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.
- If you'd like to learn more about using cellular data in your project - check out the cellular section in the All The Internet of Things: Transports guide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- If you're not in the US, or want to use a different cellular network provider, please see this page for more information about obtaining a FONA-compatible SIM card.
You will need a LiPoly battery (500mAh or larger) to run the FONA module.
You will need a external uFL GSM Antenna, we like this slim sticker-type antenna:
If you want to use a SMA antenna instead, you'll want to pick up a uFL to SMA adapter cable.
You will need a MicroUSB cable for charging the FONA's battery.
You will also need an external passive GPS antenna.