Sim Card Germany
is it possible to use any Nano Sim-Card to connect to the LTE network, or is it fully restricted to LTE-CAT M1 or NB1 networks? Because in Germany actually i can't find any provider for LTE-CAT M1 or NB1. (Except for the Telekom, but they are currently building up this network, and NB-IoT packages are very expensive (25 Card + 500kb volume for 200-300€, at telefonica i can buy an IoT Sim for nearly 1,30€ per month with 3Mb data volume).
Thanks for the discussion, just wanted to add that NB-IoT will not support MQTT because NB-IoT doesn't support TCP protocol, only UDP. Usually in NB-IoT IP-based communication you'll use CoAP to send messages (this will be a separate library in Pycom's firmware)
What does happen is some mobile operators will let you send messages over NB-IoT / CoAP to their network server which you can then pick up over MQTT. Your connection options then are what the operator offers - most offer MQTT, some offer HTTP GET/POST..
More, some operators will only let you communicate using NB-IoT to their network server which you then access by the methods they provide, they don't allow an open UDP channel to the Internet. In that sense it's a bit like LoRa / Sigfox (but without the duty cycle restrictions)
in our current solution we are working with a self hosted Mosquitto MQTT Broker. The MQTT client is an ESP32 controller (customer device) with the pubsubclient bib, in our field tests its working stable. But after we decided we want LTE connectivity we purchased the PyCom GPy.
On the other end, we have a node js server (mqtt client, web server) wich is also subscribed to the broker, to store values into a database and display them on a website.
Currently we are aiming for CAT-M1 because the data packages of NB-IoT (500kb/month) are too small for us. At the moment we have to transfer ~1MB/month.
we are here(munich) at the same situation and got the same solution with the mqtt broker via wifi now. I was not really able to figure out if a "normal" sim will work. I sent a request to a provider (www.m2m-mobil.de) and asked for compatibility from their sim-cards to Cat-M1 and NB-IoT for development. The contract looks like a normal one, but the name is m2m ?! In their conditions is not clear whether it fits to this kind of Cellularnetwork. When i got an answer with informations, i´m going to let you know.
With which kind of MQTT-Client do you work? Do you use some rdy software/service like io.adafruit.com or did you write your own code? I ask because i´m using the adafruit-thing at the moment but i´m not feeling comfortable with that. When i start writing my own client i always need a pc running catching the data... What is your experience?
our problem is, we wanted our customer to decide himself if he want to use a wifi hotspot or LTE. Currently it looks like that it is very difficult for our customer to purchase a NB-IoT SIM card for his device by himself, so we have to provide these for our customers, it would be a lot less struggle if he could just buy a regular LTE SIM card for his device.
So, our device is still under development and it will be under development for minimum the next 3-4 Month, so I hope there will be some progress on NB-IoT in Germany.
Is there any option to connect an external module for regular LTE? (for the GPy module, we already ordered it, because it fits our application perfectly) We send our data via LTE/WiFi > MQTT Broker > Webserver/Database. So, we can use regular LTE until the NB-IoT Coverage progresses.
The modem is for low power LTE: Cat M1 and NB-IoT only.
It is early days for these technologies but I’m sure you’ll have many more options as this year progresses. All major carriers in Europe are deploying it as we speak so you’ll be prepared for what’s coming.
Also you shouldn’t really compare NB-IoT to normal LTE on price per megabyte, they’re different. A bit like why you don’t compare SMS vs Data LTE on price per megabyte either.