Did you actually read the datasheet, or just do a visual scan for example or reference schematics ?
The datasheet mentions the Teseo suite (click !) which should help you configure the GNSS solution.
I'd get that software and play with it to see what you can learn from it (you might not learn anything if the suite requires an actual piece of hardware connected to your system).
Hmm, the suite's 2017 datasheet tells you the software was created for windows XP and Windows 7...
This datasheet also tells you the software is able to read, erase and write the internal configuration EEPROM, so that is a direct answer to one of your questions.
Maybe you should start with this tool before you spend any money.
Thanks for the comments. And to answer your question, I did not do an in-depth read of the datasheet. I see the remark about EEPROM, I am not familiar with this so I will have to do some reading but it sounds as if this portion of the circuit is necessary.
Hmm I was not expecting to have to go through a software for communications...
I can't do windows, but would it help if I wired this module to a Linux machine like Rpi through UART comms? I see that is what most GNSS module tutorials are doing. Does ESP just lack the configuration necessary to easily communicate with this module?
In the past I have used this code to find latitude and longitude on Rpi for a similar GNSS module.
serialPort1 = serial.Serial(port1,baudrate = 115200, timeout = 0.5)
if str.find('GGA') > 0:
msg = pynmea2.parse(str)
latitude = round(msg.latitude,8)
longitude = round(msg.longitude,8)
latitude = latitude
longitude = longitude
error = 2
print('GPS comms failure')