Programmable Wireless Pricing
On this page you will learn how Programmable Wireless usage is billed, and gain an understanding of the elements which make up your monthly bill, of how your data-metering plan choice affects how you pay, and of the optional features, including national and international roaming, which affect how much you pay. You can also find out what will happen to your SIMs if your account ever reaches a zero or negative balance.
For up-to-date prices, please see the Programmable Wireless Pricing page on Twilio.com.
Programmable Wireless pricing components
Your Programmable Wireless bill includes four primary components:
SIM monthly fees
These are fees that are charged for every active SIM on your account. An active SIM is one that is able to connect to any available operator at any given time.
SIM monthly fees are charged on the first day of your SIM’s billing cycle. The SIM’s billing cycle starts on the day that it is activated, and recurs monthly on the same day of each subsequent month.
You are billed for the data consumed by your SIMs. You can choose multiple data billing strategies, called Data Metering Plans, for your SIMs.
The choice of a Data Metering Plan is specified in the SIM’s Rate Plan. For Broadband IoT SIMs, you can choose from:
- A Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) plan which has no monthly minimum spend and the highest per-megabyte data price.
- A number of Quota plans which impose a minimum monthly spend, but provide discounts on the per-megabyte data price.
Narrowband IoT SIMs offer the following Data Metering Plans:
- A Developer plan which is intended for prototyping and therefore low levels of usage.
- An Annual plan which is intended for production deployments.
A Rate Plan sets the capabilities of a SIM associated with it. You can read more about them at Understanding Rate Plans.
For further guidance on each of these types of data metering plans, please see the section Understanding Metering Plans, below.
With Programmable Wireless, data usage is billed on a pay-as-you-go, per byte basis. This means no PDP context rounding, other rounding or breakage.
Data usage example
If you use 30KB of data, you will be charged $0.003, assuming the network your SIM connected to was priced at $0.10 per MB.
Commands are machine-to-machine (M2M) SMS messages sent and received via the Programmable Wireless’ Commands API.
Commands billing is purely usage-based. You will be billed for each individual Command SMS sent or received (ie. To SIM or From SIM).
When you suspend a SIM, you have the right to reactivate it at any time in the future, in perpetuity.
This carries with it a small fee that is billed in the same style as the SIM Monthly Fee. However, the first three months of suspension are always free.
To avoid suspension fees, it is possible to deactivate a SIM instead. This is a permanent action, and after 72 hours it will no longer be possible to reactivate the SIM.
For more information on the SIM states discussed here — active, deactivated and suspended — and the other possible states in which a SIM may be place, please see Understanding SIM States.
Pay As You Go
For devices that consume low volumes of data, the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) data metering mode ensures you only pay for the data your SIMs transfer and you make no commitment to a minimum monthly spend.
For higher usage devices, it is more cost-effective to use a Quota-based data metering plan. You agree to a minimum monthly spend per SIM — the ‘Quota’ — and, in return, you receive discounted data rates in every country. The higher your monthly spend commitment, the greater your data-rate discount.
Even on a Quota plan, data is still priced per megabyte and metered at the byte level. But at the end of your SIM’s billing period, you either pay for exactly what you consumed, or the Quota price, whichever is higher.
Let’s work through an example of an IoT use case:
- Your use case necessitates 400MB per month and your fleet will be deployed in the USA and Mexico.
- At the time of writing, with a $10 Quota plan, USA data is 2¢ per MB and Mexico data is 5¢ per MB.
- One device consumes 400MB exclusively in the USA, so its data bill works out to $8 (400 x $0.02). Because this is less than the minimum data spend specified by the $10 Quota, you would pay $10.
- Another device consumes 200MB of its consumption in the USA and the other 200MB in Mexico. Its data bill works out to $4 (200 x $0.02) plus $8 (200 x $0.05), for a total of $12. Because this exceeds the minimum data spend specified by the Quota, you'll pay for exactly what was consumed: $12 in total.
A Quota for each use case
Customers using our self-service portal have a choice of three Quota levels:
|$1||IoT devices (eg. sensors and actuators)|
|$10||Broadband IoT devices (eg. digital signage)|
|$50||High-usage multimedia devices (eg. cameras)|
To help you estimate the best Quota plan for your use case, you can use the Quota calculator in the Wireless Console.
Narrowband IoT Data Metering Plans
The Developer Plan
This plan has been designed for prototyping. The Developer Plan costs $2 per month and includes 2MB of data per month. Overages cost 10¢ per 100 KB increments.
The Annual Plan
This plan is for production deployments. Most NB-IoT deployments have devices that have long lifetimes of many years, which makes the annual plan more suitable than the Developer Plan for such deployments. The Annual Plan charge includes 12MB of data that can be consumed within the year. Any overages will cost 10¢ per 100 KB increments.
Narrowband IoT SIMs make use of T-Mobile USA’s NB-IoT network so are not able to roam onto other US carriers’ networks, or be used internationally.
National roaming is only available in the United States and grants a SIM the ability to access a number of US-based networks in locations where Twilio network partners do not provide coverage.
That is to say, national roaming is not necessarily used in areas of poor coverage, but rather in areas where Twilio network partners do not operate their own cellular networks.
National roaming is disabled by default (it must be actively enabled in the chosen SIM’s Rate Plan) and is priced differently to regular US data consumption:
- All national roaming data is billed at a constant rate of 10¢ per MB ($100 per GB).
- All national roaming Commands are billed at 10¢ per Command (To SIM or From SIM).
There are no Quota-based levels or data-rate discounts for national roaming.
Consider the necessity of national roaming to your use case before enabling it. It is not recommended for high data-consumption use cases.
International roaming allows a SIM the ability to access networks outside of the United States. This facility is disabled by default and must be actively enabled in the chosen SIM’s Rate Plan.
Current pricing for international roaming is available on Twilio.com.
Consider the necessity of international roaming to your use case before enabling it. It is not recommended for high data-consumption use cases.
Twilio reserves the right to suspend quota-based accounts, i.e., customers who are invoiced monthly, that fail to make payment within a set period after the invoice date. If you’re a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) customer, i.e., you pay by registered credit card, your account will be suspended immediately if your balance falls to zero and there is no top-up transaction currently being processed.
If your account is suspended for non-payment or a zero balance, your Programmable Wireless SIMs will be moved into the Suspended state. This will prevent them from connecting to networks and incurring any further data charges.
If your account is subsequently unsuspended, it is your responsibility to reactivate your suspended Programmable Wireless SIMs. You can do this through the Console or via the Twilio API. Programmable Wireless SIMs that have been moved into the Suspended state for non-payment will not be automatically reactivated. Please remember too that any charges you incur while suspended, such as monthly SIM fees, will continue to accumulate and will be charged against the new account balance when your account is unsuspended.
For more information on Twilio billing and account suspension, see this support document.
Need some help?
We all do sometimes; code is hard. Get help now from our support team, or lean on the wisdom of the crowd by visiting Twilio's Stack Overflow Collective or browsing the Twilio tag on Stack Overflow.