SIM7000A project not registering with Ting

I have a project which originally used a SIM808 module and I have it working perfectly.  Problem is sim808 is 2G, and 2G is going away soon, so I upgraded to the SIM7000A - this board in fact: http://www.and-global.com/index.php/product/SIM7000A%20Breakout.html

All I want to do is send SMS messages.  I can get the board to register with a SIM from Hologram, but I don't like Hologram.  Has anyone has luck with a SIM7000A and Ting?  I am getting a network registration Denied.  When I put the same SIM in my phone it works.

Something that might be relevant is from this conversation: https://help.ting.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/210752947-Problems-accessing-the-Adafruit-IO-system-with-the-GSM-SIM-X1-card-

where I see a Ting representative saying:
"When you try to use the network, I am assuming you are trying to connect to LTE.. Have you tried switching the channel to 3G instead? Usually with hotspots on our GSM network, you will need to have a 3G connection instead of an LTE connection. Let us know if this worked out, if not we might need to do some live extensive troubleshooting over either a chat or a phone call."

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  • This is what Mitch sent me over email (thank you Mitch!).  Unfortunately I had to switch to Hologram's SMS-over-IP embedded API.  RIP 2G : (
    -----
    While it supports LTE FCC Band 12, it's not been approved to use VoLTE (SMS over LTE) on T-Mobile, and it pretty specifically doesn't support 2G (aka GSM 1900), which means it's not connecting to the 2G SMS network at all.
     
    For reference, T-Mobile uses LTE 2/4/12/66/71 for data, LTE 12 (with T-Mo VoLTE certification) for 4G talk/text and GSM 1900 for 2G talk/text. Alex is right that the plain old SMS us provided by the 2G network when there's no VoLTE on the device.
     
    So, while the SIM7000A will support a data connection on T-Mobile, it won't support any form of SMS or voice call, as it's missing the 2G frequency and the VoLTE certification on LTE 12.
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  • Hello Group - I can corroborate all of the symptoms of using a Ting SIM in my Botletics SIM7000A shield.  I can communicate with the Shield over my USB serial port and get "access denied" when I try and connect with the network.  (Exactly as described above.)  And for what it is worth, the Ting sim card works perfectly on my SIM900 Shield (2G/3G communication entirely via SMS).

    Mitch's comments above were very enlightening - Thank you to everyone involved for helping me understand the reason behind my problem as well.

    So, my remaining question is "Which low-cost sim cards will a) enable my SMS text based communication, and b) work with the SIM7000A shield?

    My Arduino project is controlling & monitoring a remote water storage tank that typically requires about 1,300 text messages per month - which costs about $15/mo using the SIM900 with the Ting sim card (very reasonable).  I checked the data plans of the Hologram sim and it costs $0.19/outgoing text.  So using the Hologram sim with the SIM7000A Shield would push my network costs beyond $100/mo! 

    Any and all suggestions are welcome (and many thanks in advance),
    -Dave S.

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  • Based on this blog post: https://ting.com/blog/nb-iot-whats-narrowband-iot/

    It looks like Ting supports LTE NB-IoT which is basically not rolled out in the US yet, and I'm wondering if Ting supports LTE Cat-M1 if not maybe that's my problem...

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  • Hey Josh,

    Do you have the IMEI of the SIM7000A? Can you send it to me at mitch@ting.com so I can verify what bands it's supposed to be able to connect to?

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  • I am having the same problem. I am using a SIM7000a module and a Ting SIM card. When I try to get network status, I get "Denied".

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  • Its likely the connection issue is a lack of access to Band 71 on that device as that is what is used for LTE NB-IoT and because of its lack of 2G/3G access standard SMS will also be an issue.

    You could move the SIM to another device to confirm it functions and it in theory should be able to connect to data over bands 2,4,12 but this would require some kind of interface to enter the Ting APN settings.

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  • @Dave, you should use Hologram's SMS-over-IP embedded API: https://hologram.io/docs/reference/cloud/embedded/#sending-sms-over-ip-via-the-hologram-cloud

    that was you can send hundreds of SMSs for a matter of a few dollars / month.  Their example would be better shown as something like:

    printf 'S________+15125551111 Hello\\nSMS!' | nc -i1 cloudsocket.hologram.io 9999

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  • SMS-over-IP is probably the smart solution, even if it means you can't use our SIM cards for the 7000A.

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  • Joshua and Mitch,

          I really appreciate your comments above.  Being a novice in the telecom universe, the high level guidance on "software architecture" really saves me a huge amount of time.  Mitch - I want you to know that Ting has been extremely helpful to me in getting my current 2G and 3G architecture working great. 

    Joshua - I followed your link to the Hologram overview page and read through it.  I saw this message in the section you referred me to read;

    Note ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SMS-over-IP is no longer supported and requests will receive an error from the Hologram Cloud endpoint. For device-originated outbound SMS, customers may continue to use circuit switched SMS with Hologram IoT SIMs.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As I understand it, I will only be billed for outbound (device originated) texts - which can use the circuit switched SMS messages via Hologram (i.e. your recommendation).  Texts received by the device are NOT billed on the Hologram plan and are received by the Shield in a manner similar to the 2G SIM900 shield that I am currently using. 

    Is my understanding correct?  In your opinion, will this method remain viable for the next 5+ years?

    My next steps will be to purchase a Hologram SIM and get my Botletics SIM7000A to connect to the network AND dive in to get the Shield to send and receive texts to my personal cell phone.  Once that is working, I will modify my Arduino Uno controller code to use the SIM7000A Shield instead of my current SIM900 Shield.

    Thanks again,
    -Dave S.

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  • Well (*&#$%ing fantastic.  Hologram is ending support for new customers. See the last couple posts here https://community.hologram.io/t/is-it-possible-to-include-n-in-sms-ovef-ip-using-the-embedded-api/3556/24 

    Thank you for alerting me to this, because I would have started sending out beta testing units soon and they would NOT have worked.  This ending of support JUST happened.

    This means my product is *&#$%ed until I either find yet another cell+SMS service provider (Soracom won't do it, maybe Telnyx?) or I learn how to develop mobile apps, which I have NO interest in.  Man #*&$ this.  

    So much for having an idea and figuring out the implementation.  I guess it's necessary to nail down every bit of implementation feasibility before actually even thinking about any other part of the business, yet I know this is not how businesses think.  I'm so pissed.

    Apologies to Ting for having to host this rant.  I still wish I could use Ting's service even though it'd be a couple $ more per month.

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  • We're totally okay with hosting the discussion, because it's a discussion worth having. 

    My clunky workaround to embedded modules has been Twilio, but only because it works REALLY well with the service delivering my messages, Home-Assistant.

    For you guys, there aren't that many 2G/3G talk&text providers left in the US that would allow SIM-first registration. Maybe an AT&T SIM would do it while they still have their 3G network up and running. The cheapest way I've found to get on their network is through AT&T Prepaid or RedPocket. Don't go with FreedomPop GSM, as they use VOIP and their SIMs are not provisioned for SMS over the network by default.

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  • Thank you.  The SIM7000 series is LTE, which I understand is "maybeish more than 3G or kind of 4G but not exactly" from the reading I've done.

    Soracom says:

    The following sending and receiving conditions are not supported:

    • Sending SMS from an Air SIM to a non-Soracom SIM device (such as a personal smartphone)
    • Receiving SMS from a non-Soracom SIM device (such as a personal smartphone)

    Now I'm looking at Telnyx and Twilio.  I don't know if all the code Twilio requires will fit on an Arduino Nano and Telnyx stuff is fairly confusing because their "phone numbers" and SIMs are... different... at least than how Hologram does things.

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