Reducing Cost - Product Lifecycle and Sim Status Management


Hi I’m taketo from Soracom.

Soracom provides cellular connectivity services for IoT with powerful APIs and the web console known as Soracom User Console to manage your connectivity. Please find out our products and featured videos here at Digi-Key.

In this topic, I will introduce how to manage sim statues for Soracom IoT Sim to optimize cost for your connectivity. Unlike consumer sim which we use in smart phones, IoT projects have inactive periods in their product lifecycle. In IoT projects, products are likely to be in stocks for a few months after final inspections with active cellular connectivity, and it would cost too much to have active connectivity for entire life cycles. Or sometimes if you want to sell products based on subscription model? A client might stop usage for a few months and resume it again. And I am explaining how to solve those problems in this topic.

Soracom IoT Sim and Statuses

There are some statuses of Soracom Sims. The diagram below shows status transitions of our subscription plan01s.
As in the soracom pricing page, you will be charged for ‘Basic Fee’ ‘Data Usage’ and ‘Messaging’(SMS) etc.
However, for example with plan01s if you can change status to Standby or Suspended you won’t be charged for Basic Fees, which normally costs $0.06/day. A $1.80 fee applies when changing a plan01s from Standby/Suspended to Active/Inactive. So if you keep your IoT products with plan01s in stock more than 30 days, you should change status to Standby/Suspended to save your cost.

So now question is how we can change status? It is easy. We have powerful Rest APIs to manage your connectivity statuses. Please refer to Soracom API reference for the details. For example you can execute an SIM:setSimToStandby API to change a sim status to Standby.

Product Lifecycle and Sim Status Management

Let’s think about a product lifecycle!
If you think about any IoT products packaged with cellular connectivity, generally an operation starts with 1. Sim Purchase to 7.Suspended/Terminated where user finishes their use temporally or permanently as the diagram below.
And there are more than twice when a product works actively with cellular connectivity. Often its connectivity is activated for testing after manufacturing as in 4. Testing and there are at least a few months when products are kept in stock. Then it will be activated again when it is delivered to an end user and he starts using it. In this case, to save your operation cost you should change its status to Standby in 5. In Stock. If an end user tries to connect cellular network, it will be immediately and automatically activated.

Moreover, if you sell your products based on subscription model, you might want to forbit his usage after his subscription expiry until a re-contract of the subscription. And often it would be better if you set a few months for an end user to re-contract his subscription. In this case, you can set its sim status to Suspend which will forbid connectivity even if the end user tries to connect with his product and save Basic Fee.

Integration with Soracom Event Hander

How we can integrate with Soracom? Soracom Rest APIs is introduced already. Event Handler is very powerful tool to monitor sim events for your system. It will trigger specified actions such as HTTP webhooks on sim events (e.g. sim status attribute change). Popular use case of Event Handler is that a system to monitor traffic usage and suspend a sim when its data usage reaches 100MB.

So now you think about your product life cycle above, you would like to know sim events, for example events of first cellular session for 4. Testing. In real operation, generally users automatically set a sim status to Standby when they receive a notification of its first cellular session. In this scenario you can configure Event Hander to invoke a webhook on an event sim status attribute change from Ready to Active.

In Conclusion

Soracom has rich and powerful features to automate your operations with the Rest APIs and Event Handler etc. So we hope you find this information helpful and incorporate it into your future endeavors.

Got a question for Soracom? Whether you’re an existing customer, interested in learning more about our product and services, or want to learn about our Partner program – we’d love to hear from you!

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