About Programmable Wireless Rate Plans
A Rate Plan specifies the capabilities of every Programmable Wireless SIM associated with it. A Rate Plan can also be used to impose limits on the SIMs associated with it. For example, you might set up a Rate Plan that allows its SIMs to access data and messaging services but limit them each to 5MB of data every month. Every SIM assigned to that Rate Plan will be able to consume no more than 5MB of data and messages per month.
You can create as many Rate Plans as you need, but you need to create at least one. If you’re still experimenting with a Programmable Wireless SIM, you’ll probably create a small number of Rate Plans, perhaps even one for each of your SIMs, to see how they work. However. for full-scale deployments you’re likely to associate many SIMs with just a few Rate Plans. All the SIMs associated with a given Rate Plan will share the same capabilities and limitations.
A single Rate Plan can have many Programmable Wireless SIMs associated with it, but a single SIM can only be associated with one Rate Plan at a time.
What capabilities does a Rate Plan control?
A Rate Plan manages the following Programmable Wireless SIM capabilities:
- Connectivity — 2G/3G/LTE or narrowband.
- Services — Data and M2M SMS messaging.
- Roaming — US (National) and International.
- Data limits — How much data the SIM can transfer in a month.
- Billing — Should the SIM’s use be paid on usage or be pre-paid.
Some of the above options are not enabled for Narrowband SIMs. Narrowband SIMs only work in the US on T-Mobile, so roaming options are not enabled. Data and messaging are pre-set for you, and the data limits are determined by your choice of Data Metering Plan.
How to create a Rate Plan
Rate Plans are set up in the Console
- Go to the Programmable Wireless section and click on Rate Plan.
- Click the blue + button to open the Create Rate Plan form.
- Enter a Unique Name for the Plan to make it easy to find in the future.
- Proceed through each of the five areas where you set the Rate Plan’s features. When you’ve complete each one, click Continue. Click on any area’s title bar to go back and make changes if you need to.
- When you’re done, click Create.
Rate Plan features
1. SIM type
This sets the SIM’s connectivity mode: you can choose either
2G/3G/LTE (Broadband IoT) or
NARROWBAND (Narrowband IoT).
2. SIM services
Set the services that the Rate Plan’s SIMs will support. The options are currently data and SMS messaging. If you selected the Narrowband SIM type, both these settings will be applied for you and cannot be changed.
Roaming is the ability of a SIM to connect across multiple carriers’ networks. National roaming, if enabled, allows the SIM to join networks beyond those of Twilio’s US carrier partners, if it needs to. If you selected the Narrowband SIM type, which only works in the US, both these settings will be applied for you and cannot be changed.
If national roaming is disabled the SIM will still be able to connect, but there may be certain locations where it cannot reach a Twilio affiliate network and so will be offline until it contacts such a network.
International roaming, if enable, allows the SIM to join networks outside of the US.
You can find out more about the additional cost of these roaming options here.
4. Data metering
Twilio IoT has deprecated two legacy Data Metering Plans (DMPs) for Programmable Wireless SIMs. These Plans, Pooled and Individual, have not been available to customers to select for some time, so only Rate Plans that were created before January 2020 have been able to make use of them.
For more details, please see this advisory.
For Broadband IoT SIMs, you can choose either to post-pay a per-megabyte (MB) rate for data (Pay As You Go) or pay in advance to receive a discounted per-MB rate (Quota). The higher the quota rate, the higher the upfront payment but the greater the discount.
If you’re new to Programmable Wireless, Pay As You Go may be the most convenient choice, but as you deploy more SIMs, you will want to take advantage of the discounted rates.
If you selected the Narrowband SIM type, you can choose between Developer and Annual metering plans:
- Developer — Each SIM receives 2MB of data per month. Data usage in excess of the 2MB will be billed at 10¢ per 100KB.
- Annual — Each SIM receives 12MB of data per year for $10. Data usage in excess of the 12MB will be billed at 10¢ per 100KB.
View our current Pay As You Go and Quota pricing.
Once a Narrowband SIM has been activated on a Rate Plan with the Annual metering plan, it cannot be moved to a Rate Plan with the Developer metering plan.
You can find out more about calculating the cost of these data metering options, and learn more about choosing the right plan for your use case, here.
5. Data limits
You can apply limits to the volume of data that SIMs associated with the Rate Plan can transfer each month. If a SIM reaches that limit, it will be blocked from further data transfer until the start of the next billing period. You can set separate limits for Twilio affiliate networks, national roaming and international roaming.
This is a useful barrier to excessive data usage. As you build your IoT product, you will conduct tests to determine average monthly data usage levels. You can enforce these levels using the Rate Plan.
If you selected the Narrowband SIM type, both these settings will be applied for you and cannot be changed — they are determined by the Data Metering Plan you chose.
Advanced users may also wish to enter a URL to which notifications will be posted when one of the Rate Plan’s SIMs approaches its data limit.
How to edit a Rate Plan
It is not possible to make changes to a Rate Plan, but because you can create as many Rate Plans as you wish, it’s easy to set up a new Rate Plan with the modified settings.
You can delete any Rate Plans you no longer need by selecting the plan and scrolling to the bottom of the Details tab.
How to add a SIM to a Rate Plan
After you have set up the Rate Plan:
- Go to SIMs in the Console.
- Locate the SIM.
- Click the Choose button to the right of the SIM’s existing Rate Plan. If National roaming is disabled the SIM will still be able to connect, but there may be certain locations where it cannot reach a Twilio affiliate network and so will be offline until it contacts such a network.
When you assign an active SIM to a new Rate Plan, its data usage count, which is used to determine whether it has hit its data limit, will be reset. This means that some SIMs may exceed their newly set data limit. For example, a SIM limited to 2GB is assigned to a new Rate Plan with a 1GB llimit. Depending on the SIM’s data usage at the time it was transferred to the new Rate Plan, it could use up to 3GB of data that month, for all of which it will be billed. In future months, provided its Rate Plan is not changed, it will consume no more than 1GB of data.
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