Consider this cell-module for testing!

You might want to consider funding this KS project

It should be pretty easy to interface to, and get some data-transfer, and hopefully get much cheaper.

Maybe someone consider making a Gadgeteer module on it.

There is 10 hours left, if you want the cheap price!

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Looks suspiciously like a 3G board/project i was looking at a few weeks ago…

Did I miss something, or are you warming up for a new module?

I was / am looking at something like that…
And no you haven’t missed anything…

It seems to me that something like that ought to cost a LOT less than $70… What makes these things so expensive?

Yes, someone explain why RF and cell-communications is so expensive??

From what I have seen, it’s down to the costs of the Wireless module. The manufacturer has to get certification and I hear that this is expensive.

I got quoted recently for a WCDMA device from Simcom and in 100 off quantities, the module was $33. By the time you add the board and the other support components, you can start to see why a module like this is expensive.

Quad band modules drop to around $20.

@ Dave, does the module manufacture (Simcom) have to get the certification or the person who uses the module on their circuit board?

Just seems like when you can buy a no-contract phone for $20, which includes quad-band EDGE and dual-band HSDPA, and a screen, keypad, case, speaker, mic, etc, etc, etc, that you should be able to get just the radio guts for significantly cheaper than even $33…

@ godefroi - That’s probably a matter of scale. Those $20 phones are produced in very large quantities, so the manufacturer can get a significant discount.

Modules in small quantities for micro projects will always be significantly more expensive.

Also, phone manufacturers are not using modules, they are using the IC’s form within a module to build it and as Devhammer says, they are purchasing in the hundreds of thousands. Look at a simple IC for example. $5 in 1 off and < $1 when you buy 1000.

And, of course, the other piece that I missed mentioning is that even $20 phones are likely somewhat subsidized, at least here in the US, as the seller either gets a subsidy from the carrier, or the carrier directly sells the phone and provides some of the anticipated revenue from services sold (prepaid or contract) to offset the up-front cost of the hardware.

Ok guys, back on track.

This module seems interesting. Dave is waiting for the Seeed cell module to arrive, and I am expecting his brilliance to be successfull.

But the Seeed module is old, and there is arguments for maybe considering other more efficient paths…

The SparQee project got funded, and I had a dialogue with one of the designers behind the board and asked for the amount of AT commands required. Beause I am seriously concerned about the complexity of the driver.

What we need is a standard TCP/IP connection over mobile radio.

I asked: “Can you show how simple the module is to use?”

His reply is here:

Well, I do it with 2 commands for a text and 5 for data (complete session), so no, there's not lots of AT commands.

Here's a text example: 
> hey there

Here's an example of a full session for sending data: 


Here's the full text of the transaction: 


+ZIPSTAT: 1, 1 


+ZIPSEND: 1, 15

+ZIPSTAT: 1, 0