4G/GSM/Whatever hardware

Thinking about a gsm/4g whatever version of the imp, would it be better just to have a wired Ethernet version? In the same box you could then different connectivity options such as PoE, Powerline, mesh, LRE, GSM, fibre or whatever with the Ethernet acting as the demarcation point.

It would also be a solution for those with trouble blinking thier wifi setting as wired doesn’t need that.

That’s a whole different product. We Love the one we’ve got!

Still think it would be super powerful to have an imp with a sim-slot and a cellular connection.

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We all do

Kindles get their internet through the amazon server…and I read somewhere the imp runs on an amazon server…do you think it would be possible to use the SIM from a kindle to get internet connection? I have one laying around…might be a cool project!

The Kindle connection is free because we pay thru buying books. Imp cannot be free thru a mobile connection. It would be expensive per MB and the hardware would be much larger, and the power consumption. It’s a completely different product. Why not use Imp + Mifi instead? Works great!

Why not use Imp + Mifi instead?
$$$ + size

Nothing you can do about the money. They have daily plans and M2M for Mifi. For many applications isn’t there usually a place to hide the Mifi further from the Imp if space is a premium around the Imp?

I was just thinking maybe electric imp could collaborate with amazon and offer $1/month or $/MB services to use the amazon server. Especially if it is only a small amount of data. I have a mifi on the way already, very excited. Just ran across my kindle SIM I extracted from an old kindle and was curious… I do agree the mifi is a perfect solution sbright!! Would be cool to make a 3g “shield” for the imp!

You can buy a M2M Sim that is cheap already. It’s not that they need a server for us to use. We need and have a mobile provider. What would your 3g shield do? Seems to me it would be exactly Mifi. There is an app for iPhone and Android that makes the phone into a hotspot. That means free for some customers!

AT&T is the mobile provider for the kindle 3g service. However, I don’t have to pay AT&T (besides the initial kindle cost, obviously). It would be nice to just pay Electric Imp, or say Amazon, if they could work something out. And I guess the whole idea of a 3g shield hinges around embedded systems. A mifi wouldn’t be practical in certain applications (miniature weather logging drones), however in others a mifi is the easiest solution. For someone designing a product, having the customer buy a mifi is out of the question, along with the fact that you would have to deal with the cell phone companies (only because they are the only manufactures of such highly engineered hardware available at a reasonable price). The concept of a 3g/4g shield is desirable for certain applications. And since Electric Imp already has all their imps running on the Amazon servers, wouldn’t it be nice to have the data through them as well? I agree that a mifi is a great solution, however, I hope you can see the potential a smaller, embedded system could have as well!!

Mifi works in many cases. I can see the 2 where it wouldn’t. Small size and end-user customers, as you said. Not sure what this has to do with having another Amazon server. Cost is not an issue because the Mifi hardware is cheap almost free in some cases. The size can be overcome with an Arduino GSM module or shield. This already exists no need to add an Imp slot when we already have April. I have ripped the case off an old Verizon phone for $5 because GSM coverage sucks here. The end-user consumer can be given a prepaid M2M Sim already inserted in the GSM module. Have I solved your problem Physicsnole?

My Mifi can be put to sleep by the Imp. It wakes up in about 2 seconds. 2 more for the imp to connect using the new firmware version. Very power efficient to send a small amount of data once an hour at 4G speeds. I connected a wire to the soft switch that already exists, no need for a relay. If I removed the plastic case and battery, it would be as small as the Arduino GSM shield. Does a 4G module exist?

What MiFi do you have?
I am looking for one.

ZTE MF61 it’s T-Mobile 4G.
I have ripped apart a Verizon phone also and old Razr costs $5.

thanks, but I think it’s the wrong band for me…

I don’t have a problem, sbright. I know you can buy a GSM shield already for the arduino and insert a sim. The fact is commercial applications cannot just tear apart the 4g mifi and put it in their system. I am sure there are FCC rules which would prevent someone from doing this. I also don’t understand why you are so defensive about this. Nobody is attacking you, just providing their thoughts. And as Hugo stated long ago, they are already considering this possibility. So it will be done. I only mentioned the kindle sim because if I were making business decisions for Electric Imp (which of course i’m not), I would definitely be aware of the fact that Amazon could offer data services (just like for the kindle except for the imp) at a much lower price than a standard mobile provider could offer; mainly because they already have a business agreement, and it would be beneficial for the two parties to collaborate even further.

As I stated before, the mifi is a PERFECT solution for most developers as of now. However, ripping one apart would probably void FCC certs or something to that effect. Also, if Electric imp were to do this data communication via GSM instead of WIFI (this would be done within Electric Imp internally, no “shields”) the latency would be lower because you are taking the wifi transfer out of the process (I assume, I am not a wireless communications engineer). As far as I can tell, according to the patent by Hugo for the Electric Imp system, Electric Imp should be interested in making a GSM version in order to secure that method of wireless communication and control for their controller platform.

BTW my mifi came in yesterday, and works flawlessly. Have the same as you and have implemented the wake method as you have. Elegant, simple, but not the final answer for many applications.

I suspect that Amazon’s kindle agreement with network providers is specifically limited to being used for books (and not to be re-sold for arbitrary other uses), but obviously a good m2m data plan can come from many places.

WiFi latency is generally in the single-digit milliseconds, whereas cellular latency (particularly 3G when the connection has idled, and the endpoint has to move from the paging channel to a connection) can be seconds… ie, the latency will be better with a built-in cellular modem, but only by a tiny amount.

Cellular is something we’re working on; the main issue is not technical but rather business - it needs to be simple and cheap to buy and deploy…

So it will be done? Don’t hold your breath. Especially with so many good solutions that already exist that overcome the 2 issues your listed. Size and price. The Kindle and Imp have little in common. The business model is, and will remain, completely different. There are no books sent to Imp! Your reasoning about removing the wifi part is nonsense. Sure it would be simpler in some way. But it would not affect the timing significantly. It would however change everything about the internal architecture of the Imp. It would be a complete redesign of the hardware and firmware. A totally different product.

Physicsnole, how did you connect the wire to the soft switch on Mifi? Did you take off the plastic case? Shame on you! I think you may have voided the FCC certificate as you said.

The Kindle agreement does specify that it cannot be resold. Although it is easy to hack it and use Skype, or even video streaming like Youtube. M2M is cheap, there is no need to discuss it or lower the price, just google.

Hugo, In other words, it’s going to be awhile…

you --> “Your reasoning about removing the wifi part is nonsense”

Hugo --> “the latency will be better with a built-in cellular modem”

uhhh… So sbright, your telling me its faster/better to go from 4G --> Wifi --> Wifi --> Imp rather than 4G–>Imp? Obviously I am talking about a different product, with built in cellular modem.

Let me remind you:
In Jan Hugo said: "You’ll be glad to know we’ve been investigating this possibility… "
and in his last post: “Cellular is something we’re working on”

uhhh…there is nothing to say to you here. I am holding my breath. Along with the DOD and USGOV (edit…not to mention the amateur UAV community) regarding drone technology. You have no idea whats coming.

And yes I took the case off! But I can’t sell a product like that!

And yes, M2M data plans are cheap and available. I only mentioned the kindle/Amazon thing to bring it into discussion. Its called BRAINSTORMING…ie THINKING…ie working TOGETHER. Don’t blast other people because you think you know exactly what needs to be done. If everybody was like you progress could never happen.

" Especially with so many good solutions that already exist"
Uhhh… not that are cheap and hacker friendly! (Point them out if so, id like to buy one!)

I’m done arguing with you. The facts are present in this thread. Electric Imp IS working on one. Who knows when it’ll happen, but Ill listen to Hugo over you any day!