Build projects that can transmit and receive data from just about anywhere using cellular data! Unlike transports that require a router, wires, or a gateway, cellular towers are located just about anywhere people are.

We designed a CircuitPython library compatible with the Adafruit FONA cellular modem. This module handles all the complicated modem interfacing for you, so you can bring your IoT projects online quickly.

In this guide, you will set up and configure a FONA module with a CircuitPython board to connect to the internet over a cellular network. We've included examples for using this module to send HTTP requests and connect to MQTT brokers. 

Parts

Adafruit currently offers two types of cellular data transports: 2G/GSM and 3G.

First up are the FONA808 and FONA800 modules which use 2G/GSM networks. These networks use smaller modules, use less power and will work in any country ("quad-band"). A downside of these networks is they may be shut down in the United States by the end of 2020.

Adafruit FONA 808 - Mini Cellular GSM + GPS Breakout

PRODUCT ID: 2542
Cellular + GPS tracking, all in one? Oh yes! Introducing Adafruit FONA 808 MiniGSM + GPS, an all-in-one cellular phone module with that lets you add location-tracking, voice, text, SMS...
$49.95
IN STOCK

Adafruit FONA - Mini Cellular GSM Breakout uFL Version

PRODUCT ID: 1946
Ring, Ring! Who's that callin'? It's your breadboard! Introducing Adafruit FONA MiniGSM, an adorable all-in-one cellular phone module that lets you add voice, text, SMS and...
$39.95
IN STOCK

Adafruit FONA 808 Shield - Mini Cellular GSM + GPS for Arduino

PRODUCT ID: 2636
Cellular + GPS tracking, all in one, for your Arduino? Oh yes! Introducing Adafruit FONA 808 GSM + GPS Shield, an all-in-one cellular phone module with that lets you add...
$49.95
IN STOCK

Adafruit FONA 800 Shield - Voice/Data Cellular GSM for Arduino

PRODUCT ID: 2468
Ring, Ring! Who's that callin'? It's your Arduino! Introducing Adafruit FONA 800 Shield, an adorable all-in-one cellular phone shield that lets you add voice, text, SMS and...
$39.95
IN STOCK

Adafruit FONA 800 Breakout Board Starter Pack - SMA Version

PRODUCT ID: 2522
Build your own cellular project and get off the grid with FONA. This pack comes with an SMA-antenna type FONA and paired with hand-picked accessories. It's the Adafruit...
OUT OF STOCK

The Fona3G module uses a SIM5320 3G module which is physically larger than the SIM808 modules, use more power and have an increased data-rate. Unlike 2G/GSM, major carries have not announced any plan to shut down 3G services and you may need to purchase a module specific to the region where you will be operating your FONA projects.

Adafruit FONA 3G Cellular Breakout

PRODUCT ID: 2696
For those who want to take it to the next level we now have a 3G Cellular Modem breakout! The FONA 3G has better coverage, GSM backwards-compatibility and even...
OUT OF STOCK

You will also need some required accessories to make the FONA work. These are not included with the FONA shield or breakout!

You will need a Mini SIM card to do anything on the cellular network. If you're in the USA, we suggest picking up the SIM Card from Ting.

GSM SIM Card from Ting & Adafruit - Data/Voice/Text

PRODUCT ID: 2505
Adafruit is now a phone company :)  Or, well, we've sold DIY cell phones for awhile now but you've never been...
$9.00
IN STOCK

You will need a LiPoly battery (500mAh or larger) to run the FONA module.

Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 500mAh

PRODUCT ID: 1578
Lithium ion polymer (also known as 'lipo' or 'lipoly') batteries are thin, light and powerful. The output ranges from 4.2V when completely charged to 3.7V. This battery...
$7.95
IN STOCK

Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 1200mAh

PRODUCT ID: 258
Lithium ion polymer (also known as 'lipo' or 'lipoly') batteries are thin, light and powerful. The output ranges from 4.2V when completely charged to 3.7V. This battery...
OUT OF STOCK

You will need a external uFL GSM Antenna, we like this slim sticker-type antenna:

Slim Sticker-type GSM/Cellular Quad-Band Antenna - 3dBi uFL

PRODUCT ID: 1991
That's one slim cellular antenna! At just 75mm long from tip to tip and and with a thickness of just 2mm, this 3dBi GSM antenna is slim, compact and sensitive, with a 3dBi...
$2.95
IN STOCK

If you want to use a SMA antenna instead, you'll want to pick up a uFL to SMA adapter cable.

1 x uFL to SMA Adapter Cable
SMA to uFL/u.FL/IPX/IPEX RF Adapter Cable

You will need a MicroUSB cable for charging the FONA's battery.

USB cable - USB A to Micro-B

PRODUCT ID: 592
This here is your standard A to micro-B USB cable, for USB 1.1 or 2.0. Perfect for connecting a PC to your Metro, Feather, Raspberry Pi or other dev-board or...
$2.95
IN STOCK

You will also need an external passive GPS antenna.

Passive GPS Antenna uFL - 9mm x 9mm -2dBi gain

PRODUCT ID: 2460
Wow that's a tiny GPS antenna! This passive antenna is only 9mm x 9mm x 6.5mm in size, with a 50mm long uFL cable. Great for when you want to keep things small.Comes with a...
OUT OF STOCK
This guide was first published on May 13, 2020. It was last updated on May 13, 2020.
This page (Overview) was last updated on Jun 14, 2020.