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Sad state of cellular modem support on Windows 10 IoT Core RRS feed

  • Question

  • I work for a company that has an installed base of 20K+ IoT devices that are currently connected via 3G cellular modems.

    In the face of the pending discontinuation of 3G cellular services, we're looking at alternate architectures.

    Windows 10 IoT looks very promising except for one issue: the very limited availability of cellular modems.

    The hardware compatibility list has two modems listed: the Vodafone (Huawei) K5150 and the Sierra Wireless Beam (AirCard 340U).

    Both of these have retail prices of about $250, which is about equal to the cost of the MinnowBoard Turbot/case/power supply device I'm looking to use it on for prototyping.

    I ordered a Vodafone device from China on eBay for $10, but it appears to use a nonstandard-sized SIM slot. 

    I've been trying to get Hologram's Nova USB modem working on Windows 10 IoT, but they don't seem to be ready for prime time yet.

    I can't believe that there aren't more modem manufacturers targeting Windows 10 IoT, and that absence makes me wonder about the viability of the platform.

    Am I missing something? Are there cellular modems for Windows IoT that I don't know about?

    Friday, January 19, 2018 11:30 PM

All replies

  • Hello Steve, 

    Firstly, even though the hardware compatibility list has only listed the two modems, this list is not exhaustive. There are many other peripherals not listed on this page that are compatible with Windows 10 IoT Core. If a device you don't see listed but is class-compliant with what's already supported in Windows 10 IoT Core, then it will work.And more, Windows IoT Core supports serial port communication, you can use any other dongle which can be communicated with UART on Raspberry Pi or MinnowBoard.

    Secondly, I think the Vodafone device you bought is incorrect, the SIM slot is nonstandard-sized because it is for china.The Vodafone device in the compatibility list is  4G LTE FDD USB Mobile Broadband Modem. Could you provide the link in eBay you bought from?

    Best Regards,

    Michael


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    Monday, January 22, 2018 3:05 AM
    Moderator
  • That makes sense about the Vodafone device from China. No need to investigate further: I'll just write it off as more money down the toilet.

    I have since purchased a NetGear-branded variant of the Sierra Wireless AirCard 340U. It appears as "AirCard 340U"" in the IOT startup screen, and the modem's LCD screen shows that it has found a carrier (AT&T 4G LTE with 3 bars).

    My question now: are there any utilities or capabilities for setting this connection up as a generally-available network connection on the device?

    There's nothing avilable on the IoT device's Device Settings/Networks & WiFi

    The Connectivity->Network page in Windows Device portal seems to hold promise (as that page has an empty table at the bottom with SSID/Signal etc.), but all I can get on that page is a spinning asterisk "in progress" icon.

    Can someone provide some powershell commands (or other procedures) for initiating an Internet connection over the cellular modem?

    Wednesday, January 31, 2018 10:28 PM
  • Dear Steve,

    You can refer to Option 2 in the article about using WiFi on your Windows 10 IoT Core device. It shows how to set up WiFi using wireless profiles is supported in Windows 10 IoT Core. Actually, you can view the interfaces and change the network profile to work around in Device Portal.

    Best Regards,

    Michael


    MSDN Community Support Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, February 1, 2018 6:41 AM
    Moderator
  • I've been able to get the Huawei/Vodafone K5160 modem working, even though it's not listed in the compatibility list. Not sure about SIM card size, but we've been buying the K5160 from Ali Express for about $35, and at least Norwegian SIM cards fit perfectly. The process by which you make it connect (the same goes for K5150 and I would assume the 340U) is described here (click). Essentially you create an XML file containing certain pieces of information about the modem, which you subsequently add as an MBN profile through the command line utility ../windows/system32/netsh.exe. This process can be easily automated.



    Thursday, April 19, 2018 9:24 AM
  • @Magnus Andersen

    thank you for this useful information 

    based on your feedback we have added it to the HCL

    br
    Andre


    Thursday, April 19, 2018 1:34 PM
    Moderator
  • I am returning to refresh this topic because after more one year the situation is the same or also worst. I am in great difficulty finding a USB LTE dongle working on the last version of Windows 10 IOT core. The 2 recommended dongles (Huawei k5150 and k5160) are very to find and are Vodafone locked. I can not believe that this problem was not addressed and solved in other parts of the world (well I am interested in Europe countries at least). Are there any other working dongle models available on the markets and not sim locked ?

    Moreno Borsalino

    Thursday, April 18, 2019 1:16 PM
  • How does a Michigan USA startup with a LTE CAT-M1\NB-IOT modem get on the hardware compatibility list (HCL)? Our driver software was developed on a Raspberry PI running Windows 10-IoT Core. Our solution is a HAT like device on the 40-pin expansion bus (stacking/non-stacking).

    Trying not to abuse the forum, but I see there is a need out there and my company is looking for customers.

    Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:53 AM