Custom board using an nRf9160 with Simcard issues

We are using a custom board with an nRf9160, and have tested it with several sim cards.
The board has been tested with a spectrum analyzer and it is able to transmit RF, however, we are not able to receive anything back. The sim cards which have been tested are Hologram, iBasis, and T-Mobile. All cards work on the nRf9160-DK board, but not on the custom board.

The correctly functioning nRf9160-DK board with the iBasis card gives the following results:
%CESQ: 32,1,18,2

The custom board with the iBasis card returns:
%CESQ: 255,0

The custom board with the Hologram sim card returns:
+CEREG: 90
+CEREG: 90

the custom board with the T-Mobile card returns:
%CESQ: 255,0
%CESQ: 255,0


  • Hi Taylor,

    Please run the AT-client sample on the custom board and run through the typical script in the LTE Link Monitor.

    (make sure to have "Automatic requests" enabled in settings)

    Send AT+CFUN=1 and then AT+CFUN? and you should see many different AT commands being sent to the device with responses.

    Then please share the log with me.

    What I am especially interested in is to see e.g. if the modem gets contact with the SIM card at all. 


    There could be an issue with the connection between the SIM card socket and the nrf9160 on your custom board.

    Also, make sure you have the latest modem firmware on the custom board as well. 

    (and that you are trying to connect on the right network (nb-iot or lte-m) AT%XSYSTEMMODE?

    Best regards,

    Martin L.

  • Hi Martin, thanks for the answer. I updated the modem's firmware and after doing that, everything worked and I was able to get the following results.

    2020-01-14T19:45:53.768Z DEBUG modem << *** Booting Zephyr OS build v2.0.99-ncs1-rc1-1162-g9a0a85cf6760  ***\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:45:53.832Z DEBUG modem << Flash region\x09\x09Domain\x09\x09Permis+CFUN: 0\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:45:53.833Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:23.957Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CFUN=1\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:23.999Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.841Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CFUN?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.844Z DEBUG modem << +CFUN: 1\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.849Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.850Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CGSN=1\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.855Z DEBUG modem << +CGSN: "352656100026684"\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.856Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.859Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CGMI\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.864Z DEBUG modem << Nordic Semiconductor ASA\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.865Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.866Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.868Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CGMM\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.872Z DEBUG modem << nRF9160-SICA\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.873Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.874Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.876Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CGMR\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.879Z DEBUG modem << mfw_nrf9160_1.1.0\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.880Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.880Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.881Z INFO Nordic Semiconductor ASA nRF9160-SICA [mfw_nrf9160_1.1.0] SerNr: 352656100026684
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.882Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CEMODE?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.886Z DEBUG modem << +CEMODE: 2\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.888Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.889Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.895Z DEBUG modem >> AT%XCBAND=?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.903Z DEBUG modem << %XCBAND: (1,2,3,4,5,8,12,13,14,17,18,19,20,25,26,28,66)\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.906Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.906Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.909Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CMEE?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.913Z DEBUG modem << +CMEE: 0\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.913Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.914Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.915Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CMEE=1\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.918Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.921Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CNEC?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.925Z DEBUG modem << +CNEC: 0\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.926Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.927Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.929Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CNEC=24\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.933Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.935Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CGEREP?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.939Z DEBUG modem << +CGEREP: 0,0\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.939Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.941Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CGDCONT?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.945Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.946Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CGACT?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.949Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.951Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CGEREP=1\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.955Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.957Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CIND=1,1,1\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.960Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.962Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CEREG=2\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.965Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.966Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CEREG?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.972Z DEBUG modem << +CEREG: 2,4,"FFFE","FFFFFFFF",7\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.973Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.976Z DEBUG modem >> AT%CESQ=1\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.979Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.981Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CESQ\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.985Z DEBUG modem << +CESQ: 99,99,255,255,255,255\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.989Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.990Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.993Z DEBUG modem >> AT%XSIM=1\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.996Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:25.998Z DEBUG modem >> AT%XSIM?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.000Z DEBUG modem << %XSIM: 1\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.001Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.001Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.006Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CPIN?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.010Z DEBUG modem << +CPIN: READY\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.011Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.011Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.013Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CPINR="SIM PIN"\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.023Z DEBUG modem << +CPINR: "SIM PIN",3\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.024Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.025Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.027Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CIMI\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.030Z DEBUG modem << 234507098607243\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.032Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.032Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:26.033Z INFO IMSIdentity: 234507098607243
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.692Z DEBUG modem >> AT%XSIM?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.695Z DEBUG modem << %XSIM: 1\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.698Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.699Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CPIN?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.704Z DEBUG modem << +CPIN: READY\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.706Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.706Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.709Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CPINR="SIM PIN"\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.722Z DEBUG modem << +CPINR: "SIM PIN",3\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.722Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.726Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CIMI\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.729Z DEBUG modem << 234507098607243\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.731Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.731Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:46:42.733Z INFO IMSIdentity: 234507098607243
    2020-01-14T19:47:54.190Z DEBUG modem << %CESQ: 34,1,13,1\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:47:54.195Z DEBUG modem << +CEREG: 2,"6A19","07F98711",7\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:47:54.623Z DEBUG modem << %CESQ: 34,1,18,2\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.714Z DEBUG modem << +CGEV: ME PDN ACT 0,0\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.720Z DEBUG modem << +CNEC_ESM: 50,0\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.724Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CGDCONT?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.725Z DEBUG modem << +CEREG: 5,"6A19","07F98711",7\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.726Z DEBUG modem << +CIND: "service",1\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.727Z DEBUG modem << +CIND: "roam",1\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.731Z DEBUG modem << +CGDCONT: 0,"IP","","",0,0\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.732Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.732Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.741Z DEBUG modem >> AT+CGACT?\x0D\x0A
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.744Z DEBUG modem << +CGACT: 0,1\x0D
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.745Z DEBUG modem << \x0A
    2020-01-14T19:47:55.746Z DEBUG modem << OK\x0D\x0A