TelstraDev Exclusive - Arduino MKR NB 1500 for $119 – Plus 10MB Free Data Per Month (up to 29/09/2019)


TelstraDev is now selling the Arduino MKR NB 1500 devkit for $119AUD. Each MKR NB 1500 board comes with a CATM1-enabled SIM with 10MB of free data per month (up until 28/08/2019). This board and introductory offer is available exclusively on TelstraDev ( Upon purchase you will also get access to Telstra’s Connected Things API (, enabling you to query your SIMs, data usage and session information for your devices.
Further, upon registration on TelstraDev, you will also get 1,000 free SMS/MMS through our Messaging API.

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  • +5 votes

    so what is it and what do you do with it?

    • +2 votes

      Arduino with mobile data connectivity, low power consumption.

    • +7 votes

      Arduino is the guy who won My Kitchen Rules Italy. He is now using his Instrafame to pivot into global leadership on low powered, low data, things that connect to the inter tubes. ;)

    • -1 vote

      Hi mtg, this is a developer board from Arduino. This board is designed to connect to CATM1 and Narrowband LTE networks (i.e. Telstra's NB and CATM1 network). From Arduino; "perfect choice for devices in remote locations without an Internet connection, or in situations in which power isn't available (e.g., field monitoring systems)."


      "connect it to Telstra’s world-class CATM1 network"

      Are there Wireless feeds for this puppy "everywhere"…?

      PS Compare to's:

      • Kids plan (12 months: $8.91 / mon incl 1.2 GB data / mon)

      • bigger Kids plan (12 mon: $12.xx incl 5 GB / mon)


    50 whole megabytes of free data is quite generous

    • +10 votes

      roseyhead, Usually this looks like a very low amount of free data, however for an IOT board connecting to NB or CATM1 10MB per month is actually fairly good amount (for the use-cases that IOT boards connecting to these networks generally are used for). For example; sending temperature, or water-level data every few minutes through to a message queue would use very little data in a given month.


    I agree for the device cost to be billed to my preferred monthly billing method…

    Does this mean you need to have a TelstraDev billing account to purchase?


      alvian, You can purchase the device on your Credit Card, or if you're a Telstra Business Customer (not a consumer customer) you can purchase the device and be billed for it through your Telstra Bill.


        So, if one does Not have a Telstra a/c at all…
        "Freedom from Telstra usually is Great!"
        they can't get one (for this device)?!?


          Only Telstra can dream-up an
          "Business credit cards ONLY"

          "This is How we [Divide &] Connect"

          "Telstra is Trump's kinda business"



  • +4 votes

    (Note - I worked on certifying this board, not selling it) If you do get the board, there are code samples to program it here:
    It uses the Arduino IDE to program. I would recommend for people that have programmed an Arduino Uno but now want to an always connected device. Coverage is similar to the Telstra LTE network now using the Cat M1 network. It is firmware upgradeable to the NB IoT network (available later this year). It is in the new MKR form factor that is half the size of the old Arduino Uno boards.


      thats an overpriced Arduino Uno you can get multiple arduino Uno for this price


        You must be new here…

        • Telstra's "Free" isn't
      • +2 votes

        Yes, you can get an Arduino Uno for cheaper, however the differentiator here is the CATM1 and NB network chip (Ublox Sara-R410M-02B wireless radio module). I think you'll find this is one of the cheapest MKR NB 1500's you'll find.


          So what project would you use this for?


            @asa79: asa79, some of the feedback we've had from developers is;
            -agricultural (e.g. I have paddocks that are remote from WiFi and cable connections and I need to regularly measure water levels for stock water troughs)
            -transport (e.g. telemetry, like location data, on vehicles). Telstra is actually running a Innovation Challenge in conjunction with LinFox Transport with this board -
            -Other field monitoring systems (e.g. temperature measurement).

            Mostly you're looking at use-cases where low-power and more remote network access is needed, or the device regularly moves around and requires constant network connectivity. This does need to be balanced with the low bandwidth of CATM1 and NB networks.
            I hope that helps!

        • +1 vote

          Ublox Sara module - more expensive than Quectel BG96..

      • +1 vote

        it is way more powerful than an Uno, the point was its coding in Arduino C. the MCU and comms module are way more advanced with a faster processor, memory, capabilities, on-board sensors, extensibility, it has built-in MQTT client in the comms module which frees up resources on the MCU, also a LwM2M client in the works for commercial quality device management, it's using the same components that we use in commercial products so it's much closer to a commercial quality prototype.


    My understanding is there is also some cost per device/sim to access the network?

    • +3 votes

      incipient, There is a cost for the device ($119 inclusive of GST). With each device purchased you will get an antenna, a SIM and 10MB per month of free usage on the CATM1 Telstra network.
      We are yet to release data plans for CATM1 (and Narrowband) through TelstraDev, although we expect to announce these sometime over the next few months (TBA).


    your really paying for the sim card, which can be really good if you using this in a car with a Bluetooth ODBC adapter and GPS Logger, so you can see realtime status of your vehicle, but you will use up the 10mb very quickly


    10MB data is not enough for most useful projects, so I would say getting a $10 sim card per month and a D1 Mini with USB Modem would still be cheaper

    • +1 vote

      if you are building real IoT projects then you are sending bytes of data (not KBs) and optimising the connection time to the network to maximise battery life when your device is deployed in the field.


        This is the amount of traffic my D1 Mini has sent in the last 10 days

        Web File Transfer 1.81 MB 2.58K
        HTTP 113 KB 378


          i use groups of cheaper wireless sensors like those to connect to gateways like this MKR 1500 board to back haul the data to a cloud service.

          you can reduce payload size drastically using lighter weight messaging protocols like MQTT. you can use data flow managers like Node-RED to convert the MQTT telemetry to whatever protocol and payload format you need.

          The advantage of Cat M1 boards is that you can take them anywhere and it connects (not just in your WiFi range), with the upcoming NB IoT firmware updates you will also get extended connections in very remote areas (replacing LoraWAN or SIgfox).

          DM me if you need any help with coding devices or services to connect them.

  • +1 vote

    This is pretty cool that Telstra is encouraging nerdy dev… which i had the time to be a dork again.

  • +1 vote

    Thanks, grabbed one. Any rough indications/ideas on what the sim cost will be going forward? Something like a PAYG/$0 month option would be good.


      Although we haven't released plans through TelstraDev yet (and also plans specific to CATM1 and Narrowband), the only non-TelstraDev plans are Telstra's business M2M data plans, which you can see here;
      As soon as we have plans available we will publish them on TelstraDev.
      PAYG is definitely what we will be pushing for as this is part of ensuring people can get started without any locked in prices.

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