Raspberry Pi NB-IoT Shield

Obsolete Product (Not for new designs). Please check the new Cellular IoT Kit as an alternative LPWAN solution. 

This product is a narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) shield for Raspberry Pi. NB-IoT is very suitable for IoT applications with its low power consumption feature. The shield also has the built-in 3-axis accelerometer, temperature, humidity, light sensors, optocoupler, and relay. It is also possible to add your own sensors using the built-in 4 channel ADC.



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LTE Cat NB1(NB-IoT) is a more modern and advanced way of Machine-to-machine communication than legacy GPRS connection. In comparison with GPRS, the NB-IoT connection has extremely low power consumption and is much more efficient. This Narrowband-IoT shield allows you to connect your Raspberry Pi to this new cellular network with the help of Quectel’s BC95 NB-IoT module.

Quectel BC95 is a high-performance LTE NB-IoT module offering a maximum data rate of 21.25Kbps downlink and 15.625kbps uplink. The NB-IoT shield has built-in temperature, humidity, light sensors, 3-axis accelerometer, a relay and more. Built-in SMD antenna lets you establish the connection right out of the package.


  1. Fully compatible with Raspberry Pi models that have the 40-pin GPIO header (3, 2, B+, A+, Zero)
  2. Supported Protocol Stacks: IPv4/UDP/CoAP/LwM2M/Non-IP
  3. Frequency Band: EUROPE region coverage with the B20-800MHz band
  4. 12-Bit 4 Channel ADC
  5. 3-axis Accelerometer
  6. Humidity and Temperature Sensors
  7. Ambient Light Sensor
  8. Isolated Optocoupler Inputs
  9. 1-Wire Sensors Interface
  10. 3GPP TS 27.007 V14.3.0 and Quectel Enhanced AT Commands over UART port to Raspberry Pi is available
  11. Efficient and low quiescent current regulator circuit can hold up to 3.6A
  12. Micro SIM Card socket is easily reachable on the upside of the shield.
  13. Working temperature range: -30°C to +80°C

Key Applications

  1. Smart farming sensor
  2. Smart cities sensor
  3. Smart home sensor
  4. Internet of Things (IoT) sensor
  5. Smart door lock
  6. Smart lighting
  7. Smart metering
  8. Smart parking
  9. Smart city
  10. Home appliances
  11. Agricultural and environmental monitoring

Technical Details

Connection Types

UART: The UART pins are available to use, with 3.3V power domain, directly connected the 9600bps baud rate. The default data frame format is 8N1 (8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit).

Data Speeds

Downlink: 21.25Kbps @Single Tone

Uplink: 15.625kbps @Single Tone

Power Consumption (Typical)

  • 3.6uA @PSM
  • 2mA @Idle Mode, DRX=1.28s
  • LTE Cat NB1 Connectivity:
    • 220mA @Radio Transmission, 23dBm (B8/B5/B20)
    • 100mA @Radio Transmission, 12dBm (B8/B5/B20/B28)
    • 70mA @Radio Transmission, 0dBm (B8/B5/B20/B28)
    • 65mA @Radio Reception


Point-to-point MO and MT

Text and PDU Mode

Enhanced Features

  • DFOTA: Delta Firmware Upgrade Over the Air
  • RAI: Release Assistance Indication


Do not apply higher voltages and currents than those specified absolute electrical value for sensor inputs and relay connections.



Raspberry Pi NB-IoT Shield Pinout

Pin Descriptions

Pin NumberBCM PinPin NameDescription
25V5V PWRThis pin is connected to the 5V power net.
3GPIO 2SDAI2C Serial Data
45V5V PWRThis pin is connected to the 5V power net.
5GPIO 3SCLI2C Serial Data
7GPIO 41-WIREData line to communicate with 1-Wire sensors.
8UART RXBC95 TXThis pin functions as the serial data input to the module for UART communication.
10UART TXBC95 RXThis pin functions as the serial data output from the module for UART communication
29GPIO 5IN-2When the voltage in the range 3.3-12V(max 15V!) is applied from the IN-2 input, this pin goes to LOW state. The default state is HIGH(pulled-up).
31GPIO 6VDD_EXTWhen BC95 powered on, VDD EXT pin switched to HIGH level. You can detect BC95 ON/OFF state by reading this pin.
32GPIO 12IN-1When the voltage in the range 3.3-12V(max 15V!) is applied from the IN-1 input, this pin goes to LOW state. The default state is HIGH(pulled-up).
36GPIO 16RESETReset the module by driving the reset pin to a HIGH-level voltage for +100ms at least.
37GPIO 26RELAYRelay control pin. When this pin is HIGH state, the relay is operated.(COMMON and NO will be connected.)
38GPIO 20USER LEDActive HIGH, to switch on the USER LED, the pin’s state should be HIGH.
40GPIO 21USER BUTTONThis pin is pulled-up by default. When the button is pressed, pin switches to LOW.
6,9,14,25,30,34,39GNDGNDThese pins are connected to ground.

Electrical Characteristics of Pins

Pin NumberBCM PinPin NameDescriptionMinTyp.Max.Unit
25V5V PWRPower Supply4.855.25V
3GPIO 2SDAI2C Data33.33.6V
45V5V PWRPower Supply33.33.6V
5GPIO 3SCLI2C Clock33.33.6V
7GPIO 41-WIRE1-Wire data33.33.6V
29GPIO 5IN-2Input33.33.6V
31GPIO 6VDD_EXTInput33.33.6V
32GPIO 12IN-1Input33.33.6V
36GPIO 16RESETOutput33.33.6V
37GPIO 26RELAYOutput33.33.6V
38GPIO 20USER LEDOutput33.33.6V
40GPIO 21USER BUTTONInput33.33.6V


Raspberry Pi NB-IoT Shield Layout


You can download the schematic of Raspberry Pi NB-IoT Shield from this Github repository.


  • POWER (PWR): When the shield&module is powered up, this RED led turns on.
  • USER (USER): The GREEN user led can be controlled by driving the GPIO 27 pin.
  • CONNECTION (CON) : This BLUE led indicates the status of the module. When the connection is established and data is being transmitted/received, this led will blink at special intervals. This feature of the module is under development, will be activated on future firmware.


  • USER: This push button connected to GPIO21 and pulled up HIGH state by default. When you push the button, you will read LOW state from GPIO21.
  • RESET: When the BC95 is in powered on, it can be reset by pushing the RESET button for at least 100ms. Also, driving GPIO16 to the HIGH state will cause a reset.

3-axis 12-bit/8-bit Digital Accelerometer | MMA8452Q

  • The MMA8452Q is a smart, low-power, three-axis, capacitive, micromachine accelerometer with 12 bits of resolution. It has user selectable full scales of ±2 g/±4 g/±8 g with high-pass filtered data as well as non-filtered data available real-time.
  • The accelerometer connected to Raspberry Pi via I2C. The I2C address is 0x1C.
  • MMA8452Q’s interrupt pins are not connected.

Direction of Accelerations

12-Bit Analog-to-digital Converter | ADS1015

  • The ADS1015 is precision, low-power, 12-bit, an analog-to-digital converter.
  • Raspberry Pi can not measure analog inputs because it does not have internal ADC. However, with this external ADC, the ADS1015, you can read analog values with your Raspberry Pi.
  • The ADC connected to Raspberry Pi via I2C. The I2C address is 0x49.

Ambient Light Sensor | ALS-PT19

  • It’s a phototransistor close responsively to the human eye spectrum, light to current.
  • It’s connected to ADC (ADS1015) as its analog output cannot be read directly by Raspberry Pi.
  • The sensor connected to AIN0 pin of ADS1015.

Temperature and Humidity Sensor | HDC1080

  • The HDC1080 is a digital humidity sensor with integrated temperature sensor that provides excellent measurement accuracy at very low power.
  • Relative Humidity Accuracy ±2% (typical)
  • Temperature Accuracy ±0.2°C (typical)
  • The HDC1080 connected to Raspberry Pi via I2C. The I2C address is 0x40.
  • The heat produced by R.Pi heating up may cause the sensor to display a few higher degrees than the ambient temperature.


  • The relay for controlling high voltage and current.
  • Relay control pin is GPIO37. When this pin is HIGH, the relay is switched and connected C and NO pins. When GPIO37 is LOW state or unused, it connects C and NC pins.WARNING! : This relay and traces can handle up to 120W or 5 Amps. Pushing the limits will produce heat and definitely harm the circuits and shield. Recommended maximum contact ratings:
    • 12V DC – 5A
    • 24V DC – 5A
    • 120V AC – 1A
    • 220V AC – 0.5A

Isolated Inputs

  • Two isolated by optocouplers inputs available on the shield. Recommended max. GPIO voltage level of Raspberry Pi is 3.3V. Reading higher than 3.3V voltage inputs are harmful to your Pi and will definitely destroy the circuits.
  • The upper limit of these inputs is 15V, between 3.3V and 15V is readable. GPIO pins are normally pulled up, when a voltage applied to isolated inputs, GPIO pins go LOW state.
  • The input’s (sensor, switch etc) ground must be connected to optocoupler’s G input to complete the isolated circuit.

External I2C Header

When you need to add an external I2C thing, you can use these I2C connectors. 3.3V VCC and GND pins provided too. It has pull-up resistors.

1-Wire Header

There are lots of sensors which have 1-Wire connection standard (DS18B20 etc.) in the market. The 1-Wire connector has VCC, DATA and GND pins. You can easily connect a 1-wire sensor with these pins. Data pin directly connected to GPIO4 and has a 4.7K pull-up resistor.


Raspberry Pi NB-IoT Shield Dimensions

3D Design Files

You can download the 3D design files(STEP, IGES) of the Sixfab Raspberry Pi NB-IoT Shield from this Github repository.

Package Includes

  • 1x Sixfab Raspberry Pi NB-IoT Shield
  • 1x Mini Flat Head Screwdriver for Connection Terminals


You may find your questions in F.A.Q under support menu. If you didn’t find the answer to your question, please feel free to ask us via contact form.


User Manuals


Github Repository

The Raspberry Pi NB-IoT Shield Github Repository contains the libraries and codes are used in tutorials, hardware files and more.


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