IoT Blog

Raspberry Pi Gets a Wireless Add-On for Mobile IoT Apps

Raspberry Pi and other low-cost, board-based computers are becoming increasingly popular amongst developers and hobbyists, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution. Users can easily experiment with IoT projects by connecting to a network using wired or wireless connections – whether this is through the simple use of an Ethernet cable, or with complementary accessories such as the Raspberry Pi’s Wi-Fi adapter dongle.

However, users requiring access to internet data on the go would benefit from an add-on that provides the ability to browse the web effectively, send SMS, and transfer data using a mobile network connection – especially if it is readily available as per the Raspberry Pi HAT specification.

3G/HSPA interface with GNSS for Raspberry Pi 
To fulfill this requirement, Linkwave Technologies has introduced the PiloT®, a WAN communications board that provides a 3G / HSPA wireless interface for the Raspberry Pi. The PiloT® features an on-board Sierra Wireless HL Series module teamed with a SIM card of the user’s choice, as well as a GNSS* solution, which is used to provide location and time information.

The PiIoT® is able to communicate with the Raspberry Pi using serial or USB communications, with separate channels for control, data and location data. It can be powered by the Raspberry Pi, or a separate power supply. 

When used in CDC-ECM mode over USB, the PiIoT® presents as an Ethernet-like WAN device, simplifying control of data sessions. In this mode, PPP is not required; a simple command initiates the session. The PiIoT® can also be used to transfer data to the Sierra Wireless AirVantage® IoT Platform using MQTT from a Raspberry Pi; offering a rapidly deployable device-to-cloud architecture.

Two different variants of the PiloT® are currently available – the HL8518, which provides a 3G / HSPA connection for the European market, and the HL8548-G, which caters to the global market, and provides a GNSS engine, which is based on SiRF V technology. GNSS data can be transferred over serial or USB interfaces, providing accurate location information for your application. It can also be used to provide accurate time. 

The PiIoT® uses a small number of I/Os; the remainder are passed through on the 40-pin headers for use by other applications. Simple AT commands are used to control and monitor sessions on the Sierra Wireless HL Series module.

The PiloT® is compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2, 3 and Zero, and can also be used in standalone mode to provide communications to other development boards.
To find out more about the PiloT®, visit:

Linkwave will exhibit at the Sierra Wireless Innovation Summit in Paris on June 13, 2017. See the Pilot and other leading IoT technology, network and learn about the latest IoT Innovations. Register here.

*The optional GPS function is only available for the HL8548-G variant of the PiloT®.