I heard about the Banana Pi in Linux User and Developer magazine. I was intrigued by the increased RAM and faster processor compared to the Raspberry Pi, especially since the Raspberry Pi is sluggish from time to time.
The easiest way to connect a GSM module to a Raspberry Pi would be to buy a breakout module, install some software, and connect to a mobile network with a Pi. Need GPS, too? That’s a whole other module, with different software.