Soracom IoT Starter Kit with 3G USB Modem

Welcome!

Cellular connectivity opens up a world of possibilities for IoT development, letting you build devices that can connect to the cloud from almost anywhere — and we're excited to help you get started!

This Starter Kit includes the basic hardware you need to get connected to the cloud through a cellular connection, while letting you develop your IoT application from the comfort of your computer.


Starter Kit Contents

Box Contents


Setup your Soracom Account

Create a Soracom Account

  1. Access the Soracom User Console by visiting: console.soracom.io

  2. Click Sign up.

  3. On the sign up screen, select Coverage Type Global.

  4. Enter your email address, password, and contact information, and click Create account.

    https://console.soracom.io

    Signup

    You should see the following screen:

    Verify

Verify your Email address

A confirmation email will be sent to your email address. Click the link in the email to complete your account creation. If you haven’t received the confirmation email, check your Spam folder, and ensure that you can receive emails from no-reply@soracom.jp.


Register your Payment Information

As Soracom services are post-paid, a credit card is required in order to begin using services. While any fees from Soracom services will be billed to your credit card, your Starter Kit also includes $10.00, enough to cover service fees for this project for approximately 3 months. First, let’s get our payment information set up.

  1. Access the Soracom User Console by visiting: console.soracom.io

  2. Login using your email address and password.

    Login

  3. Click your email address at the top right corner, and select Payment settings:

    https://console.soracom.io

    Payment settings

  4. Click New payment method, and enter your credit card information.

    https://console.soracom.io

    Payment method

    If you have trouble adding your credit card, please try another card, or refer to the Additional Resources and Support section at the end of this guide in order to contact Soracom Support.


Apply your Starter Kit Coupon

Next, let’s add the coupon that was included in the Starter Kit.

  1. Click your email address at the top right corner, and select Manage coupons:

    https://console.soracom.io

    Manage coupons

  2. Then click Register coupon.

    https://console.soracom.io

    Register Coupon

  3. In the popup, enter the coupon code you received, and click Apply.

    Register Coupon

We should now see our coupon balance reflected in our account. At the end of each month, any usage charges will be deducted from our coupon balance (once the balance is used up, charges will be billed to our credit card normally). Now we can continue with building our project—and also try other ideas—without having to worry about initial usage charges.

Your account is now set up! For reference, the following fees apply for this project:

You can suspend or terminate your Soracom SIM card, and disable Soracom Harvest at any time to stop fees associated with this project.


Register your Soracom Global SIM Card

Now that your Soracom account is set up, let’s register the Soracom Global SIM card that was included in this Starter Kit.

  1. Click the Menu button at the top left corner, and select SIM Management.

  2. Click Register SIM.

    https://console.soracom.io

    Register SIM

  3. A dialog will appear asking for the ICCID and PUK of the SIM card. Enter the numbers printed on the back of the SIM card, leaving the Name and Group fields blank for now. Then click Register:

    SIM ICCID and PUK

    SIM Registration

Your SIM card will now appear in the list, and you can confirm it is Ready for cellular connections and currently Offline:

https://console.soracom.io

SIM Registered

If you have trouble registering your SIM card, please refer to the Additional Resources and Support section at the end of this guide in order to contact Soracom Support.

Your SIM card is now ready for use! In addition to registering and managing Soracom SIM cards, the Soracom User Console gives you access to additional Soracom services, such as Soracom Beam and Soracom Lagoon.

Later, we will return to the User Console to configure Soracom Harvest for this project.

For more information on using the User Console, refer to the Additional Resources and Support section.


Setup your 3G USB Modem

Let’s get connected to a cellular network using the 3G USB modem! We need to insert the Soracom Global SIM card into the USB modem, then install the USB modem driver and configure the connection settings on our computer.

Insert the Soracom Global SIM Card

  1. Gently detach the SIM card from the card package as shown below. Note that the card package allows you to detach the SIM card into three different sizes, to fit a variety of devices. As our USB modem uses the largest size, make sure to detach the largest size accordingly.

    Detach SIM card

  2. Next, gently press and slide the cover on the USB modem to open the SIM card slot.

    Open USB modem Open USB modem

  3. Insert your SIM card into the slot as shown below, making sure the angled corner of the SIM card is oriented correctly. When fully inserted, the Soracom logo should still be visible.

    Insert SIM card Insert SIM card

  4. Slide the cover back into place.

Our USB modem is now ready. Plug it into your computer, then continue to the next step to install drivers and configure the connection settings on your operating system.


Windows Installation

  1. Download the MS2131 Windows drivers (Drivers pour Windows, v5.01.13.00) from one of the following links:

  2. Extract the contents of the file, and run the DriverSetup.exe application to install the Huawei MS2131 USB modem drivers to your computer.

  3. Plug the MS2131 modem into your computer.

  4. Open the Start Menu and click Settings to open Windows Settings.

  5. Click Network & Internet, then click the Cellular (or Mobile) menu.

  6. Set the Data roaming options option to Roam. Then click Advanced options.

    Windows settings

  7. From the APN settings section, click the Add an APN button.

    Windows settings

  8. Enter the following APN settings:

    Windows settings

    • Profile name - Soracom Air (or other name)
    • APN - soracom.io
    • User name - sora
    • Password - sora
    • Type of sign-in info - PAP or CHAP
    • IP type - Default
    • Apply this profile - checked

    Then click the Save button.

The modem will try to connect to a cellular network. This may take a minute as the modem searched for available networks. Once connected, the Cellular settings page will look like this, and the cellular connection will also appear in your system tray.

Windows settings

Windows settings

Your MS2131 modem will automatically reconnect even after unplugging the modem from your computer, switching to airplane mode, or rebooting.


Mac OS Installation

  1. Download the MS2131 Mac OS drivers (Drivers pour MAC OS, v6.00.06.00) from one of the following links:

  2. Extract the contents of the file, and run the MobileConnectDriver(6.00.06.00).pkg application to install the Huawei MS2131 USB modem drivers to your computer.

  3. Plug the MS2131 modem into your computer.

  4. Open the Apple menu and click System Preferences... to open System Preferences.

  5. Click Network, then click the button.

    Mac settings

  6. When prompted to choose an Interface, select the HUAWEIMobile-, and enter a Service Name:

    Mac settings

    Make sure to select the interface that includes the hyphen - at the end of the interface name.

    You can provide a different Service Name to help identify the connection.

    Click the Create button.

  7. Click the new Interface, then click Advanced....

    Mac settings

  8. In the Modem section, enter the following settings:

    Mac settings

    • Vendor - Generic
    • Model - GPRS (GSM/3G)
    • APN - soracom.io
    • CID - 1

    Then click the OK button.

  9. Next, enter the following connection settings:

    Mac settings

    • Configuration - Default
    • Telephone Number - *99***1#
    • Account Name - sora
    • Password - sora

    Then click the Connect button.

The modem will try to connect to a cellular network. This may take a minute as the modem searched for available networks. Once connected, the Cellular settings page will look like this, and the cellular connection will also appear in your system tray.

Mac settings

To disconnect, simply click the Disconnect button. You can then click the Connect button to reconnect again later.


Linux Installation

On Linux, the MS2131 3G USB modem is supported in Linux kernel 4.10 and later. No driver installation is necessary, however you will need to follow these steps in order to configure the connection settings.

If you are connecting your modem to a Raspberry Pi, you can find an easy-to-use connection script from the Raspberry Pi documentation.

Here, we are using Ubuntu. If you are using a different Linux distribution, please refer to its documentation for additional information on configuring these connection settings.

  1. Plug the MS2131 modem into your computer.

  2. Click the Network Connections icon, then select Mobile Broadband Settings.

    Ubuntu settings

  3. Enable Mobile Broadband, then click Add new connection.

    Ubuntu settings

  4. In the connection dialog, choose the MS2131 device and click Next.

    Ubuntu settings

  5. Select your Country and click Next.

    Ubuntu settings

  6. Select one of the supported Providers and click Next.

    Ubuntu settings

  7. Next, choose My plan is not listed..., and enter soracom.io as the APN. Then click Next.

    Ubuntu settings

  8. Click Apply to confirm the new connection settings.

    Ubuntu settings

The modem will try to connect to a cellular network. This may take a minute as the modem searched for available networks. Once connected, you will see a connection notification, and the cellular connection will also appear in the network connections menu.

Ubuntu settings

Ubuntu settings


Testing Your Connection

If everything was set up correctly, you should be able to connect to the Internet using the MS2131 3G USB modem. You can disconnect your Wifi and ethernet connections to verify that data is being sent using the cellular network.

Now you can develop your application from the comfort of your computer, and also gain access to all of Soracom's powerful services!


Additional Resources and Support

For complete information on Soracom User Console tools and capabilities, full documentation is available on the Soracom Developer Site.

If you run into any trouble, feel free to submit a support ticket:

  1. Login to your Soracom account.
  2. Click the Support menu and select Contact us. You will be taken to the Soracom Support portal.
  3. At the top of the portal, click the Create a ticket link.