Most of us are familiar with traditional SIM card types, from mini to micro to nano SIMs. These are common in cellular connected hardware. For many types of IoT devices, however, these SIM form factors are impractical. In this article, we will provide guidance on choosing the right SIM form factor; we will specifically examine the advantages of solderable SIMs, also known as embedded SIMs, which are directly mounted on the circuit board (PCB) and cannot be easily removed, like traditional cards. The most common form factor for embedded SIMs is MFF2, a 6x5mm microchip soldered onto your circuit board. We’ll be focusing mainly on these MFF2 SIMs.
Advantages of soldered-down SIM chips
When designing your own connected device, or having a product built especially for you, there is the option to order a SIMs internal electronic brain packaged as a microchip to be soldered onto your circuit …
Microvisor is Twilio’s next generation IoT device builder solution aimed at bringing APIs all the way down to the edge. It will enable the embedded developers of the world to easily build properly secure IoT devices with:
- a lifetime of managed connectivity and security,
- built-in over-the-air upgradeability, and
- true remote application debugging!
For those of you new to Microvisor, here is a video introducing its capabilities:
And we have now reached Private Beta status with this exciting new platform, which means that you can experience Microvisor for yourself!
How to leverage Twilio Microvisor to get your IoT devices connected
The unique feature of the Microvisor approach is that you don’t need to change your way of working to add the Microvisor features into your device.
You develop your embedded application targeting the STM32U5 your way, be that a bare metal application, or built on top of a real time …
Whether you’re a new IoT device builder or have years of experience under your belt, you may not be aware of all the innovation happening around cellular connectivity in particular. For example, did you know that there is a solution that’s overcoming the challenges of legacy carrier or reseller approaches to IoT SIM cards?
Meet Twilio Super SIM. We recently went GA (Generally available) with Super SIM and marked the occasion with a webinar where we summarized what it is and how it solves the challenges of cellular IoT connectivity. Besides the positive feedback, the number of questions from our audience was overwhelming.
We’re addressing your most pressing questions in this blog.
Let’s get started.
Where do you provide coverage maps showing total coverage of Super SIM?
Super SIM offers access to almost hundreds of networks in over 170 countries across various radio access types, including 2G, 3G, 4G-LTE and …
If you’re in the IoT world, you know that machine-to-machine cellular data usage is skyrocketing. The average monthly data usage has nearly doubled in just the last three years. Given that dramatic increase in data usage, it’s also no surprise that one of the most common questions we get here at Twilio is how to most cost effectively manage data plans.
In fact, a recent survey from IDC revealed that when customers looked at data plans, their two top concerns were data costs and pricing models. In fact, managing cost has emerged as a top concern for organizations regardless of use case, deployment location and device fleet size.
Those same customers outlined the primary sources of their data costs:
- 65% of organizations are paying for overages and unused data
- More than 50% of the organizations manage multiple mobile carriers
- For organizations with multiple domestic mobile operators, their top challenge is …
What is IoT connectivity?
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the billions of everyday objects that are now connected to the internet. And the world of IoT is expanding dramatically. IoT technology is being leveraged globally to drive innovation in industries such as healthcare, agriculture, transportation, including connected vehicles, and security. The International Data Corporation (IDC) projected global IoT spending to reach $742 billion in 2020 and predicts the figure will grow 11.3% per year through 2024. Every day, industry leaders are choosing to invest in IoT.
This is a big deal. This behemoth of technology space is changing the world as we know it, shaping how we live, work, and engage with each other and with the physical world. Statista predicts the number of connected IoT devices will triple from 8.74 billion in 2020 to more than 25.4 billion in 2030.
Why does IoT connectivity matter?
If it feels like cellular tech is moving too fast to keep up with, it’s because it’s true! The introduction of 5G—with 6G and beyond already being discussed—means that there’s less space on the spectrum for older networks, leaving those with a fleet of 2G and 3G devices scrambling to upgrade their equipment. IoT-specific networks such as LTE Cat-M are being deployed to more and more regions. Taking this opportunity to upgrade your devices’ IoT SIM cards to a Multi-IMSI architecture and eSIM hardware at the same time will help to future-proof your devices as older technology is phased out and the cost of maintaining outdated hardware increases.
Wait—what’s happening with 2G and 3G?
Carriers are the players who ultimately determine whether or not to transition to a new technology, so the sun is setting on 2G and 3G networks at varying rates across the globe. While the dates vary, …
It is rare that one launches entirely new platforms to the market. At SIGNAL 2020, we announced Twilio Microvisor, a new IoT platform for builders of connected devices, and I can now provide an update on reaching a major first milestone with the Pilot documentation going live today. This will enable any embedded engineer to build their products with Microvisor in mind.
For those of you new to Microvisor, here is a video introducing its capabilities:
The Microvisor development has been progressing at pace and we are well on the way to deliver the first code in a few months’ time. Internally, we have the Microvisor cloud implementation up and running, as well as the OTA upgrade of real devices taking place. The secure device firmware is also racing along, with connectivity, upgrades, and cloud communications all functional.
Hardware wise, the Nucleo form factor development boards have returned from …
The key to running a fleet of reliably connected IoT devices is having the right amount of insight, such as where SIMs are connecting, what networks are rejecting connections, and which SIMs are going rogue in terms of data usage. Without that, you are essentially building your business on hope, not knowledge—a risky proposition.
Performance insight is key
Super SIM is Twilio’s new cellular IoT connectivity platform, offering almost 400 worldwide cellular networks on one SIM. With Super SIM, one of the guiding principles of the product from day one was providing visibility into what’s happening “under the hood” when SIMs try to connect to networks. To help businesses grow and expand their IoT deployments, we created a reliable IoT SIM solution offering global reach, which allows companies to select exactly which networks their device should connect to in each country. So we built our own mobile network core—the …
Did you know that many IoT projects either don’t reach their ROIs as quickly as intended or fail altogether? In fact, only 26% of companies have had an initiative that they considered a complete success and 60% of initiatives don’t even make it past the Proof of Concept stage. Complexity is to blame—complexity stemming from the need to tackle many different layers of technology for a successful IoT deployment, but also complexity within layers such as connectivity itself. This article introduces the cellular complexity challenge, and shows ways to address it.
The cellular complexity challenge
We applaud the availability of cellular networks around the globe, but behind each network are individual carriers, which are commercial businesses in most cases; interoperability, openness, or accessibility are not their top concerns, but it is those attributes that anyone planning to deploy across borders would require for a global implementation that remains manageable and …
I always have trouble remembering what is the Zoom keyboard shortcut to mute or unmute my audio, so I end up grabbing the mouse and clicking the button instead. While there isn’t really a problem with clicking, it feels inefficient, and that awkward silence while every other call participant is waiting for me to unmute and start speaking appears to last an eternity.
I thought it would be interesting to use my Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller board and MicroPython to design a single-key keyboard with the only function to toggle the audio on my video calls. That way, there is no key combination to remember!
Do you want to learn how to build this project? Just follow along!
To build this cool little gadget you will need a few hardware components, described in the following sections.
Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller
The heart of this device is going to …