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Feather 32u4 FONA: Obsolete? Alternatives?
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Feather 32u4 FONA: Obsolete? Alternatives?

by nc773r on Thu Jul 01, 2021 7:41 pm

I built a simple sensor using the Feather 32u4 FONA to detect motion and then send a text out. This was back in 2016. I haven't messed with any of my IoT projects since then. I found this device in a box and wanted to re-use it. I now see the Feather 32u4 is discontinued. I am confused as to if this still works due to the 2G networks being shutdown here in the USA. Is this true? Can the Feather 32u4 FONA work with a 3g or up card or is this board useless without a 2G network?

If so, then what is the best alternative? I only need to send texts and small amounts of data to the cloud for tracking. This will be for a motion sensor that's attached to a gate on some remote land.

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Re: Feather 32u4 FONA: Obsolete? Alternatives?

by adafruit_support_mike on Fri Jul 02, 2021 10:52 pm

It's true that 2G support is starting to get hard to find.

We still have the 3G FONA, and there are other cell modules in the shop:

https://www.adafruit.com/category/979
https://www.adafruit.com/category/981

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Re: Feather 32u4 FONA: Obsolete? Alternatives?

by doctorwho8 on Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:51 pm

adafruit_support_mike wrote:It's true that 2G support is starting to get hard to find.

We still have the 3G FONA, and there are other cell modules in the shop:

https://www.adafruit.com/category/979
https://www.adafruit.com/category/981


Hello!
SIM Card question as a follow up here. Would the same card offered on the FONA portion of the site still work in the Feather 32u4 FONA? I'm asking because for a while they were still available from Micro Center, (they are now gone), and I'd thought about using one to do something similar as what the questioner raised, but using one of the other cards from the site. And as it happens Sierra Wireless a broker of SIM Cards for IOT, and oddly enough also devices along the lines of the FONA. (But are not as nearly as useful or as easy to use.)

My original idea was to buy the device we are talking about, and then a SIM Card sampler from them. These three include the companies such as AT&T and T-Mobile and even Verizon.

However with the withdrawal of the device my position has become moot.

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Re: Feather 32u4 FONA: Obsolete? Alternatives?

by nc773r on Tue Jul 20, 2021 11:44 pm

From what I can tell it seems like everyone is dropping out of the SIM/SMS game and deferring to Particle.IO. I had some of their gen 1 baords from a kickstarter that still work, the photon and Electron. Now the latest and greatest appears to be the Boron and they use a virtual sim called ether sim that's free. They brokered deals to piggy back off 2g/3g carriers so it's all abstract to us end users. Their cloud services look pretty cool too albeit I haven't tried Adafruits or SparkFuns yet...

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Re: Feather 32u4 FONA: Obsolete? Alternatives?

by adafruit_support_mike on Sat Jul 24, 2021 4:29 pm

doctorwho8 wrote:SIM Card question as a follow up here. Would the same card offered on the FONA portion of the site still work in the Feather 32u4 FONA?

It depends on the network the SIM is associated with.

The FONA 32u4 uses a 2G cellular module (the SIM800), so it will only work with networks that still support 2G. Carriers have been dropping 2G support for the past five years or so, but there are still some areas where it works. Companies like Ting came in and took over 2G from the local networks, but now it looks like Ting is trying to move up the ladder and has stopped wanting to provide 2G support as well.

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Re: Feather 32u4 FONA: Obsolete? Alternatives?

by doctorwho8 on Fri Aug 27, 2021 12:46 am

adafruit_support_mike wrote:
doctorwho8 wrote:SIM Card question as a follow up here. Would the same card offered on the FONA portion of the site still work in the Feather 32u4 FONA?

It depends on the network the SIM is associated with.

The FONA 32u4 uses a 2G cellular module (the SIM800), so it will only work with networks that still support 2G. Carriers have been dropping 2G support for the past five years or so, but there are still some areas where it works. Companies like Ting came in and took over 2G from the local networks, but now it looks like Ting is trying to move up the ladder and has stopped wanting to provide 2G support as well.


That's what I thought Mike. Okay feel free to ignore the expanded version of that also in this part of the forum.

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