GPS/GSM/GPRS project newbie question

Hello, I am a newbie so forgive me on my lack of knowledge. I am trying to make a gps tracker that can send real time location data to a server. I am using an Arduino Nano 33 Iot, a GT-U7 and a SIM 800L. This project needs to remain as small as possible. I have tested the gps and it is working properly. I am having trouble with testing the SIM800L. It will not respond to the AT commands. My question though is there a GSM/GPRS device (that is small) that would work better than the SIM800L? I was looking at the ESP32 SIM800L or a Particle Boron LTE, I understand it is based off of an Arduino microcontroller but with easier connection to their own server? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.