The current Raspberry Pi 3, including the B and B+, has a lot of built-in connectivity. There is WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, USB, and additional options through the GPIO pins like serial, I2C, and SPI. But those are all local connections, which means you’re out of luck if you need to a connection away from your home or known WiFi networks. Now, MechaTracks is making it possible to add a 4G LTE connection with their new 4GPi HAT.
The 4GPi launches on November 1st, and will cost ¥25000 JPY ($222 USD or €195 EUR) through Amazon Japan, RS Components, and SwitchScience. It comes as Raspberry Pi HAT add-on board, and will work with any Raspberry Pi that has the modern 40-pin GPIO header. Currently, that includes all of the full-size models after the Raspberry Pi 1 A+, and both the Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W.
It is important to note, however, that the 4GPi doesn’t have any support for HSPA or GSM/EDGE networks. The LTE CAT4 chipset only supports LTE bands 1, 3, 8, 18, 19, and 26. Those are common in a lot of the world, but in the United States Sprint is the only carrier that uses any of those bands (26), and it’s not even their primary band. The takeaway is that you should carefully investigate whether the 4GPi will work with your provider in the country you live in, but it could be very useful for IoT devices if it does.