I recommend reaching out to all of the module manufacturers, as what's low cost in one country may not be in Africa, due to a variety of factors: import laws and fees, existing local operations/distributors, etc.
The common manufacturers are Cinterion, Sierra Wireless, Telit, U-Blox and Simcom.
When considering a particular manufacturer, I recommend taking a close look at their development support. No one is in a better position to support integration of the module than the module manufacturer. If their support isn't good in this area, you could spend endless months working through issues.
I think the best method would be using old, used cellphones, or newest, cheapest cellphones (some starts from 30-40 euros).
I did some tests months ago with an Arduino board, and I figured out that if you connect a diode across GND and a key in the cellphone keyboard and you put to HIGH level the positive pin of the diode, it behaves like a switch, i.e. it "presses" the key.
You'll need almost all available pins of the Arduino board (13 digital I/O + 6 analog I/O) to connect to all keys (0-9, *, #, OK, CANCEL = 14 pins), but it should work.
An arduino costs 15E (20$?), a basic GPRS phone 40E (60$), don't know if it's low enough.
You can save money on M2M type applications if you have access to Ethernet / Internet communications. You can save money on the monthly payment for a data plan.
This device here is low in cost compared to many M2M devices and will allow you to bring serial devices back to a central location through the internet.
M2M-710D: $289.00 Remote Maintenance with serial streaming Solution. Allows for communication with serial devices through the Ethernet / Internet. Supports pair connections
Maria Lemone, Sales Manager
ICP DAS USA, Inc.
Hi Firasco, here is a solution for Eur169,- including the clouded web platform...
It will do fine for energy monitoring and other stuff, as it's equipped with 4 digital/analogue inputs. Presuming GPRS is available the units will perform well.
It will provide data-to-web without requiring local SIM cards.
This is simply a PCB. Do you require a switchboard- or field-device?
If you are looking for really low cost, you may want to look at chinese vendors such as Huawei, or Simcom. They both participate into cellphone market so volume is high and that you can enjoy the low price because of that. One concern is the local technical support as they are both chinese vendors and not familar with oversea support or they will similar rely on their distributors to do so. You may need to evluate the level of support at your country.
I would recommend you take a look at Quectel Wireless modules. We can provide GSM products specially geared towards price-sensitive applications. I would recommend you take a look at M95, our latest Quad-band GSM module. It's very small in size , has low power consumption, and supports all the standard functions you would find in a typical GSM module, while being cost effective at the same time.
To take a quick look at M95, you can try the link below :
If you require any further details, please feel free to contact me directly at the address below :
Note : We also have GPS and Glonass modules if your application requires that too.
Its seem that a company called ClearConnex could help you with finding the right solution for your project. They also have a great Engineering team that would be able to help with embedding anything you need. Here is a link to the hardware solutions they work with and a their very powerful ClearComm which is a mature, proven, hardware agnostic software platform that can be loaded on any off-the-shelf modem or added to custom designed hardware.
What might appear 'low cost' in terms of 'Bill of Materials' could end up being the most expensive element to your business forever. Shaving off the odd dollar at the start may appear attractive to the buyer but once your remote devices are deployed they must work relyably. There are many elements to M2M from the driving application through the module performace, the SIM, the Network operator and coverage and the relyability of you management and monitoring platform. My advise is to not cut corners becase a remote machine is just that. To recover them costs a fortune.
Hi All, this is my first contribution, the Simcom SIM900 is very popular, you have this board form Iteadstudio ( Arduino based )
Please check our M2M module by clicking on the link below. This module is designed and distributed by our company, Triones Technology Shenzhen Co., Ltd.
It is a compact, light weight, and low power consumption module design that enables digital communication on GSM/GPRS networks for machine to machine, or user to machine wireless application. It works on dual band network and is configurable to operate in either GSM 900/1800 or 850/1900 MHz bandwidth. The cost is competitive below USD10.00.
Please get in touch with me if our module can fit your requirement: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, please visit our website and click on the English page to learn more with our designs and products: http://www.triones.com.cn
Qualnetics is building custom M2M, connected car and medical interfaces. They have recently demonstrated their HW and SW expertise in the UBI market with extremely cost optimized cellular interfaces. The company also has extensive WiFi and BT expertise. The comapny has also demonstrted its ability to develop applictions on smart devices adn their website has some cool POC work they did for Peterbilt in building out a 'glass cockpit' in heavy trucks. The has several M2M interface platforms to customize into specialized solutions.
Dear Firasco ,
We can help for your project and manufacturing GPRS Modem at USD 20 as requested. Please find out more at
Please PM me for details
We have made some researches and launched many products related to M2M/SCADA field,
We can share some information together.
My name is Andy, email@example.com
Looking forward to our conversation!