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Programmable Wireless: Understanding Rate Plans

You've got a Programmable Wireless SIM in your device, and you want to configure the capabilities of the SIM such enablig access to international (non-US) carrier networks. These permissions are controlled by the SIM's Rate Plan.

By the end of this topic, you’ll have a better understanding of Rate Plan properties and how to set them.

What is a Rate Plan?

A Rate Plan describes the capabilities and restrictions of each and every SIM associated with it. Multiple SIMs can be configured to use the same Rate Plan. SIM usage is and enforced on a per-SIM basis. For example, if your Rate Plan has a Data Limit of 5MB, each SIM will be able to consume 5MB of data per month.

A Rate Plan consists of:

  • A unique name
  • SIM type, either 2G/3G/LTE or Narrowband
  • Type of enabled services, including data, voice, and messaging
  • Roaming preferences, either National (US) or International
  • Data metering mode, either Pay as you go (PAYG) or Quota-based Data Metering
  • Data limit

Got questions about Rate Plans? See Rate Plan scenarios and FAQ

I'm ready. Let's create a rate plan.

Creating a Rate Plan

To begin, open the Console and do the following:

  1. From the Programmable Wireless section, click Rate Plan.
  2. Click the red + button to open the Create Rate Plan form.


Let's give the plan a unique name.

Give the Rate Plan a friendly name

A user-provided string that uniquely identifies this Rate Plan.

Let's select the type of SIM.

Select the SIM type

Make a selection based on the type of SIM for which you are making a Rate Plan:

  • 2G/3G/LTE
  • Narrowband
Let's select services.

Choose the Services for the SIM

The services you can enable on a rate plan that will be enabled by every SIM associated with it are:

  • Data
  • Programmable Voice
  • Messaging (Commands and Programmable SMS)

Messaging includes two capabilities - Commands and Programmable SMS - because Commands, under the hood, are powered by SMS protocols.

Let's select roaming preferences.

Select the Roaming Preferences

National (US) Roaming

National roaming allows SIMs to roam onto other networks in the United States. With the current Twilio SIMs, this means roaming onto other US operators where possible.

National roaming has a separate data limit and is billed per MB. If the national roaming data limit is unspecified, the default value is the lesser of Data Limit and 1000MB.

International Roaming

International Roaming allows SIMs to roam on partner networks outside of US. All data consumed while roaming is billed per MB and has a separate Data limit.

Programmable Wireless does not currently support International Voice.

Make sure you set your device's APN to so that you can use data.

Let's select type of data metering plan.

Select a Data Metering Plan

You can go through the Help Me Choose wizard or if you know what plan you want, just select the plan.

Two types of Data Metering Models are available.

Pay as you go (PAYG)

When a Rate Plan uses the PAYG Data Metering model, data is metered at the byte level billed in 100KB increments on a per-SIM per-network basis.

Quota-based plans

When a Rate Plan uses a Quota-based Data Metering model, you'll save money on a per-MB basis in every country by agreeing to a minimum data spend per SIM per month.

See the Pricing documentation for details on how data is billed and examples of Quota-based data metering.

Let's select data limit

Select Data Limits

This is a hard cap enforced by the network for each SIM. Data is disabled for the remainder of the monthly recurring charge (MRC) period when a SIM reaches the limit.

Got questions? Here's an FAQ

Rate Plan scenarios and FAQ

Can I modify an existing Rate Plan?

  • No. Rate Plans are immutable, meaning they cannot be modified after creation. Create a new Rate Plan and move your SIMs to it.

Can I create new a Rate Plan?

Can I change the Rate Plan associated with a SIM?

  • Absolutely, you can change a SIM's Rate Plan at anytime. Select the SIM and click the Choose button to the right of the existing Rate Plan.

I’ve got a Rate Plan associated with my SIM, what’s next?

You've got your Rate Plan associated with your SIM and an understanding of how Rate Plan properties work. Continue to the final section of the Getting Online guide to learn about SIM Statuses.

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