Right now SIM900 and SIM800 GSM/GPRS modules might seem like the perfect choice for using in your upcoming IOT product design, as they are the most widely used GSM/GPRS modules across the world as of now. But they are not really a good choice for new products which are going to be used in U.S.A.
SIM900 and SIM800 family GSM/GPRS modules from SIMCOM are the low cost,well documented and most widely used modules across the world including USA. These devices have gained popularity among the student, hobbyist community over time after taking over from their predecessor SIM300 which made the GSM M2M market access easier to beginners in Embedded systems engineering with its easy to use AT commands.
Sunset of 2G Networks in USA:
The reason for writing this article is to inform you that the Telecom operators in USA are shutting down the 2G networks slowly and by the end of year 2017 only 3G and 4G LTE networks will be operational. Since SIM900/SIM800 are 2G only modules, they will no longer have network access and hence will no longer operate, More details here..
So it will be wiser to base your new designs on newer modules which can connect to both 2G and 3G networks, so that you can take advantage of the lower price of data on 2G networks and also be compatible with 3G/4G networks in case of a 2G network shutdown. Here are a few GSM/GPRS devices from SIMCOM, TELIT and QUECTEL which i recommend for using in your IOT products,
- SIM5320 - AT&T certified specifically for USA market, works with 2G and 3G networks, Can be a functional replacement for SIM908/SIM808
- SIM5360 - 2G and 3G compatible, Can be a functional replacement for SIM908/SIM808
- SIM5215 - 2G and 3G compatible, Can be a functional replacement for SIM908/SIM808 but slightly older version.
- SIM5216- 2G and 3G compatible, Can be a functional replacement for SIM908/SIM808 but slightly older version.
- SIM7100 - 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE compatible, Can be a functional replacement for SIM908/SIM808 but expensive
- UC20 - by Quectel - 2G and 3G compatible
- UL865 - by Telit - 2G and 3G compatible, made specifically for USA market.
All these modules come in different versions for operating in different regions due to differing frequency bands in Europe, Asia, America etc.
Make sure you choose the right variant like SIM5320A for Americas and SIM5320E for Europe etc.
it is recommended to double check with your local distributor or support team to confirm that the module which you are going to buy is not region locked and is capable to operate in your area.
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