the boron, that’s going to be your best bet currently for long term.


#11

Thanks @Mjones,
so the Boron is using something else, will not be effected by 4G or 5G or whatever in future?


#12

The boron is 4g, and should be around for the foreseeable future.


#13

Not so fast, there is a 2G/3G Boron and an LTE Boron but that’s not fully fledged 4G.
Also while sunsetting 3G may be pending in the US the time frame for Africa is potentially considerably longer while introduction of LTE Cat M1 may be quite some time off yet.

So going for the Boron as such may be the safer bet, but I’d expect the 3G version to be the one supported in considerably more places in Africa than LTE which may be - if at all available - limited to major cities.

And given the potential for 3G to be still round till 2025 and beyond (check with your local providers) the considerably more mature/reliable Electron device OS may still be interesting depending on the expected life-cycle of your planned product.


#14

ScruffR is correct. There are two models of Boron. The Boron 2G/3G is compatible with 3G networks with 2G fallback world-wide. It’s a good choice in Europe and Africa where these networks should be around for a while longer.

The Boron LTE is can only be used in the United States, Canada, and Mexico at this time with the Particle SIM card. It can be used in other areas with a 3rd-party SIM.

Note that this is LTE Cat M1, the IoT subset of LTE, and is different than phone 4G/LTE. Many carriers only support LTE Cat 1 (phone LTE), some support LTE Cat M1, and some support LTE Cat NB1 (another, different, IoT LTE standard). The Boron LTE hardware theoretically supports LTE Cat NB1, but this is not supported at this time.


#15

I didn’t realize there was a 3g boron, my mistake. I did mention the sunset date given was for major US carriers.