Difference between Link.ONE and Blues.ONE

Link.ONE is an LTE-M NB-IoT LoRaWAN Device based on nRF52840, SX1262 and BG77.
Blues.ONE is an LTE-M NB-IoT GSM LoRaWAN Device based on nRF52840, SX1262 and Blues.IO Notecard. I think that Notecard Cellular is used.
If you disregard GSM, then both devices appear comparable. What’s the difference between both boards?

Link.ONE

  • Works only where CAT-M1 and NB-IoT is supported
  • Requires SIM card (local or worldwide IoT SIM)
  • Is setup with AT commands to connect to MQTT, HTTP, …
  • Needs adjustments in AT commands for different countries, cellular providers, used bands

Blues.ONE

  • Works with CAT-M, NB-IoT, and GSM, therefor has a much wider coverage
  • Comes with onboard eSIM that works in many countries
  • Comes with 500MB and 10 years data plan
  • Connects directly to the Blues.IO NoteHub and from there multiple integrations (HTTP, MQTT, Datacake, …) are available to forward the data
  • Setup is done once through USB on the RAK13102 Notecarrier or through I2C connection from the application
  • Same setup works everywhere, no need to change providers, APN, bands, … if the eSIM is used
  • Supports secondary external SIM and can switch between the two SIM’s depending on which one can connect and has coverage
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This helped to clarify. Thanks, Bernd.

I studied your WisBlock-Blues-Tracker program example. You use PlatformIO. Why?
Is it possible to use RAK4631-R and the Note Arduino library (GitHub - blues/note-arduino: Library and examples for arduino) on Arduino to get the same result?

I am always using PlatformIO. ArduinoIDE does not give me the features I need when writing applications, including seamless integration with Github.
Even for RUI3, I am rather using VSC than ArduinoIDE.

I did a try with RUI3 and the Blues Notecard and there are some I2C issues. The Note Arduino library does not work with the I2C library of RUI3 (yet). That is one of the reasons why I created a smaller Blues-Minimal-I2C library. But there are still some issues I couldn’t fix.

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I found the program example. Thanks.

A very important note regarding the Blues Notecard is that you must use their Notehub middleware platform. The hardware cannot be used without it.

While Notehub has great features, all traffic is metered. Every message counts as a “consumption credit”. You get a modest amount of credits free each month, but must pay beyond that limit.

For a hobbyist the free credits may suffice for a single device but deployments of almost any size will rack up significant financial costs. Look before you leap.

Thanks, Bernd, for this important hint.