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Quectel Modules with the Twilio Narrowband SIM

Cellular modules covered on this page

Super SIM

If you are looking for information related to using Quectel modules with Super SIM, please see this document.

Firmware updates

Firmware updates for Quectel cellular modules are typically available through Quectel support. Please reach out to your Quectel representative or Quectel Support for assistance with firmware updates.

General getting started information

Please refer to the main Knowlegdebase page for modem-independent configuration tips.

Modifying the following parameters can have an adverse affect on connection times immediately following their execution. They restart the network scanning process even if the newly set value is the same as the previously set value. This restart can also discard the cellular modem’s affinity to the previously connected network, causing the modem to scan all visible networks again.

We recommend querying the values of these parameters in your initialization code and only setting values when changes are needed. This will help ensure the correct configuration is being used and allow the modem’s connection process to proceed normally if the correct values are already set.

Twilio Narrowband can be made accessible by setting iotopmode to 1: AT+QCFG="iotopmode",1,1.

Operator selection

Calling AT+COPS redundantly can adversely affect connection times. We recommend using automatic operator selection: AT+COPS=0.

Calling AT+COPS=0 when the operator mode is already set to automatic can cause the modem to perform a user re-selection process. This will disconnect from the current/previously connected network and restart the connection process.

Similarly, using AT+COPS=2 to temporarily deregister from the network will result in the current/last connected network to be disregarded upon returning to a registered state and require a scan of available networks. If your application needs to deregister from the network for power reasons, we recommend you consider using AT+CFUN=0 and AT+CFUN=1 to accomplish a similar result without the loss of the previously connected network information.

Low-power modes

While the BG96 supports low-power modes for eDRX and PSM, support for these features will vary by visited network and location. The commands for each of these settings are:

  • eDRX: AT+CEDRXS
  • PSM: AT+CPSMS

Using these features, but especially PSM, can make the modem inaccessible to the terminal during its sleep time. It’s best to experiment with these features with the modem local. To disable all power saving, send:

AT+CEDRXS=0
AT+CPSMS=0

You can learn more about implementing these modes in our low-power usage documentation.

Known issues

1. DNS servers may not be provided by the network with the Twilio Narrowband SIM

Modem firmware versions prior to BG96MAR03A06M1G may not receive valid DNS servers upon connection. Affected versions include, but are not limited to, BG96MAR02A06M1G and BG96MAR02A07M1G.

This issue does not impact GSM connections maintained by the Narrowband SIM.

This issue can be observed by connecting to the network and executing the following commands, noting the 0.0.0.0 DNS addresses:

AT+QICSGP=1,1,"iot.nb"
OK
AT+QIACT=1
OK
AT+QIACT?
+QIACT: 1,1,1,"x.x.x.x"
OK
AT+QIDNSCFG=1
+QIDNSCFG: 1,"0.0.0.0","0.0.0.0"
OK

Attempts to resolve a host name to an address will fail:

AT+QIDNSGIP=1,"www.twilio.com"
OK

+QIURC: "dnsgip",565

Recommended solution Update the BG96’s firmware to version BG96MAR03A06M1G or above.

Workaround Provide DNS servers manually after connection with the following command:

AT+QIDNSCFG=1,"8.8.8.8","8.8.4.4"

This example uses Google’s DNS servers, but you can use the DNS service of your choice.

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