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Programmable Wireless: Pricing

On this page, you will learn the technical details on the pricing constructs used throughout Programmable Wireless.

For up-to-date prices, see the page Programmable Wireless Pricing on the main site.

Programmable Wireless pricing components

Your Programmable Wireless bill includes these four primary components:

  1. SIM Monthly Fees
  2. Data usage
  3. Commands usage (M2M SMS)
  4. Suspension Fees

SIM Monthly Fees

The first component of a Programmable Wireless bill is the SIM Monthly Fees.

SIM Monthly Fees are subscriber fees that are charged for any active SIM on your account. This enables your SIM 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.

SIM Monthly Fees Pricing Table

First 500 SIMs (0 - 500) $2.00/ SIM
Next 500 SIMs (501 – 1,000) $1.50/ SIM
Next 4,000 SIMs (1,001 – 5,000) $1.00/ SIM
Next 5,000 SIMs (5,001 – 10,000) $0.75/ SIM
Next 40,000 SIMs (10,001 – 50,000) $0.50/ SIM
Above 50,000 SIMs (50,000+) Talk to an expert

Data usage

The second component of a Programmable Wireless bill is a data metering plan.

You are billed for data consumed by your SIMs. You can choose from multiple data billing strategies – or Data Metering Plans – for your SIMs.

The choice of a Data metering plan is specified in the SIM's Rate Plan. You can choose from:

Rate Plans describe the capabilities and restrictions of each SIM associated with a specific Rate Plan. You can read more about them at REST API: Rate Plans as well as Understanding Rate Plans.

With Programmable Wireless, data is always metered at the byte level. This means no PDP-context rounding or other rounding.

Each SIM is billed for data in 100KB increments, on a per-network basis. These increments expire after one year if unused.

Data usage example

  • The data price for a given SIM/country is 10¢ per MB.
  • When the first byte of data is consumed on a particular operator network, your Twilio account will be billed 1¢ (for 100KB).
  • You won't be billed again for data on this particular SIM/network combination until either:
    • The same SIM consumes its 101th KB.
    • Until one year has passed AND a subsequent byte of data is consumed by this SIM on this network.

Commands usage (MSM SMS)

The third component of a Programmable Wireless bill is Command usage.

Commands are machine-to-machine SMS messages sent and received via the Commands API.

Commands billing is purely usage-based. You will be billed for each individual Command SMS sent or received (To SIM or From SIM).

Suspension fees

The fourth component of a Programmable Wireless bill is suspension fees.

When you suspend a SIM, you reserve 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. 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. See SIM Statuses.

National roaming

National roaming is valid only in the United States.

National roaming grants a SIM the ability to roam onto a small set of US-based operator networks in locations where the primary operator (T-Mobile USA) does not attempt to offer service.

That is to say, national roaming is not necessarily used in areas of poor coverage, but rather in areas where T-Mobile USA does not operate its own radio network.

  • National roaming is disabled by default and priced differently to regular US data consumption.
  • All national roaming data is billed at a constant rate of $0.1000 per MB ($100 per GB).
  • All national roaming Commands SMS are billed at $0.1000 per Command (To SIM or From SIM).
  • There are no Quota-based tiering or discounts for national roaming data.

Due to the difference in pricing from the T-Mobile network, National Roaming requires the national_roaming_enabled flag to be set to true on a SIM's Rate Plan.

Consider the necessity of national roaming to your use case before enabling it. For high consumption use cases, it is not recommended.

Understanding Data Quotas

Pay As You Go (PAYG)

For low usage devices, the "Pay as you go" (PAYG) Data Metering plan is provided. With PAYG data, you'll only pay for the data you consume, with no minimum data spend per SIM per month.

Quota-based metering plan

For higher usage devices, it is probably more cost effective to use a Quota-based Data Metering plan.

With a Quota-based plan, you agree to a minimum data spend, or "Quota" level per SIM per month. In return, you will receive discount rates in every country, with more significant discounts for higher Quotas.

Even on a Quota plan, data is still priced per megabyte and metered at byte-level. But at the end of your SIM's billing month, you either pay for exactly what you consumed, or the Quota price, whichever is higher.

Quote-based metering plan example

Let's work through an example of a mid-consumption IoT use case:

  • Let's say your use case necessitates 400MB per month and your fleet will be deployed in the USA and Mexico.
  • At the time of writing, with our new $10 Quota plan, USA data is 2¢ per MB and Mexico data is 5¢ per MB.
  • A given device consumes 400MB exclusively in the USA, its data bill works out to (400 x $0.02 = $8). 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 (200 x $0.02 = $4) + (200 x $0.05 = $8), 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

For our self-service pricing, we are offering three Quota levels: $1, $10 and $50. Our intent is that these plans respectively solve for

  • IoT (think sensors and actuators)
  • Broadband IoT (think digital signage)
  • high-usage multimedia devices (think cameras)

To help you estimate the best Quota plan for your use case, we've added a calculator to the Wireless Console (requires login).

International Data Pricing Reference

This information is available on the pricing website.

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