I am currently attempting to design a small custom PCB based IoT business cards that communicate over a cellular network for the purpose of impressing employers. Since I will literally be giving these away, price is absolutely critical for my design.
Each card will be sending extremely small amounts of data (less than a kilobyte) over the course of their lifetime so fast transfer speeds are a non issue. Because of this, I was hoping to utilize old Sim900 modules since they are around $8 a piece.
Unfortunately, most 2G networks in the United States have already or are going to shut down very soon. While pricing for access to newer 4G networks isn't a huge deal, the cost of the hardware to utilize them is. It seems that 4G modules cost at a minimum $30 in the amounts that I will be purchasing them. This is about 3 times what I'm willing to pay for my use case.
Are there any 2G networks specifically for IoT devices still around or have most of them shut down at this point? Alternatively, if there is some other technology that I could use to get these cards internet access, I am open to possibly implementing them.