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Can I use NB-IoT SIMs with my Arduino MKR NB 1500?

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Michelle's picture
by Michelle

Can I use NB-IoT SIMs with my Arduino MKR NB 1500?

We've had a few keen devs get their hands on our Arduino IoT starter kit: 


These kits come with a free trial Cat-M1 (LTE-M) SIM card (details in a previous forum post). They are not capable of NB-IoT by default.


The u-blox SARA-R410M-02B embedded IoT module and Arduino board itself ARE compatible for NB-IoT, however they have been officially Telstra certified with this device for Cat-M1 only, so we only provide Cat-M1 as default. The public list of the M2M modules that have been certified to work on Telstra’s network can be found at


If your use case specifically requires NB-IoT connectivity rather than Cat-M1 (see our FAQs for the comparison, or this whitepaper for further details of the 2 different technologies), please contact TelstraDev and we can work to enable Nb-IoT. This will require a re-configuration of your SIM, changing the Radio Access Technology (RAT) of the device, and a possible firmware upgrade to the ublox module. Please keep in mind Cat-M1 is the preferred technology because of its certification.

We also ask that all developments with our network comply with the Wireless Application Developers Guidelines for IoT and Our Customer Terms which can be found online here 


Does your use case require NB-IoT specifically? We'd love to hear from you! Please leave a note below or email us:


Cameron's picture
by Cameron

Hi Michelle, I have seven
Hi Michelle, I have seven MKRNB1500 boards. I have very marginal CAT M1 service and am using MQTT to send data to Azure Central. The SIMS are Telstra 10MB IoT Data SIMS purchased from the Telstra website.
Could you help me please to enable the SIMs and boards to be able to be used on NB. 
I have updated the boards’ modem firmware to A02.16 but this has them locked to CAT M1  if used with Telstra as per the ublox documentation.
Can you assist me to enable the seven SIM’s and boards to be able to be used on NB please and if I can send MQTT data over NB.

Michelle's picture
by Michelle

NB-IoT access with the UBLOX module

Hi Cameron, sorry for the confusion. 

Unfortunately Telstra has tested and certified these devices, and the UBLOX module with that firmware for LTE-M (Cat-M1) only. You can find a list of all the Telstra certified modules for each network technology here:

It includes the UBLOX SARA-R410M-83B for both NB-IoT & LTE-M, whereas the 02B is certified for LTE-M only. If this is not the module you  have, you may need to downgrade/upgrade/rollback to be on a certified module?


I've confirmed that IOT SIMs purchased from the Telstra website should automatically have Cat-M1 AND NB-IoT access. Please check with your Telstra bill, and reach out to the support resources there if you think this is not the case. Unforuntately TelstraDev doesn't have the visibility of any IOT bills, other than the ones purchased from TelstraDev as part of the old Arduino offer. 


In summary, to connect to the Telstra NB-IOT network, the key things you need are:

  • compatible devices - yep, you've got the Arduino MKR NB 1500
  • Telstra certified cellular module - the UBLOX module is certified for 83B but not 02B
  • SIM plan with NB-IoT - if you got the SIM from I think that should be fine, sorry I can't check on my end! 
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