It’s been a week, still nobody on this forum who got the expected email asking about modem choice and shipping address?
EM12GPA-512-SGAD may in fact be available, but Quectel has no such listing on its web site and perhaps this is undocumented or is planned and not yet implementable. I have put out a query to the company myself to garner more information. Who supplies the firmware? Software can be perhaps developed by Librem or others, but who writes firmware for these devices? If the firmware is not available or if it cannot be engineered, the chip may as well be useless.
I saw this site and revisited it. There is an automated chat which is not helpful. I have no idea as to whether this is a page in error or otherwise not correct. Its presence on the site as a page with no note of the same from the manufacturer leaves me rather perplexed. Why would there be some offering of an undocumented modem when the manufacturer would have to have marketed this first to Avnet or other dealers and should have some trail of information on this. I suspect this is a false lead. I will see if Quectel replies to my query and confirms its existence. Otherwise, I have no feelings for its being usable or even real.
Concerning your question I cannot give you an proper answer but something like my opinion: Quectel M.2 modem card firmware must be file of approximate size around 60MB and nowadays it is common to be proprietary. It is part of the modem card (on chip) itself and you buy it like this from certain provider that provides regular updates to it. While Quectel EM12GPA-512-SGAD is defined as Global they do not need to coordinate every step/detail (like voice support) with AT&T for example, but if it is as such approved to work on there is something else. Also, I believe that current AT&T firmware for EM06-A is called EM06ALAR03A05M4G but not implemented for the end user. With respect, I hope someone will give you correct answer to your actual question and again my mention of AT&T was only an example with hopes it will work there with the proper Linux drivers (very) similar to this one.
Please note this response from Quectel which suggests likely only contemplated for large group purposes, though I have explained the singular nature of users such as those we might represent:
Thank you for your inquiry.
Would be great to learn more about your application and requirements so we can help you with module recommendation. Please kindly share your project background details below;
Project name (so we can refer to it in the future):
Estimated Annual Units (for series production):
Thank you & Best Regards,
Jayson Bilag | Inside Sales, North America | Quectel Wireless Solutions Co., Ltd.
Lets Connect On LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaysonbilag/
Concerning Quectel EM12GPA-512-SGAD you may contact them (but I don’t think they are giving answers to the end user either): http://www.atlantikelektronik.de/en/.
Another end user link for Quectel EM12GPA-512-SGAD is here (maybe false too) but this time on Slovak language (dobrý deň), if this helps someone further to buy one piece (and not much more).
Jayson Bilag got back to me: “Hi Mark,
Thank you for your feedback.
EM12 currently doesn’t support voice. If you are looking for support on voice on a Plug in Module, we have LTE Cat4 modules that can support them but they are on Mini PCIe Form factor and not M.2. Will this be interesting for you?”
Note no support for voice as per Quectel!!!
Thats the same guy I spoke with.
"In Japan, Quectel and KDDI are cooperating on easier IoT reachability through so called IoT Flow:
Basically, KDDI’s IoT Flow consists of three steps:
- Pre-IoT, in which certain tests are conducted using KDDI’s simulator.
- IoT-L (Lab Test), where rigorous tests are carried out in KDDI’s lab.
- IoT-F (Field Test), finally real tests are conducted in KDDI’s network."
I am unclear on what exactly the question is but if the question is: Can Quectel provide anything useful for the Librem 5?
with the disclaimers that none of us has either a phone or a module to play with
- the EM12 seems to be a non-starter (no voice - I would guess that their assumption is that if you need this speed then you are only sending data, and lots of it)
- the referenced “LTE Cat4 modules” seem to be a non-starter (miniPCIe, not M.2) - I believe this module may be the EG25-G, which the Pinephone will use, which will be reasonable given their different goals
- the EM06 may be reasonable but there is this weird thing of voice and VoLTE being “optional”
I had previously contacted a different supplier, but basically chasing down the same problem, and came up against the same brick wall of “estimated annual units”. For this reason it seems like, unless a module works out-of-the-box, it is best handled through Purism, who have an overall view of how many people are hanging on for a different module / better module / module that works at all in their country or part thereof.
@kieran, many thanks that you corrected my question and on your clear answer! In general for Quectel modules currently by default firmware looks like this:
• VoLTE for Cat M1
• CS voice for GSM
And now he says that there is no voice support. Unless you want to speak on your Librem 5 via some DATA transmission voice implementtaion, the Quectel modem thought useful is not workable for calls.
It is depressing that there is a capacity to have some hardware available exist which might be made serviceable by software with yet no ability to bring this to some fulfillment. Certainly a number of Librem 5 owners who had an interest in a particular modem might form some cooperative to interact, though the business would be tricky to work out. Some intermediary to act as a representative of the cooperative might make an order of as large as a few hundred, but even some number as large as that, if it were even possible, might not be sufficient for some manufacturer (Quectel, Telit, Sierra Wireless or other) to put in the extra coding work to satisfy the need. It would be wonderful if people might be able to hack the business, but given the proprietary nature of the hardware, that is obviously more fantastical than a real consideration.
To be fair he spoke to me about the EM06. According to the documents he sent me voice is supported. I still have questions about the whole VoLTE wording but I hope they will update the specs sheet after achieving some additional carrier certifications. Here is an exert from the hardware documents for the EM06
So I guess that’s a no, then…
Something that might work, but would need a dedicated adapter is the use of a Quectel EG25-G_LTE chip to be made into a M.2 card, if this were possible. It is 29 x 32 x 2.4-mm already as a chip, so that there is not much room to get this on the B-slot card form factor of 30 x 42 x 2.5-mmif it were possible at all. The modem is Global with clear Voice capacity (and not capability) and is approved by ATT, T-mobile, Sprint and supposedly by Verizon. See: https://www.quectel.com/UploadFile/Product/Quectel_EG25-G_LTE_Specification_V1.1.pdf
The depth might be a small bit greater than the comparable chips.
I do not know if the chip might be used inasmuch as Quectel probably has no desire to make this into a M.2card form and I am unsure that any company is willing to do the work of altering the chip form to make it compatible with M.2 form.
I would note that this is a chip used in the Pinephone and has been vetted for use, even if not yet released for Linux functions yet in commercial release.
So no one has received the modem selection/power supply email yet ?