Broadmobi vs Gelmato compatibility with Librem 5

Hello, just a quick question about Modems in general (and if possible Gelmato EU vs Broadmobi EU versions) : do they are both optimized by the hardware/software (for example sleep state, energy consumption, quality reception/emission, etc.) ?

Thank you very much.

I’ve never seen a statement that the Gemalto is available yet so it may be that noone knows and that your question is a hypothetical.

I thought Gemalto was used for the Librem 5 USA models?

Are those also using BroadMobi?

Good question. The order page for the Librem 5 USA says “Gemalto PLS8” but the actual pulldown menu offers just the three variants of the BM818.

Nevertheless, I am right. “I’ve never seen a statement that the Gemalto is available yet” :wink:

@amosbatto, do you know?

@prog-amateur, the community FAQ explains the hardware differences between the two modems:

As @irvinewade points out, the order page for the Librem 5 USA only allows you to select the three variants of the BM818.

I don’t expect the PLS8 to be available any time soon, because I can only find one bug report that mentions it under, and that was from Sept. 2019. I suspect that Purism decided to focus on the BM818 for now.

Given the limited number of LTE bands that the PLS8 supports, I don’t see it as a good option. Frankly, I think that it would be a better option for Purism to manufacture M.2 cards based on the Quectel EG25-G, which is what the PinePhone is using, because the community has now put so much work into improving its FOSS driver to answer phone calls faster and is replacing parts of its proprietary firmware with FOSS.


Thank you all. I also have learned that Gelmato has been bought by the french Company Thales.

I guess the specifics of my question were: you have a Librem 5 USA, what modem is in it? (such as might be revealed using the modem ATI command.

I take it from your comment though that the answer will be BM818-xx and that therefore the Purism Librem 5 USA order page is wrong in saying that the modem is the PLS8.

There are certainly benefits to that. For example, while I am happy with the BM818-T1 in my own country, if I ever got to go overseas, the simplicity of one-modem-to-rule-them-all is appealing. It is also simplicity for Purism.

If I were heading overseas, I might even be tempted to buy a second modem from Purism (one that, like the EG25-G, is global) and install it before heading off.

The PLS8 is also theoretically slower (Cat 3, 100 Mbps) than either the BM818 or the EG25-G (Cat 4, 150 Mbps). However I would be pretty happy with 100 Mbps on any phone. LOL.

The other side of the coin is that if you are dead set on getting a ‘safer’, western, USA Edition then you probably do want the PLS8 rather than the BM818.

… which with the advent of VoLTE will be more troublesome.

Yes, that is correct.


PS Your link for the EG25-G appears to be broken.