Been spending about that same amount on ruggedized (IP67) USB cell modems from EuroTech called the ReliaCELL in both 2G and 3G for IoT appliances that may be permanently installed outdoors. I wonder if Hologram is working on a similarly weather-resistant model.
I love that you can attach an external antenna; we install a ground-insulated RP-SMA connector on our enclosure and sell an optional antenna kit for areas with poor reception. However, I’m a little disappointed to see a Hirose U.FL connector on a device marketed as something to hack around with, as they wear out after only a handful of connects/disconnects and have to be replaced. They’re a bit fiddly to begin with and only get worse as they deform. I think MMCX would be a more reliable connector, especially since you can get specialized connectors and passthroughs that won’t vibrate or pull loose and can withstand more connect/disconnection cycles.