(usual disclaimer: I’m not associated with the mentioned company or companies in any way other than as a user. Mentioned company names do not constitute or imply recommendation, endorsement or favouring.)
In this year, the Quectel modem BC95 became one of the first 3GPP rel13 certified and available LTE Cat-NB1 (‘NB-IoT’) modem. Tekmodul now sells a BC95-B8 (900MHz) and its eval kit for less than half the regular price (likely until Aug 31?) (ca. 36EUR, 29.95EUR net); modem itself is about 15EUR.
BC95 does not feature a GPRS fallback, but it is dead cheap. Btw, the shrouded 2x10 header on the right is an ARM JTAG (!). The modem is on a seperate PCB, and the evaluation kit PCBA can also hold some other Quectel modules.
more to follow, when I find some time…