As a disclaimer, I have experience with Arduinos and Raspberry Pis, but I know embarrassingly little about electrical engineering and anything beyond the basics. Most of my previous projects consisted of attaching/soldering pretty big high-level components rather than tinkering with the small pieces.

With that being said, I am working on a new DIY project: A small LTE-M-connected device that, when pinged, turns an LED on or off. I have been researching LTE-M modules and was impressed by this one by Altair.

However, I am confused about how to integrate it in terms of hardware and software into a simple Arduino. I am aware of other options such as LTE shields or modules built into an Arduino, but I am curious about using this module in particular, in part for its tiny size.

I couldn't find any documentation online and was wondering if I'm missing something pretty basic about how this kind of stuff is done. Is there something simple I am missing or anywhere I could find guidance on how to use this module?


1 Answer 1


That isn't a module, it's the actual chip.

I doubt that you would be able to purchase chips in small quantities at all. Instead, you'll have to work with the third-party modules listed near the bottom of that page.

Even those are very small, and you'll have to learn how to do surface-mount assembly.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does surface-mount assembly require I design/custom-print a pcb to mount the module onto? \$\endgroup\$
    – Daniel
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 21:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, is the slightly larger piece that contains a chip called a module, and what is the name for the process of how such a module is made? \$\endgroup\$
    – Daniel
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 22:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ A module is just generally a small PCB assembly itself, containing the chip, some of the critical external components, and sometimes a shield. And yes, you'll have to design a board, unless you can find a COTS "breakout" board for the specific chip or module you want to use. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Commented Mar 31, 2020 at 23:29

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