Looks like I hitched my wagon to the wrong horse. The Microchip module with the XBee-type carrier board is now NRND (not recommended for new designs).
I think I'll still go ahead with an XBee footprint. There is a plethora of so-called "bluetooth bee" products out there that will plug into an XBee socket. Plus, the end-user will have the option of using XBee or wi-fi from the same socket.
Kinda prefer the Click stuff:
Not only do they provide sample code but also the schematics of the modules
Yeah, the Click boards do provide enormous breadth across many kinds of peripherals and accessories. However, the XBee-style interface provides substantial depth in the wireless world. That's why I prefer it in this case.
In the last big mysterybox where the contents were a full sweep of the parallax desktops, I got an XBee dev kit. Digi XBEE 3 cellular smartmodem LTE-M. It is combo cell and bluetooth radios. The free access runs out a few months after registration, but the annual plans are pretty reasonable depending on data needs and carrier. I stayed with the ATT and it runs about $40 per year. Playing with it off and on. There is a newer version out.