A nifty, industry standard IoT developer board that allows you to utilize LTE-M networks with integrated GPS, Accelerometer and Magnetometers, Grove Connectors, JST connectors and Arduino compatible open source software that allows for low-power applications.

This getting started targets the SODAQ SARA Arduino Form Factor (AFF) R412M device. Probably other AFF and SFF SODAQs with an R41xM module will work, but we did not test them (yet). If you share your experiences with one of these devices, we can update this manual!

This getting started will give you step by step instructions to get your KPN Things M2M developer kit connected to KPN Things!

1. Get everything you need

Before we start, you should check if have all necessary components:

  1. KPN Things SIM card

  2. SODAQ SARA AFF R412M Board

  3. PCB Antenna

  4. LiPo Battery

Request test SIM cards

After registration there is another step in order to receive test SIM cards, since we don't know your home address yet to send them to! After registering and logging in for the first time, click on the link in the M2M is now available in KPN Things! notification box on the home page and follow the directions.

You will receive your test SIM cards in a couple of days. The SIM cards will be added to your Portal account already, ready to go!

2. Prepare your development environment (Arduino IDE)

This part of the manual is based on the Getting Started of SODAQ.

Setup your Arduino IDE

With the Arduino IDE we will write our code and program it on the Device.

  • Download the Arduino IDE and follow the installer.

  • Open your freshly installed Arduino IDE.

Download the board configuration files for Sodaq boards

When your IDE is all started, execute the following steps to install the Sodaq board configuration files.

  • Click on File > Preferences

  • At the bottom you should see Additional Boards Manager URLs. This is where you need to paste the following URL:

After adding the URL, your preferences screen should look like this:

  • Close the preferences screen with OK

  • Click on Tools > Board:… > Boards Manager

  • Search for SODAQ.

  • Click on SODAQ SAMD Boards and an install button will appear.

  • Click Install to install the latest version of your selected board collection.

  • When the installation is done, click Close.

3. Prepare your Device

Assemble your Device

Step 1: Insert the KPN Things SIM card.

Step 2: Connect the antenna. Push the connector straight on the board.

Step 3: Connect the battery to the right terminal on the board, the one stating BATT.

Step 4: Connect the USB cable to the left USB port, the one next to the SIM card slot.

Make sure you connect your battery when using the board, else the module won't work correctly!

Configure your Arduino IDE

  • From the Tools menu, under Board, select the correct board type:


Board type

SODAQ SARA Arduino Form Factor (AFF) R412M


  • Also from the Tools menu, under Port, make sure the correct COM port is selected. If you have multiple options, select the one stating SODAQ SARA.

If none of your ports is labelled that way, disconnect your SODAQ, reopen the menu, check which COM port disappeared, reconnect the SODAQ and choose the previously identified COM port.

Upload test sketch

With this test sketch we are going to check whether your Device works.

  • Copy the passthrough example code from the following SODAQ documentation page:

  • Paste the passthrough example code in you Arduino IDE.

  • Uncomment the third line, since you have a u-blox R4xx module

  • From the Sketch menu, click Upload to send the software to your SODAQ.

If all went well it will say the following in the bottom of the Arduino IDE:

Verify XXX bytes of flash with checksum.
Verify successful
done in XXX seconds
CPU reset.
  • Meanwhile, from the Tools menu, open the Serial Monitor

  • In the Serial Monitor, select Both NL & CR and set the baud rate to 115200 baud (#1 in the screenshot below).

    • #2 in the screenshot above illustrates where you can enter commands to be sent to the u-blox module that sits on your Development board.

    • #3 shows where you will see the responses from the module.

  • Use the command AT+GSN to get the IMEI of your module.

    • You will be needing this value when registering your Device in the next step of this getting started.

  • Additionally, with the command ATI9 you can check your firmware version.

The latest firmware version for the R412 is M0.10.00,A.02.14 (as of November 2020)

Available commands



Expected response


Communication test



Firmware version

Some ID.


Check signal quality

No connection: +CSQ: 99,99

Good connection: value around 20


Fetch IMEI of module

The SODAQ passthrough documentation gives some more available commands. All available commands can be found in the SARA-R4 AT commands manual of u-blox.

4. Register your Device to KPN Things

Open the KPN Things Portal

Open the KPN Things Portal. Go to the All Devices page and click on Add new Device.

Fill in your device information

  1. Select the Own M2M device device type.

  2. Enter a name for your SODAQ device.

  3. Click Add Device to continue.

Provide Network Information

Now enter the M2M specific information of your Device.

  1. IMEI of your Device. This value is printed on your u-blox module:

2. ICCID of your SIM card. This value is printed on your SIM card. Select the correct SIM card from the drop down.

If you have an Early access SIM, you choose the option "Add early access SIM" and enter the ICCID of the SIM manually in the newly appeared input field.

3. Shared secret - a kind of password for the future data coming from your Device. Here you should come up with a unique password containing at least:

  • One lower case character.

  • One upper case character.

  • One number.

  • One special character.

  • 32 characters in total.

The shared secret should also be programmed into your Device in step 5.

4. Click Add Network Info to save the network information and then Finish to continue.

Learn more about M2M in KPN Things.

5. Program your device to send a message

In this step we are going to flash the Device with a program to send data to KPN Things.

Download the ThingsML and Sodaq libraries

The ThingsML library will provide code for your Device to communicate with KPN Things. The SODAQ libraries will provide code to interface with the components on the development board.

  • From the Tools menu in your Arduino IDE click on Manage Libraries...

  • Now, in the Library Manager, wait for all libraries to load.

  • Then search and install the following libraries:

    • ThingsML

    • Sodaq_LSM303AGR

    • Sodaq_R4X

    • Sodaq_wdt

  • When the installations are finished, click Close.

Upload the example sketch

This example will read the board temperature from the onboard thermometer and send it to KPN Things every 60 seconds.

From the File menu, click on Examples. Now find ThingsML, then select sodaq, and within that choose sara_aff_temperature.

Fill device identifiers in example code

Look for the following part in the example code and fill in the missing values:

 * Configuration
#define DEVICE_URN      "urn:dev:IMEI:--fill-me--:"
#define DEVICE_KEY      "--fill-me--"

/* ... */
#define APN             "--fill-me--"
  • Device URN should be completed with the IMEI of your Device.

    • Make sure you leave the trailing colon : in place in the DEVICE_URN variable!

  • Device Key should be filled with the Shared secret of your Device.

  • APN should be filled with one the following value two values. Your SIM card is one of two types, which you can see in the Connectivity list in KPN Things.

    1. For M2M Easy use kpnthings.iot

    2. For M2M Advantage use kpnthings2.m2m

Roughly: If you received your SIM card after June 2023, it's most likely an M2M Advantage.

Run the sketch

  • Upload the sketch to your Device and open the Serial Monitor. The device will report some of the setup steps it will perform:

Console open
Turning on modem...
Connecting to network...

This means your Device is trying to connect to our LTE-M network. After some seconds the following lines will appear:

Network connected
Sending message...
Receiving message...
Message response length: 97
Message response:
HTTP/1.1 202 
Date: Tue, 03 Nov 2020 13:42:47 GMT
Content-Length: 0
Connection: keep-alive

Message sending finished.
Modem off


This means your Device has join our network and has sent its first uplink message to KPN Things!

Check incoming data in the Portal

Now your Device has connected to the network and is sending data, you should visit the Device Detail Page in the Portal of the Device you created in step 4.

In the connectivity block, you should see that the last message time indicates that KPN Things just received a message from your Device!

6. Setup data flow in KPN Things

You now successfully connected your M2M device to KPN Things! To further setup your data flow in KPN Things, you should can go to the next step:

Configure a flow

More information

Interested in expanding the example sketch to make the Device do exactly what you want? Use the following references to find more information on Things code and SODAQ code:

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