E-series CAT-M1 Verizon?


#1

I’m interested in building a remote solar-powered weather station to be installed in an area that has a strong Verizon LTE signal but extremely poor to no service on every other carrier. With the E-series having a non-removable SIM, will it connect to Verizon?


#2

Let me ping someone that might be able to help, @rickkas7 or @jberi are you able to assist?


#3

This question has been asked many times on the forum and the answer is a clear NO.

There will be no ability to switch carriers like you can with the Electron that uses regular SIM cards, unfortunately.


#4

Bummer. Sorry to repeat the question but with the new E-series it’s a new device, new modem… I figured it was worth asking again. My intended application is in a remote valley that has zero service from any carrier except Verizon, who has excellent signal. This is a common situation out in the sticks around here.

Thanks for the responses! I’ll keep an eye on the newsletter to see if the MVNO list improves in the future :slight_smile:


#5

I prefer you ask because it lets Particle know that many people want the ability to use the E-Series Electron with different Cellular Carriers vs. being locked into just them.

At least with the regular Electron, we can still do this although we give up the robust solid-state SIM chip that is on the E-Series.


#6

@thespitz @RWB the answer is a little bit more nuanced than that.

The E Series does not have a removable SIM card, which means that you can’t dynamically change carriers on the fly. However, for our enterprise customers, we are able to negotiate carrier agreements with additional vendors that are not already on our existing MVNO list.

This means that, while it is not possible to bring your own SIM to the E Series, that you should let us know what carrier you want your Particle product to support, and we can discuss whether or not it’s possible for us to provide that service. We’ve launched with LTE M1 support via AT&T but it is absolutely possible to add additional vendors to that last (like Verizon for M1 and T-Mobile for NB1) in the future.

For LTE M1, we have access to commercial terms for Verizon support, and would simply need to understand your scale so that we could investigate and provide you with a quotation for data at scale.

Will


#7

It’s great to know that working on those carriers is a possibility for larger scale customers @will


#8

For us, it means that when we from time to time do run into a customer without coverage, it will likely not warrant setting up a new service provider deal, and so we would need a second product to cater for those situations.

It is unfortunate when service providers are taking that walled garden approach again - but I guess it has worked so well all the other times.

Perhaps we can rework the SIM chip for another and use the same 3rd party sim handles already in place for Electron to set APN and keep-alive settings?


#9

… due to laws in some of the european countries and other countries around the world, where you can not simlock a device at all, or only for a few months, if a consumer demands it to be transferred to another service provider and it can’t be done, it seems we would have to take a product based on E-Series back for a full refund.

With the SIM card based Electron up to 100 devices per account can have a 3rd party SIM, so there it is actually possible to follow the laws in those countries without taking the product back.


#10

Do these laws actually apply to IoT devices where the end user does not actually have a contract with the network provider nor actually needs to know what service is used for the “transport”?
These laws make sense for devices that can be used independet/irrespective of the actual service, but when a service is tied to a particular contract, providers can’t be forced to offer the service to non-customers.

e.g. when you are not a customer of T-mobile, you are not entitled to the T-mobile VPN services.


#11

Agreed – I think there is a difference between providing a product that can only be purchased from the vendor with single-service (aka, we work with carrier XYZ, and you are buying data services from Particle), vs. a product like a smartphone that will only work at the software level with a particular carrier.

In other words, there is no SIM lock in place on the LTE E Series – with the appropriate embedded SIM, it can be connected to any carrier. However, we only sell the E Series with our carrier partners’ profiles installed as a part of the services associated with the hardware product – we do not sell “unpopulated” hardware. It’s not that we’re “locking” access, but it’s a Particle product with associated services facilitated through a Particle MVNO, and as ScruffR mentioned we cannot offer access to services of company’s of which we’re not a customer.


#12

@ScruffR It varies a lot e.g. see simlock wikipedia with different examples. In the UK a provider can even superglue the SIM card in the phone.

@Will if the buyer of your offering can make a deal with another M(V)NO to install their profile to achieve a working product (like a 3rd party SIM on Electron), then I don’t see a problem and I am happy to have misunderstood the communication around it.


#13

Although this is technically true, it isn’t really true in practice. A tenant of our mass production modules are industrial-level reliability, which requires us to use embedded (soldered) SIM cards. So, while it is technically feasible to purchase hardware from us, desolder the embedded SIM, and resolder one from a carrier of your choice with a modified APN, it defeats the purposes of purchasing a premanufactured module when you have to complete a risky and time-consuming rework process with each board.

Really, the theoretical solution to your problem is eSIM or eUICC, which allows someone to solder a SIM to their product and dynamically download different carrier profiles via software. That way you can benefit from the reliability of a soldered SIM with the flexibility of a removable SIM.

However, while we’re excited to adopt this technology, it’s far from mature and won’t likely be ready for widespread adoption for another 1-2 years at least.


#14

I agree - except when bidding for putting equipment in a chain of stores, where a few of them do not have Particle SIM coverage, reworking the embedded SIM on a minor number of units, would be much preferable to developing a second product with another module + cloud, that is different in every aspect, except it might even have the same embedded SIM with another MNO’s subscription profile tied to it.

So while I am excited about and appreciate adopting the new technology with the obvious reliability advantages, I hope the Electron with SIM card is available for years to come, and I am looking forward to the LTE version.


#15

Makes sense.

In addition to exploring adding support for additional vendors to our LTE M1 service (like Verizon as mentioned in this thread), we are also to make additions to our existing 2G/3G carrier network based on customer feedback as well.

If you have an enterprise deployment or specific partner that is not currently served through our existing MVNO partnerships, please let us know!