IoT Cellular Data Plans


#1

Hi,

I have received conflicting information about Digi-Key’s IoT cellular data plans:
https://www.digikey.com/en/resources/iot-resource-center/iot-cellular-data-plans

My question is if the data plan is per SIM card or whether multiple SIM cards can be attached to one data plan?

I’ve read through the FAQ and from the overage example on page 5 it looks like one plan per SIM with all identical plans pooled together to create a big ‘bucket’ that all SIMs can pull from.

I initially sent the following email to sales:
"Ok, so each data plan is per SIM card, but all the SIM cards that are on the same data plan are pooled together.

Lets say I purchase 10 SIM cards and activate them on the $20/500MB Verizon plan, then I would have a total ‘bucket’ of 5000MB. Then 1 card could use 4000MB, while the other 9 only use 100MB each for a grand total usage of 4900MB (no overage).

Did I understand it correctly?"

The reply I got was:
“No, that’s not correct. If you purchase a 500MB plan that means you have only 500MB. You can activate multiple SIMs (lines) under that plan but the combined usage of the SIMs on the plan adds up, so if you goes over 500MB you will pay overage charges. Please to page 3 of the FAQ at https://dataplans.digikey.com/documents/revx-digikey-faq-v3.pdf .”

Reading page 3 of the FAQ did not help.

I see now that my email was not clear in that I did not mention activating each of the 10 SIM cards with the $20/500MB plan.

Does that then mean I can purchase the 5GB plan for $60 per month and activate 10 or more SIM cards on that one plan? If this is the case, that’s awesome because $60/month is much better than $200/month.

I also tried calling to get clarification, but they weren’t sure either and directed me to send an email.

Thanks.


#2

First, my apologies for the confusion in all the answers you have received.

Digi-Key’s data plans are “bucket” plans. You can add as many SIM cards to your plan as you would like. All the SIM cards will pull from the “bucket” of data.

Say you have 10 SIM cards and you estimate each card will use 1 MB of data. You wouldn’t need to buy ten 1 MB data plans, you would buy one 10 MB data plan.

This is exactly how the plan will work. You are correct.


#3

Are bigger plans than 5GB possible? We are looking this for a production application that could have 100’s of devices and I would to hate to have to get multiple 5GB plans and then try to spread them around efficiently.

Also, I assume it’s possible to upgrade the plan over time? I.e. for testing I don’t need to start with the 5GB plan.

Thanks.


#4

@ferdster I am looking into this for you. I will let you know what I find out.


#5

Any updates?


#6

@ferdster Each SIM card will need it’s own data line. All similar data lines will be contained under one plan, and that data can be shared between SIMs. If you have 10 SIMs and you need a total of 10 MB, you will need to purchase ten 1 MB plans. This will give you a total of 10MB to share between all 10 cards. If you purchased a 10MB line, only one SIM would be able to be on that line.


#7

Ok, so this exactly not how you said it worked in your reply from 10 days ago. See where my confusion comes from? I had a feeling that it was too good to be true to be able to put multiple SIMs on one data plan and that’s why I kept pushing for more information. Your latest reply requiring a plan per SIM is inline with all the other data plan providers. All is clear now.

Thanks.