I started working on the Raspberry Pi 3b Plus tonight with an Sierra Wireless em7565. This one has all those cool features that I was describing up top.
Not bad for ~39 bucks. I was waiting for a few open source firmwares to get through the compilebot6k's toobs; this one is built now. Some use modem manager or openWRT for the router side. This LTE radio is band(s) 2/26/41 capable on the Sprint side. Band 25 did not make the cut, but was on previous Sierra builds. This is a tester radio so there is a slight chance it will appear down the road. It has just about every other LTE band.
This is an example of the debug screen. GMO is nearest so we only get 26 from a far site. No 41 in our zip yet.
The best part is I can plug an MC7455(that would be Modem#2) or another EM7565 in and it can hop over to that or I can direct load balancing. I just wanted to show the EM7565 authenticated below.
Another shot of my terrible reception.
Here it is out of the armor.
So, we have a stable software image. I will get it built and add some GPS features, then test on band 41 in Myrtle where present. We have one site w 8t8r gear to test 3xCA on, so it might be a minute. I am in 2xCA MM areas through the week. I will see how it likes the Magic box too.
I should have a true GB ethernet router to massacre in the next couple of weeks with software images already set to go. I can embed the radio beyond a USB adapter. It still requires m.2>mPCIe but that is one less failure point and better throughput. This was a great breakthrough in affordable and small solutions for us. I have to go to bed and then work now.
Thank you so much for bringing light to this! I would have never known about it had you not posted it! You've saved me a lot of money and lowered my bill moving forward! It wasn't an easy process, but well worth it.
Unlocking the phones was surprisingly easy. But the small hiccup came with my final bill. When I received it, I thought I was screwed when I saw that the ETF was included. I almost paid for it too, but the frugal in me decided to call Sprint (couldn't hurt, right?). After an hour on the phone with a US supervisor, my account was credited for the full amount of the ETFs. I walked away Scot-free!!
Thanks a bunch OP! I'm trying Verizon's throttled unlimited data plan. Excellent reliability in the city, but there are certain key spots where I need my phone that aren't great. I don't know if it's the throttling or the network.