Network coverage in Germany?


after I could not use the nRF9160 DK I bought almost a year ago in Germany due to the missing nb-iot coverage I was very curious about the Thingy91 and I assumed that coverage in Germany, Berlin is possible now? Unfortunately, I can't get an LTE connection in the middle of Berlin. A screenshot of the nRF Connect Tool is attached. During a network search, I always get the following error "Network search failed: Error: 'AT+COPS=?
timed out"

Can you confirm that the Thingy91 works in Germany, Berlin?

Kind regards Jakob

  • Hi Jakob,
    I have personally have had success connecting to the NB-IoT network when I was visiting Munchen last year in December. (I tested with a "1NCE" SIM)

    The solution here is to use a local SIM card that supports NB-IoT in your area on the Thingy:91. (iBasis SIM card has limited support in Germany as for now)
    I would recommend you to get a SIM card from one of the operators in this list that support NB-IoT or LTE-M.

    So the first step is to get a local SIM card to be able to connect to the network. 

    I would also recommend that you update the modem firmware version to the latest one (now it's 1.1.0) for the best experience.

    If you are going to just play around with AT commands I would recommend running the standard AT-Client sample: thingy91_at_client_2019-11-29_d3130d77.hex

    And for the asset_tracker sample, I would recommend that you use thingy91_nbiot_legacy_pco_2019-11-29_d3130d77.hex and turn OFF "Automatic requests" in the LTE link monitor so you do not accidentally send AT commands when it's not suited.

    Another thing to note, you cannot find the network operators in your area unless you are already attached to a network.
    e.g. Here is a test I did at my location with iBasis SIM card, Telia SIM and Telenor SIM on both LTE-M network and on the NB-IoT network:

    As you can see we do not get any networks up when using the iBasis SIM on the NB-IoT network since it's not attached to a network. 

    (The reason it is not attached to the network is that the network does not allow roaming SIMs on their NB-IoT network yet) 

    Best regards,

    Martin L.

  • Hello, Martin,

    thank you for the quick response:

    • I use a local SIM card now
    • I get a short connection (Connected to LTE network\x0D\x0A) see logfiles
    • I would like to try some AT commands but I cannot install the firmware according to the following instructions
    • By pressing SW3 at startup I should be in MCUboot mode
    • The LEDs are not lighting either
    • I can connect to the programmer and select for example thingy91_nbiot_legacy_pco_2019-11-29_d3130d77.hex
    • As soon as I write the software I get the message "Please make sure that the device is in MCUboot mode and try again".
    • Afterward the LED starts flashing blue again
    • I use the programmer under macOS High Sierra
    • What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks for your help.



  • Hi Jakob, 

    Please make sure that you are holding in SW3 when turning the device ON.

    Also, check the version of 'nrfjprog --version'

    Best regards,

    martin L.

Reply Children
  • Hello! Thank you for the valuable post. I was also facing the same issues. I followed the steps as said by Martin in the above steps. But I used the "mfw_nrf9160_1.1.1" modem firmware instead of "mfw_nrf9160_1.1.0". But for the application firmware I used the same which was said by Martin which is named as "thingy91_nbiot_legacy_pco_dfu_2019-11-29_d3130d77.hex". I can see the various sensor data in my "nRF Connect For Cloud" dashboard as shown below:

    NOTE: I am in berlin and I use the SIM of 1NCE and NOT iBASIS which comes default in the thingy91 kit.

    But in my "LTE Link Monitor" desktop app the "Modem" and "LTE" buttons are green as shown in the below picture. But the "UICC", "PDN" and "UART" are red. Please help me in understanding why they are red. Is there something wrong? or do I need to send some AT command in the terminal?

    Thanks and Regards,

    Sritam Paltasingh.

  • Hi Sritam,

    It's nothing wrong with your setup.

    The information on the right-hand side in the LTE Link Monitor as well as the "UICC","PDN ++ values won't be updated unless you receive the information from AT commands from the modem.

    This is made easy if you have "Automatic requests" enabled in the settings.
    This means that you can send the "AT+CFUN?" command and the LTE Link monitor application will run through a script that sends all the necessary AT commands to update the parameters in the right-hand side.

    As long as your application is also running the AT Host library you should be able to do this.

    At_client sample does this, but also most of the examples in NCS has this library enabled as default for easy checking network status etc.