4G USB modem


I need to connect a USB 4G modem to a raspberry pi. I need the system to operate as an embedded system and send a packet of data as an email once each day. I also need to have a loop to turn hardware on and off, read sensor signals and communicate with a serial (rs232) device all in the same program.

Is this possible - or should I say easy to work out how to do this?

If I get off the shelf 4G USB modem will the raspberry pi recognise it or will I have to load drivers etc?

I have never programmed a raspberry pi before and need to have some idea if this is possible before I start. And suggestions would be appreciated.

I code in C on embedded systems but am prepared to lean something new.

Note I would also be interested to know if something similar can be done on an arduino system.


Hi Clem,

Perhaps take a look at the Nova, by Hologram:

Here’s a great guide:

Let us know how you get on!

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I was using 3G modem it was working fine, now I replaced it with 4gx LTE USB Modem and it not being detected. First week it worked fine, but now it is giving error “cannot be used at this time”.

Hi John,

Sometimes things go wrong, though I’ve not heard of this specific issue happening with Hologram hardware in the past (I am guessing that’s what you are using). Have you tried engaging support from the OEM?

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Hi Clem,

Python is a pretty easy programming language to learn, if you can code in C then you should be able to make the transition pretty smoothly by just looking up the syntax as you go. We have a workshop for the Raspberry Pi that will help you get started with all the basics!

You could do the same task with an Arduino system as well. Although you would not use a USB 4G modem, but instead a board/shield that had integrated 3G or LTE. Like the Particle Electron: