I’ve been using Hologram developer SIM card for cellular IoT hardware reviews since it’s really great for evaluation as the company offers 1MB of data for free monthly. It’s supposed to work worldwide, but recently I discovered that while 3G worked fine in Thailand, the card would not support NB-IoT just yet.
More companies are now offering this type of global cellular IoT SIM cards such as Twilio or SORACOM, and Arduino is now joining the fray by offering the Arduino SIM card specifically designed to connect to Arduino IoT cloud.
The Arduino SIM card currently works with Arduino MKR GSM 1400 board only, and Arm Pelion Connectivity Management provides the cellular service with a global roaming profile than enables connectivity in over 100 countries at a low cost.
The first 90 days are actually free if you use less than 10MB of data, after which the price is 5MB per month for $1.50. What’s mind blogging is that while the SIM card works worldwide, the monthly plan is only available to US resident, so I’m not quite sure how people living in other countries can keep using the card after the 90-day period or 10MB free allowance expires. A good point is that the subscription can be paused, so if you don’t plan to use the SIM card for a few months after the trial period, you won’t need to pay until you want to use it again.
Another limitation is that the SIM card only connects to Arduino IoT cloud at this stage, but the ability to bridge out to the wider Internet using webhooks and APIs coming later in the year. Hardware support will soon be expanded to Arduino MKR NB 1500 board with LTE Cat-M and NB-IoT connectivity, and eventually 3rd party boards will be supported.
The Arduino SIM card is free, but the trick is that it’s not available just by itself, and it’s only free as part of the ARDUINO SIM – MKR GSM 1400 Cellular Kit going for $70.90 on Arduino store.More details may be found in Arduino’s “Digital SIM” page, where you’ll be able to find out if your country is supported.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
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