This shield adds wireless, high-bandwidth cellular functionality to your IoT project while maintaining low power consumption and a small footprint. The SparkFun LTE CAT M1/NB-IoT Shield is based off the Arduino R3’s footprint that allows you to easily incorporate it with favorite Arduino-based device.
At the heart of the LTE Cat M1/NB-IoT shield is a u-blox SARA-R410M-02B LTE Cat M1/NB-IoT modem. Cat M1 (Category M1) and NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT) are both Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies that are designed to provide cellular communication to small IoT devices. They operate on LTE network bands just like most smartphones, and will be supported by most cellular network carriers.
The u-blox SARA-R4 module communicates over a UART via a simple AT command set. Sparkfun provided a library to help you get started with everything from sending SMS text messages to communicating with servers over a TCP/IP connection.
The SparkFun LTE CAT M1/NB-IoT Shield also includes a ceramic, Molex 1462000001 SMD antenna. The antenna has a gain of 3.8dBi around 1.7GHz to 2.7GHz. However, if you would prefer to use an external antenna, a U.FL connector is also provided.
NB-IoT and LTE-M are very new services. Ask your mobile operator about availability of SIM cards, coverage, frequencies used and login procedures before you buy the shield.
More information is available on the website of Sparkfun.