Couple questions for using MKR 1500 for NB-IoT based projects in Germany?

Hello, I am planning to buy MKR 1500 for my IoT affairs. I tried using NB-IoT in a different country with not yet settled NB-IoT coverage, so it was a waste of money for the time being.

I checked the news: Deutsche Telekom launched NB-IoT in Germany successfully.

  1. But how is your review? Is it working without any problem?
  2. Is Hologram card enough for the operation?
  3. An extra question: MKR NB 1500 comes with Antenna right? Store says it so, but Distrelec sells MKR 1500 by the same price without mentioning antenna. Just wanted to be sure.

Thanks in advance.

I can share some limited experience, cause I'm working with the MKR NB 1500 for some weeks only (in Germany).

(1) It is working using Teleom NB-IoT network. I'm located on the countryside. The signal shows a level of 10 (max. is 31), inside a building. Once the connection ist established, it seems stable.
(2) I'm using a SIM, no experience with Hologram.
(3) Depends on the distributor. The Arduino shops includes an antenna. E.g. the german distributor Reichelt not.


Regarding 3) I received my MKR 1500 from business retailer Mercateo just a few weeks ago. It had no Antenna in the box, but they never mentioned one in the first place.
I had an old firmware from February 2018, which I had to update to one from 2019 (L0.,A.02.04). Only after the update there was a Deutsche Telekom MNO Profile included.
There is even a newer firmware, but that update failed. You have to ask ublox support for the updated firmware.

Do you know if the antenna is mandatory or should I be able to connect to the network anyway? I think at the arduino store they say something of an improvement by 2 dB(i), which is not much, if one thinks of an overall Link Budget of 160 dB.

So far I have no Antenna and couldnt connect to the Telekom network. And as off today the SerialPassthrough Sketch does behave strangely. After the upload I can get sometimes one answer to an AT command, and after that there is no response from the board at all.

@Stefan did you encounter any problems with your MKR 1500 / SARA R410M?

Regarding 3) ...
Do you know if the antenna is mandatory or should I be able to connect to the network anyway?
@Stefan did you encounter any problems with your MKR 1500 / SARA R410M?

I think the antenna is necessary. As far as I know, there ist no other antenna on the PCB. I also found another info here in the forum, where someone had asked the uBlox Support. They also stated that an antenna ist necessary. (Sorry cannot find that thread any more...)

Meanwhile I have tested two boards and Im am not really successfull.
My scetch is mainly consisting of code, that is published here as test scripts. After having established a connection, I am sending data to a webserver using POST method. Sounds not complicated...

Generally this is working. However, after some time (could be hours or days...) the arduino stops sending. So far I could not figure out why. For each logic part of the code, a watchdog takes care.
One part is running without watchdog: The connection to the network. This procedure takes more time than 8s, that's why the watchdog cannot handle it.

I need a system, that is running stable for months. And I don't know how to implement this for the MKR 1500.

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