LTE Cat 4 Cell Modem Card

I didn’t see it posted here before at a quick glance. This video looks super promising. It just presents itself as a USB ethernet device to the host machine. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing but in linux, that could be useful! great form factor and he has a working prototype. Unless this is the same guy??

Another Choice? Upgrade Your iPad With The Cellular Module Prototype - YouTube


This is awesome, If you could integrate a gps module in it and make it a bit programmable It would also double as a security device and would be 2 times as awesome.


Shouldn’t be difficult, IIRC a lot of GSM+ modules also have GPS built in. My HP laptop has both and I’m almost certain there isn’t a separate GPS module in it.


Honestly I am waiting for this module to purchase, I want a framework for work so bad, but I need the connectivity to justify it. PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN!


@William_Vineyard same! this is the only thing holding me back as well

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I love my framework so much but I am always worried about it getting stolen, since I had to pay for it and I saved for a while. Having cellular or gps would be so cool, so I could track it without having connection to a Wi-Fi network. I hope this project isn’t discontinued!


Even a tracker expansion card that uses Tile or another company would be cool too.

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Sounds like an interesting use-case for an ESP32 module!

So, I saw this and had some ideas. I lifted up the keyboard last night, and I think there’s a few open spots that could fit some modified tags. Most tags are too tall to fit, but can be flattened by offsetting the battery (like this airtag example).

Granted, there may be issues with detection range from being inside the laptop’s case… However, it would be nice to save an expansion slot, and it would be much harder to notice or remove (although most thieves wouldn’t notice either).

Theoretically, you could even power it off the CMOS bat, although that probably wouldn’t be recommended.

Might be neat to start a thread on tracking chip experiments or potential mods.

@JS_f I feel like theres enough space to put a small li-po battery, just so you wouldn’t have to run down the CMOS battery

I don’t know if anyone has seen this, but I think it could be made to fit (almost) in the framework bay, and you could theoretically change the connector to make it interface via USB-C
I’m certain that I’m oversimplifying things, and I’m not going to pretend to know which carriers and bands require which chips, but something like this seems like exactly what we’re looking for. I’m going to be getting a 3D printer in the near future, and I’m very tempted to buy one of these and run some experiments on its fitment. If someone more qualified has something to add, I’d love more information. I already have my framework, but an LTE modem would make it so much more versatile, so I’m a big fan of the idea and project.

It is only USB 2.0, but from what I’ve seen it still wouldn’t be the limiting factor here.


It’s a common misunderstanding that 5G’s only benefit is higher speeds, because that’s how Verizon is using it - for super high speeds at extremely low range in cities. But in fact, the G in 5G stands for generation; 5G is a generational leap over 4G LTE, and it comes with tons of benefits. Higher speeds is one, but so is longer range, and the ability to handle thousands of clients in one area at once.
I have a 5G T-mobile phone, and while I do sometimes see higher speeds, more often than not what I notice is that I’ll have service when my sister with a verizon 5G phone does not.

A 5G modem would make much more sense than a 4G LTE one, simply because that’s the latest tech.
Did you know, 4G LTE was launched in the US in 2011! If you think of it like that, why would we want 11 year old tech in a brand new laptop?

(You can read wikipedia’s page on 5G for more info.)

As a counter to a “why wouldn’t you want the newest stuff?”, 5G is a fledgling and underrepresented technology, it isn’t available in very many non-urban places yet, and the tech with it available is extremely limited, especially for us DIY-ing a modem together. With the scarcity and the redundancy of the improvements (there isn’t anything that anyone needs from 5G, just little improvements), plus the fact that once its available we can just make a newer modem, it’s unnecessary to focus on 5G at this point.

There may be one in the works by me and a someone else. I just need to check, would people prefer it on a mini PCIE connector or directly soldered?

mpcie would give the option of upgrading it when nG comes out. It also means you can standardise the ‘expansion’ card, and swap the actual modem modules around for different regions/standards. I think this is a better way to go than direct solder.

Yep, but you will trade size for being upgradable. It does also allow for more freedom for your different cellular bands.

I think you’d need enough size for the antenna that you could justify having it be mini pci, plus with the upgradable spirit of the laptop, that feels like a better fit. @Josh_Cook

Going to have a play with a usb c converter and an ngiff to usb 3 adapter with a qualcom card to see just how tight i can get it. I imagine it will be oversized but still slightly more compact then having a dongle with a mini antenna. Not really a nesesity for me just some fun tinker time.

NGFF is too large to fit inside the current expansion card format.

Yeah its very close within a few mm.