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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.

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.

SIM monthly fees price bands

Number of Active SIMs Monthly Price
0 - 500 $2.00 per SIM
501 – 1,000 $1.50 per SIM
1,001 – 5,000 $1.00 per SIM
5,001 – 10,000 $0.75 per SIM
10,001 – 50,000 0.50 per SIM
50,000+ Contact sales

Data usage

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. 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.

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 is always metered at the byte level. This means no PDP context rounding or other rounding.

Every 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 101st kilobyte, or
  • One year has passed and a subsequent byte of data is consumed by this SIM on this network.

Commands usage

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).

Suspension fees

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.

Understanding metering plans

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.

Quota-based metering

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.

Quota-based metering plan example

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:

Level Scenario
$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.

Roaming pricing

National roaming

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

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.

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