Boron LTE or Electron 3G

I am wondering if Asset Tracker Kit V2 will work in Kamloops area in British Columbia, Canada. Looking at Telus network coverage, it say it has LTE network.

Will the Asset Tracker Kit V2 (with Electron 3G) work in an LTE network in my area? Or do I have to get Boron LTE and a separate GPS breakout board?

I read somewhere in the forum that Boron LTE refers to NB-IoT (NarrowBand IoT) and Cat-M1 specifically and not the typical LTE that we use in our mobile. What will happen if I try to use a Electron 3G in a LTE network?Likewise, will Boron LTE work in the LTE network (in Kamloops area in British Columbia, Canada).

Exactly. The map you showed seems to suggest the typical LTE network that consumers use.

If there is LTE network, likely 3G is available too. You can check the coverage for particle sim at

Boron LTE is specially for CAT-M1 and the :particle: embedded sim only works with AT&T in the US.

You can also consider the Boron 3G too :slight_smile:

Kenneth is correct that LTE is a special kind, which is CAT-M1. That I am aware, Canada has not rolled out commercial CAT-M1 LTE in Canada just yet.

Since the Boron uses CAT-M1, it is not presently compatible with any LTE in Canada, you won’t be able to use it in Canada just yet.

3G technology is fundamentally different compared to LTE (both regular LTE and CAT-M1), so the 3G Electron will not be able to use either. As such, you cannot reliably use LTE maps to have an expectation of coverage.

With that said, Kenneth is also correct that likely any place that has 4G coverage will have 3G. This is not a guarantee, but it is typically reasonable to assume this.

Kenneth and Stanley. Thanks for your reply. All great answers.

Does that mean that 3G Electron is a “no-go” even if there is a 3G network?

@mstanley, it is my understanding that Bell has deployed CAT-M1 in several provinces though details are somewhat sketchy. Can I assume that Particle has contacted Bell in this regard?

Just spoke with Telus and they say it is LTE but was not able to get specific about CAT-M1 and NB-IoT support. Roger and Bell calims they have LTE in Kamloop as well and they too can’t give me specific about NB-IoT and CAT-M1. I don’t think they understood what I was talking about.

@n1849778, I am not surprised. I need to dig up Bell’s web page. I’ll post the link once I find it. Also, I have my doubts as to whether NB-Iot will be deployed at all.

My information might be slightly outdated, but last I knew Bell had been deploying CAT M1 for testing purposes but it was not available for customers to use.

I personally do not interact with our MVNOs, so I am unsure of current status of Bell and their intentions of rollouts.

It isn’t necessarily understood by everyone I’ve come to find. I find the naming convention of “LTE” for CAT-M1 and NBIoT to be a misnomer. 3G to 4G has reasonable distinction of lack of compatibility, but CAT-M1 LTE, NBIoT LTE, and (4G) LTE all seem to suggest they should be interchangeable–but they are not.

A 3G Electron should work if you have a compatible 3G network. (That is to say, you aren’t using a U-270 in Americas/Aus, for instance)

Here is all I know from Bell and Telus. Bell seems to be working through partners and not sure about Telus. Neither seems to be presenting anything for small companies (ie Makers).

Based on the Telus webpages it does support CAT-M1. But does not say anything about NB IoT. Does that mean that Boron LTE board will still work?

I am wondering if I were to get 3G Electron and use it in Kamloop area (with LTE), will it still work. I have used my cell phone in rural areas in Canada and the connection on my phone was automatically “downgraded” say to 3G. I am wondering if 3G Electron will work the same way as my cellphone.

@n1849778, Boron LTE uses CAT-M1, not NBIoT due to the message size limitations of the latter. My suspicion is that the North American market will be primarily focused on CAT-M1. Perhaps this is the same reason we are not seeing a lot of activity in the LoRa space.

You cannot use 3G with LTE whatsoever. What was mentioned earlier in the thread is that usually where there is LTE there is also 3G service (for now). A 3G modem will not work with LTE and an LTE modem will not work with 3G. Phone modems are different in that they support “pure” LTE and other bands. Data modems, such as those used in IoT devices, do not use the same modems.

Just spoke with Telus Business IoT and they had mentioned that if I have a 3G hardware being used in area where there is LTE service, it will still work but my network service will be 3G not LTE. Which is ok if it works,

And thus the reason for my statement :wink:

Just bought the 3G Electron.
Let this forum know if it “fly”

I brought up a 3G Boron without any problems here in Ottawa :wink:

Fingers cross if it works in rural Western Canada.

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Telus has deployed an LTE-M1 network in Alberta, not sure about BC, maybe it’s Canada wide. 3G is still everywhere, don’t worry too much about not finding 3G.


3G Electron worked… like peekay123 was saying.
That is in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Will be going to BC after the new year to do the actual test.
Pretty confident it will work but will keep posted.