Quickly determine if there is no network coverage

I am using the BG96 in a battery powered device. One problem that we have is that if the device has no way to connect to a network, for example if it is being shipped by air or sea or if it is deep underground, then the BG96 takes a long period of time to fail the network dial up. This is very costly for the battery life, so I wondered if there is a quicker way to determine if there are no cell tower beacons than the normal dial up procedure?

Normally we do this:


And give up if there is no network coverage when “+CxREG: 0,4” or “+CxREG: 0,0” is received. This can take several minutes. Is there a quicker way to determine a no network coverage state?

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For the module to know if there is any available network it has to scan all the possible frequencies and it takes some time. Look for “BG96 Network Searching Scheme Introduction” document for further explanation. There is even a dedicated chapter how to speed up network searching.


Thank you for this information! That document is very useful.