Can Boron be used to recieve and send SMS?


is it possible to use the Boron LTE to send and recieve SMS (with a third party SIM)? if so, is there any tutorial about?

Many thanks

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Much of the behaviors of the Boron are similar to that of the Electron.

With that said, you wouldn’t be able to receive or send SMS with a first party SIM.

I cannot immediately say for certain that a Boron LTE would be able to send SMS with a third party SIM, but I am inclined to believe that it should be able to. @rickkas7 can likely give the final say on this.

I can’t make any promises when Rick will see this and reply, so if you are feeling impatient and a bit adventurous, you should be able to give this a go on your own to see if it behaves well. For setting up a third party SIM with the Boron, you can follow the documentation found at for setting up a third party SIM with your Boron.

From there, I would explore our forums a bit to see others who have tried this with the Electron. I know there is the Twilio method with webhooks. Twilio has an article on this at --I see no reason why you wouldn’t be able to apply this with the Boron as well.

If you happen to try it out, let us know the results! We’d be happy to know how it goes. And if you have any snags, we can certainly try to help out.

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I haven’t checked whether the command set of the ublox module used for Boron LTE supports this, but trying this won’t harm :wink:

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It looks like the SMS commands on the u-blox SARA-R410 are the same, so I’d say there’s a pretty good chance the examples for the SARA-U and SARA-G will work correctly on the SARA-R4 (Boron LTE) with a 3rd-party SIM card, but I haven’t tried it.


Thank you very much! Is there any similar example for listening to incoming SMS?

You can try this

But if you want to make most of this community, you may want to use the search feature of this forum

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Thanks for suggesting this, but I can’t make it work. I’m using a third-party SIM which I know can send text messages when installed in a phone. But sendMessage() always returns -120 for me. (Which is strange because -120 is not one of the documented return values from Cellular.command() )

Have you provided the target number correclty?

It’s not even getting to the point where the target number would matter. Every command I’ve tried, even the setup commands (like Cellular.command(“AT+CMGF=1\r\n”) all return -120.

I believe the problem is that Cellular.command isn’t supported on the Boron yet.

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Well, that would certainly explain it! Is that documented anywhere, and are there plans to support it in the future?

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On another thread, @rickkas7 pointed to the source code (it’s not supported on the Boron):

int cellular_command(_CALLBACKPTR_MDM cb, void* param, system_tick_t timeout_ms, const char* format, …) {


So, for now at least, the answer to the question “Can Boron be used to receive and send SMS?” is “no”

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Thats really a problem…

Is there any date to provide access to cellular. command? Who is the right person to ask?

I notice that SMS is not officially supported on the Boron, nor is it supported on the Auduino MKR NB 1500. Common thread? Both use the u-blox R4 modem, which, according to the u-blox docs, is SMS capable. So…

  1. The R4 modem defaults to numeric response codes, instead of text. The U260 defaults to text codes. Change it with an AT command at the top of your app, and all would be well, if cellular commands were enabled (not yet, I know).

  2. I edited the Arduino GSM SMS library (used on the MKR 1400) to work on the in the MKR NB 1500. to my utter amazement, SMS reception worked! Until it didn’t. And when it didn’t, it locked up the entire modem, the board, everything. Full power cycle required to restart. So I wasn’t really surprised – in retrospect now – to see that SMS is not enabled on the Boron LTE as well. My guess: the modem is buggy, and since it’s pretty much the only one out there in Cat-M1/NB world, companies like Arduino, Hologram (for the Nova modem) and Particle are limited in their choice.

  3. This modem also has an issue opening a TCP socket consistently (needed for uploading data to Hologram). This seems tied to the SMS issue; removing my admittedly amateurish SMS library, and more importantly, all references to the code seemed to stabilize the TCP issue. Still, if the modem disconnects, which happens during holograms frequent backend maintenance intervals, self reconnect does not seem to take place (and, yes, I’ve tried various methods – Even the reset button won’t do it, it seems to want a full power cycle to re-connect).

A little bit of searching on the Arduino forms, u-blox forums, etc., will show that this thing seems a bit buggy.

I very much want/need incoming SMS, using third-party SIM on the Boron LTE. It looks like I will be waiting a while! :slight_smile:

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With next pre-release Cellular.command() will be implemented.

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@michaelm I assume you’re talking about the U-Blox Sara R404, which was a bit of a beta release and only usable on Verizon. The R410 seems much more stable. Or are your woes with an R410?

Sadly, yes, my issues are with the R410. Apologies for my not being accurate with the model number.

Firmware is current on the Auduino MK1500; have not yet formally checked the R410 on the Boron, but it was shipped fresh from the Particle Store this week.

I’m able to connect Cat M on the Arduino 1500 to AT&T here in Michigan (Detroit area) no problem.

The R410 having issues is not good to hear :-(. I guess only time will tell how reliable it is in the operating modes used by particle…
Is there a ublox forum thread that describes some of the issues? Or did you open a ticket directly with ublox?

There is some chatter on the Hologram and u-blox forums about related issues. The conversation includes modem users, as well as board users (Arduino, Particle), so it’s a bit hard to discern a consistent thread / issue. Not a lot of people have their hands on these modems yet, and only some of those really have a big need for SMS. I’ve had the Boron just under a week now (!), so I’ve started here to see what’s known / understood about the issue. Looks like I’ll be joining the u-blox forum as well.

EDIT: Added reference to Hologram support community. Hologram users and employees do try hard over there! :-). u-blox support community seems like users only – no company support that I could discern.

Ah, yes, of course! I should have added that I’m looking for SMS functionality when using an SMS-capable SIM, like Hologram’s. I currently use a Hologram SIM on an Electron 3G – the combination works very well, including incoming SMS (for command processing, which is why I need it).