External Sim Card on NoteCarrier

Hi,

The NoteCard and NoteCarrier looks very interesting with the ability to use external Sim Card. I have the following Questions:

  1. Does the Sim Card supports 4G or 3G network?
  2. Does the notecard still use the same endpoint to push the data when used with external Sim Card?.
  3. Is it possible to switch between the embedded MFF2 Sim and the external SIM card?
  4. Is there a plan to have an option of castellated Notecard?

Hi @AlbertK and welcome to the Blues Wireless community!

Great questions about using an external SIM card. Let’s see if I can answer them all for you here:

  1. It’s up to the 3rd party carrier/SIM provider as to whether or not 3G/4G is available. (Just note that to use a 3G/4G SIM you need to use an LTE Cat-1 Notecard: North America or EMEA)
  2. Yes, you will still be accessing the same Notehub.io endpoint with an external SIM.
  3. Yes, you can manually swap them of course, or programmatically switch between them.
  4. Not at this time, but we are always open for feedback here. Do you have a specific need for a castellated Notecard? Or just curious? The Notecarrier AE does include castellated edges for embedding though.
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Hi @RobLauer,

Thank you for the prompt reply.

  1. I do understand the 3G/4G availability is regional and I am looking at the NoteCard for Global. What type of external SIM does the Global version support?
  2. I am looking at production embedding the notecard, If i can forgo the M.2 E-Key connector that would be a cost saving but I do appreciate the flexibility of swapping out the nodecard with the M.2 connector.

Hi @AlbertK,

The type of external SIM used is a Nano SIM.

If you are looking for the modem used on the Notecard, it’s the Quectel BG95-M3 (datasheet here).

Can you please clarify the card.wireless apn and mode parameters when using an external SIM in non-roaming country?
Use Case:
1- device functions properly without a SIM in the US
2- device travels to non-roaming country
3- user (non-technical) inserts local SIM
How do I configure the Notecard before shipping so that there is nothing to do for the user but insert the SIM?
4- card returns to the US with or without the SIM in it. And still functions without a setting change.

Hey @Francois it depends somewhat on the SIM you are using. The Notecard has native support for SIMs from Twilio, Soracom, Hologram and 1NCE and if you plug one of these into the external SIM slot on a Notecarrier, the Notecard will update the APN to reflect the details needed for the respective card.

For other SIM providers, it is up to the developer to determine the proper APN details and set those via card.wireless. This does require action on the part of the host, so there’s not a built-in way for that to be hands-off at this point.

That said, we are willing to look at adding other carriers, so if you have another carrier or carriers in mind, let us know.

Let’s assume that I know the APN of the “non-native” SIM.

  • Does the card.wireless setting take effect immediately – or after a restart of the card?
  • If the APN is set properly, the SIM removed and the device returns to the AT&T world, will it work?
  • If the APN is set properly, the non-native SIM is still in here, will the Notecard automatically switch back to the embedded?

@Francois it takes effect immediately, but is used only when an external SIM is plugged in. The apn setting on card.wireless is applicable only to an external SIM. When there is no SIM, the default carrier will be used, and when there is a SIM, the provided apn (or the default for an internally-supported SIM) will be used.

If you test this and see different behavior, please do let us know!