Does the V2 hardware have WiFi capability? Is it possible that a future version will support (with whatever hassles is needed) a local WiFi connection for firmware updates or reporting, everywhere or where LTE is unreliable?
Hi Bryce, welcome to Telraam Talks!
To answer the question, we’ve considered including it, but in the end dropped it because it would entail a substantical extra cost, both unit cost and cost of development to include the wifi as a backup. Also, it would require a wifi-connection setup UI and that’s exactly what we wanted to move away from with the Raspberry Pi. We want to keep it simple.
In hindsight, there’s some regrets I have to admit. We’re seeing some connectivity issue with S2 where we didn’t expect them and now there’s no way to resolve those. Luckily, it’s still rather rare.
It’s on the list for the next (major) hardware iteration, but that’s not for the next 12 months or so…
One option is to require configuration of the wifi be done via LTE. Thus, the configuration UI is entirely trivial, just as any other setting. In edge cases this means the S3 device might have to be temporarily plugged in a good LTE coverage area just to get new wifi parameters… not the worst tradeoff.
As for cost, perhaps just a header, or better yet a USB connection for a completely off the shelf WiFi dongle with its own integral antenna. If the WiFi connection is up, the S2 then prefers it to the MQTT connection, and you save on MQTT packet charges as well.