NB-IOT on Boron with Vodafone V-SIM in Europe?

I’ve seen a lot of conflicting statements about the Boron and NB-IOT. I know out-of-the-box it only supports LTE-M with the embedded SIM.

I’m trying to use the Vodafone Ireland NB-IOT network which is fully rolled out here.

I’ve followed the published steps to setup an external SIM using:

Cellular.setCredentials(“ciot.vodafone.com”, “vodafone”, “vodafone”);

But I just get flashing green and it never connects.

The ublox module supports the required LTE CAT-NB1 Band B20 but is there something extra needed on the Particle side of it to actually connect to NB-IOT?

I’ve tried it in a few different cities with no success.

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Did you also add the call to


You’ll need to set both the active SIM and setCredentials. Make sure you use SYSTEM_THREAD(ENABLED) or SYSTEM_MODE(SEMI_AUTOMATIC) otherwise your code in setup() won’t execute.


However, it still might not work. LTE Cat NB1 (NB-IoT) is not officially supported on the Boron LTE.

In a future version of Device OS, support for LTE Cat NB1 may be turned off by default because of an issue in the u-blox SARA-R410M-02B modem on the Boron LTE. Leaving the modem in auto-switching mode causes the inability to connect to LTE Cat M1 networks in certain cases so it will likely be set to default to LTE Cat M1 only in the future.

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Thanks for the heads up on the future changes. Yes I used the code from that page, just with the extra credentials in the Cellular.setCredentials() call.

@conoro: Just to add my experience in that department. I had the same idea as you, i.e. trying to get the Boron LTE to work in Europe, after I read that Vodafone had finished their roll-out of their NB-IOT here in Italy.
I actually have two Borons, namely the LTE version, which I bought initially (which I enthusiastically pre-ordered when the 3rd generation devices were still to come out and I had not yet realized that LTE CAT M1 coverage was still scarce in Europe (and not existent in Italy)), and a 2G/3G version which I bought after I found out that and why the LTE one did not want to connect.
Anyway, I got the Vodafone V-SIM card, which they tout for IOT applications, and followed the instructions for 3rd-party SIMs as pointed out by @rickkas7 (https://docs.particle.io/support/particle-devices-faq/electron-3rdparty-sims/#setting-up-a-3rd-party-sim-card-boron, but adding the Vodafone specific APN and credentials in the code ( Cellular.setCredentials(“ciot.vodafone.com ”, “vodafone”, “vodafone”);). I can confirm that: (a) the V-SIM worked immediately with the 2G/3G Boron, but (b) even using the same workflow, same code, and same SIM I did not manage to get the LTE Boron connected. Consequently, it seems that the LTE version does not work on Vodafone’s NB-IOT network (unless the V-SIM actually not meant for the NB-IOT network). For the sake of completeness, as I am living a bit “outside”, I have yet to try different locations, e.g. in an urban center, will keep you posted).

@hbierau Thanks for that! I am wondering about the V-SIM too. I’ve tried it on a Chinese SIM7020E board with no success. I didn’t get any clarity from Vodafone Ireland on whether the SIM is NB-IOT compatible or not.

@conoro Same here, I was looking through their stuff on the V-SIM website, but there was little technical details and no specific reference to NB-IOT.