All cellular IoT products rely on SIM cards for connectivity. For large-scale cellular deployments, this means having to manage both a fleet of devices as well as the SIM cards that allow those devices to connect to the Internet. This complexity can make overseeing a cellular IoT deployment challenging. When your cellular fleet grows to thousands or tens of thousands of units, a need for a new set of tools quickly emerges to avoid the headache of managing SIM cards on an individual basis.
As such, we’re excited to announce the launch of SIM Management for Products, which makes it easy to manage a fleet of Particle SIM cards used in large-scale cellular IoT deployments.
A new SIM cards view on the Console allows you to seamlessly manage a large fleet of SIM cards
Some of the most valuable features of SIM Management for Products include:
- Pre-activating SIM cards en-masse to ensure a smooth unboxing experience for end users of your products
- Gaining meaningful insights into data usage patterns by viewing fleet-wide usage information
- Setting sensible cellular data defaults to save you time and effort without sacrificing control of individual SIM cards
- Taking advantage of volume-based pricing for cellular service available exclusively to product creators
This feature is being launched in public beta. Read on for more details on the above features, or check out the guide in our documentation to get started.
Bulk activate SIM Cards
One of the main benefits of choosing cellular over Wi-Fi in an IoT product is a simplified setup experience. Namely, cellular devices can connect to the cloud without the need to send the device configuration information at setup time (i.e. SSID and password for Wi-Fi).
The new SIM Management tools allow you to pre-activate SIM cards in bulk, before any devices have left the manufacturing line. This ensures your devices will instantly connect to the Particle cloud without any additional configuration or setup steps during unboxing.
Monitoring your Fleet
Understanding fleet-wide patterns of data usage can help your business better estimate cellular costs over time, identify usage impact of different versions of firmware, or spot unexpected spikes in consumption.
The new SIM cards view on the Console aggregates data consumption from all SIMs in your product for the current month, and displays information on data usage, active SIM cards, and estimated monthly cost.
Default Data Limits
Each SIM card has its own data limit, or the maximum data that you’d like a particular SIM to be allowed to consume to avoid unexpected costs. If you are managing lots of SIMs, individually setting a data limit on each SIM can become cumbersome.
You now have the ability to set a default data limit for your product. This data limit will be applied to any new SIM card imported into your product fleet moving forward. You still have the ability to override the default data limit on an individual SIM. This is useful if you know certain SIMs will consume more data, like a SIM used in a test device.
Volume Price Discounts
As the size of your cellular fleet grows, data costs go down. Check out Particle’s cellular data pricing for specific details on volume price discounts, available to SIM cards associated with a Particle product.
For more information on how to get started managing a fleet of SIM cards, check out the guide in our documentation. And as always, please let us know if you have any questions or feedback!