Cellular: SMS

The SMS sample demonstrates how you can send and receive SMS messages with your nRF91 Series device.


The sample supports the following development kits:

Hardware platforms


Board name

Board target

nRF9161 DK




nRF9160 DK




nRF9151 DK




When built for a board target with the */ns variant, the sample is configured to compile and run as a non-secure application with Cortex-M Security Extensions enabled. Therefore, it automatically includes Trusted Firmware-M that prepares the required peripherals and secure services to be available for the application.


The SMS sample registers your nRF91 Series device for SMS service within the nRF91 Series modem using the SMS library. The sample requires an LTE connection.

When the sample starts, it sends an SMS if a recipient phone number is set in the configuration. The sample then receives all the SMS messages and displays the information about the messages including the text that is sent.


See Configuring and building an application for information about how to permanently or temporarily change the configuration.

Configuration options

Check and configure the following configuration option for the sample:

CONFIG_SMS_SEND_PHONE_NUMBER - Configuration for recipient phone number in international format

The sample configuration is used to set the recipient phone number in international format if you need to send an SMS.

Additional configuration

Check and configure the following mandatory library options that are used by the sample:

Check and configure the following optional library options that are used by the sample:

Sending traces over UART on an nRF91 Series DK

To send modem traces over UART on an nRF91 Series DK, configuration must be added for the UART device in the devicetree and Kconfig. This is done by adding the modem trace UART snippet when building and programming.

Use the Cellular Monitor app for capturing and analyzing modem traces.

TF-M logging must use the same UART as the application. For more details, see shared TF-M logging.

Building and running

This sample can be found under samples/cellular/sms in the nRF Connect SDK folder structure.

When built as firmware image for a board target with the */ns variant, the sample has Cortex-M Security Extensions (CMSE) enabled and separates the firmware between Non-Secure Processing Environment (NSPE) and Secure Processing Environment (SPE). Because of this, it automatically includes the Trusted Firmware-M (TF-M). To read more about CMSE, see Processing environments.

To build the sample, follow the instructions in Configuring and building an application for your preferred building environment. See also Programming an application for programming steps and Testing and optimization for general information about testing and debugging in the nRF Connect SDK.


In the nRF repositories, building with sysbuild is enabled by default.


After programming the sample to your development kit, test it by performing the following steps:

  1. Connect the kit to the computer using a USB cable. The kit is assigned a COM port (Windows) or ttyACM device (Linux), which is visible in the Device Manager.

  2. Connect to the kit with a terminal emulator (for example, nRF Connect Serial Terminal). See Testing and optimization for the required settings and steps.

  3. Observe that the sample shows the UART output from the device. Note that this is an example, and the output need not be identical to your observed output.

  4. Send an SMS message to the number associated with the SIM card that you have placed into your nRF91 Series device.


    Not all IoT SIM cards support SMS service. You must check with your operator if the SMS service does not work as expected.

Sample output

The following output is logged in the terminal:

*** Booting Zephyr OS build v2.4.99-ncs1-1818-g54dea0b2b530  ***

SMS sample starting
SMS sample is ready for receiving messages
Sending SMS: number=1234567890, text="SMS sample: testing"
SMS status report received

SMS received:
      Time:   21-04-12 15:42:52
      Text:   'Testing'
      Length: 7


This sample uses the following nRF Connect SDK library:

It uses the following sdk-nrfxlib library:

The sample also uses the following secure firmware component: