LTE global hardware support

Hi there, just wanted to confirm that the current Boron LTEs selling here contain the SARA-410M-02B with global LTE support (and will therefore work with a M2M Telstra SIM in Australia)?

Thanks!

@Jeremiah, you can consult the list of available carrier in each country on the next web page:

https://docs.particle.io/tutorials/cellular-connectivity/cellular-carriers/#cellular-carriers

This list of carriers incremented with the new EtherSIM

The Boron LTE (Cat M1) is only officially supported in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

The B Series SoM B524 (LTE Cat 1) is officially supported in Australia.

The Boron LTE (Cat M1) BRN404 does contain the MNO profile to allow it to work on Telstra, and the EtherSIM does work, however because of band compatibility and the need to manually configure the MNO profile it’s not an officially supported configuration.

Is B524 100% pin compatible with B523?

I guess with B524 only the e-sim was changed, or ICCID’s are being locked to another service provider?

Yes, the B524 is the same as the B523 except it has a different SMD SIM. The hardware version is otherwise identical.

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For Gen3 devices in the US, I think a correct summary is as follows:
Boron BRN402 LTE M1 (Legacy): AT&T
Boron BRN404 LTE M1 (EtherSim): AT&T

Boron BRN310 2G/3G (Legacy): T-Mobile
Boron BRN314 2G/3G (EtherSim): T-Mobile, AT&T, Alaska Wireless, Union Telephone

I’m glad for the additional carriers on the 2G/3G Boron, because AT&T LTE signal quality is pretty marginal in the rural areas where my devices are deployed. However, 2G/3G are going away soon – maybe not as soon as we thought a year ago, but the day is coming where there will be no 2G/3G coverage in the US. I haven’t deployed any Borons yet (using Electrons right now), but the LTE Boron that I’m trying to use for development is pretty much unusable at my house, while a 2G/3G Boron connecting on T-Mobile 2G works okay. (My iPhone is just about as useless on AT&T LTE at home, so the Boron hardware is not the problem.)

The reason I’m bringing this all up, is I was hoping that we’d get a second carrier (presumably T-Mobile) on the EtherSim LTE Borons, but that doesn’t appear to be the case, at least for now. Is there any chance that this will change?

I guess I can also hope that AT&T will improve LTE coverage, but 5G is now the current generation so I wonder how much will be spent on LTE infrastructure going forward.

Here’s the thing with T-Mobile on the Boron LTE BRN404 (also Tracker T404) in the United States:

Officially, T-Mobile only supports LTE NB-IoT (NB1), which is not supported on Particle devices.

However, T-Mobile been quietly turning on LTE Cat M1 all over the country. I have great T-Mobile LTE Cat M1 coverage at my house (New York), and the Boron BRN 404 connects to it just fine. However, since it hasn’t been announced by T-Mobile yet, it’s not officially supported.

The original Boron BRN402 won’t connect to T-Mobile with the built-in Particle SMD SIM because the older SIM doesn’t have T-Mobile as a carrier. You can use a 4FF EtherSIM plastic SIM card in an original Boron LTE BRN402. They’re not available yet, but will be in a month or so.

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Thanks, @rickkas7

I’ll order an EtherSim, once they become available, and give it a try. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find that T-Mobile has M1 coverage here as well. (I’m in Northern Colorado, between Denver and Fort Collins.)

@rickkas7,

Any update on when the EtherSIM plastic SIM cards will be available? (Or are they already there and I’m not looking in the right place?)

Thanks,

Jeff

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The EtherSIM 4FF plastic nano SIM cards will be available shortly, I think. I just sent the technical content to the people writing the store pages.

@rickkas7 any update on the 4FF Ethersims? I just reactivated a pre-Ethersim Boron and didn’t realize it required a physical Ethersim to take advantage of the new plan. Thank you.

They’re not in the retail store, but they are in the wholesale store, in Accessories. SIMBLANKV2 for single units and SIMBLANKV2_50 for 50-packs.

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Is there any chance that the EtherSIM 4FF cards will ever be available in the retail store?

Thanks,

Jeff