Librem5 modem as a standalone device we could purchase


#1

Would it be possible to release the Librem 5 modem unit as a separate USB device that we could purchase independently of the phone, without the necessity to buy the whole device?

I hope that making it available as a separate module (pcb with solderpads is fine by my standards) wouldn’t require much of an additional investment (certifications, etc).

This way, the modem itself would become easily accessible to a broader community of hackers, makers and tinkerers, and the cost of software development for this module would be greatly reduced. This would significantly aid in making the modem free in the near future.

Additionally, having a voice-enabled modem that can be installed in a laptop or a desktop, enabling it to perform mobile phonecalls (either via gammu/wammu, PureOS in a VM/native, or direct AT interface), is a really big convenience feature as well. To my knowledge, there are none such devices right now coming from a reputable company that supports user freedoms.

Thanks!


#2

This is the same modem as in the devkit. NetworkManager should support it by default, not sure about ordinary phone calls and texts though, probably doesn’t work but that should be due to PureOS/Debian not supporting that yet.


#3

Nice, thanks!
The source for those dev kits seem to be these guys:

http://www.and-global.com/index.php/product/SIM7100A%20EVM.html

They have the modems in different form factors, including this USB and RS232 version:
http://www.and-global.com/index.php/product/SIM7100A%20PIGTAIL.html

and this breakout board:
http://www.and-global.com/index.php/product/SIM7100A%20Breakout.html


#4

Note that the phone won’t use the same modem as the dev kit, see Manufacturer of the final modem


#5

Do you work for https://neo900.org ? :rofl:


#6

@fabrice
Thanks for the link.
It appears that they do not offer dev kits, at least not as easily accessible as and-global. They’re not listed on the main site as far as I can see.

So, will we be able to get that hardware as a separate device now?

@jon.armani
Haha, no, but thanks for the heads up :smile:


#7

When she appeared on “The Lunduke Show,” Nicole Færber mentioned that, since the modem is attached to the baseboard via USB, it can be removed. So, I don’t see why it can’t be a standalone device. That discussion starts at about 17 minutes into the interview.


#8

@smd0665
The audio quality is pretty poor, but indeed, she specifically says that it’s removable.

The “removable” part is important, because devices usually have internal components that use USB standard to communicate with the device. So USB is there, but it’s all soldered on.

The question now is, will Purism be willing to sell this as a standalone device?
Form factor and connector are a secondary consideration, we can bake out breakout boards for this without issues.


#9

I‘m pretty confident that the device used in the final will be an m.2 card wich is produced by an other conpany and wich is not exclusivly produced for purism. As far as i undersod they are lookong for the best of the shelf solution for the m.2 formfactor.
Best means probably somthing like looking for free driver, price, spec made by a freedom suporting company.

So i suspecte the final modem to be available on tha market without purism
selling them.