Set a Future Date for Blocking & Deactivating (Removing) an IoT SIM Card

Schedule SIM Card Deactivation or Removal

Often times, you might have a device where there is a date in the future when you want the SIM to be Blocked or Deactivated/Removed from the account, and managing these dates can be a huge challenge. To address this need, we have added functionality in the OSCAR Platform to set a date for these functions.

Possible use cases include:

    • You have an end customer with one of your devices who pays on a “subscription” basis, e.g. monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. and you want the device to only work while their account is in good standing;
    • You have a device that is meant for a project for a set time period and you want to shut it off automatically at the end of the project timeframe;

You can find this feature in the SIM Settings tab of OSCAR (SIM CARDS>Settings of the SIM), or in the batch operation menu at the bottom of the SIM card page. This function is available in both PAYGO and Pooled account types. We are also expecting to add this function to our API list as well. Look for this in the coming months.

Lean more about the OSCAR IoT SIM Card Management platform here.

Using Templates to Activate or Update Existing SIM Card Settings

IoT SIM Settings Template
Use Default or Create Your Own IoT SIM Settings Templates

We were asked by a number of customers to allow the use of pre-configured templates when activating SIM cards because some of the settings are the same based on a particular use case. The use case may differ across all of your SIM cards, though, and it would be useful to select a previously created template to activate a new SIM card which will update all of the appropriate settings on the SIM including

For PAYGO Accounts:

  • Enable Auto-recharge with pre-defined amounts, limits, and SIM minimum balance
  • Set Device Model Type
  • Set User Name (many clients use this for their customer name, or device location, or IMEI of the device, etc.…think of this as a “nickname” for the SIM card)
  • Set an initial balance on the SIM Card
  • Assign a Discount Data Plan on the SIM card
  • Assign Static IP address (of enabled on your account
  • Set notification if the balance of the SIM card goes below a certain amount

For Pooled Accounts:

  • Set Device Model Type
  • Set a monthly Data Limit
  • Set End User Name
  • Assign Static IP address

You can save as many templates as you need so ensure you can activate a SIM with all of the appropriate settings for that SIM with a single click. You can also choose as many of the available fields as you wish; use them all or use only one…it’s completely in your hands!

What’s more, you can use this feature to update existing SIMs on your account. Once you have at least one template saved on your account, simply

  1. Select the SIM cards you want to update;
  2. Choose the “Apply SIM Activation Template” option from the batch operation menu at the bottom of the SIM Card page;
  3. Choose the template you want to use!

Digi-Key and OneSimCard Announce Distribution Partnership to Enable IoT Providers & Manufacturers with International Connectivity

Digi-KeyDigi-Key Electronics and Boston based OneSimCard IoT have partnered to provide a turn-key global cellular connectivity solution for IoT product manufacturers and IoT services providers.

Boston, Massachusetts, USA – Today, OneSimCard IoT and Digi-Key Electronics are excited to announce their strategic distribution partnership. In this partnership, OneSimCard will provide international IoT SIM card connectivity solutions for Digi-Key’s IoT hardware customers. OneSimCard’s solution includes 2FF/3FF/4FF & MFF2 SIM form factors which operate over OneSimCard’s OSCAR SIM Management portal. Some other solutions offered include Private APN, VPN, Static IP, IMEI Locking.

OneSimCard IoT’s non-steering SIM solution provides 2G/3G/4G LTE//Cat M & Cat M-1, connections in over 160 countries with one APN for easy deployment anywhere.

In most countries, there are multiple cellular networks available providing both redundancy and guaranteed best coverage available. Customers can choose simple, flexible, and cost-effective data plans, both Pooled and Pay-As-You-Go plan types, that suit their needs and with no long-term commitments.

New API Command Available for Pooled Accounts

As of October 6, 2020 we upgraded the API command document to
include setting data limits on Pooled accounts. If you are using API integration to the OSCAR portal, you will now be able to set the upper limit for a SIM card through this integration.

Please refer to the API documentation in the Help section of the OSCAR Platform for the complete list of API commands.

New Account Notification Feature Now Available in OSCAR

In a continuing effort to provide unsurpassed service and control over your account,  we launched a new “Alarm” feature in the OSCAR platform. This feature is available in both Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) accounts and Pooled Data accounts with slight differences based on account type.

PAYGO Account Alarms

Each category (Data Use, Data Packages, Money Use, SMS Use, Voice Use) has particular Alarms which can be configured. For example, the “Data Use” category has these Default Alarms available:

  • SIM cards with data usage for the past 7 above 0.5MB

  • SIM cards with no data usage for the last days

  • SIM cards with no usage (data and SMS) for the 1 days

and the “Data Packages” has these categories available:

  • SIM cards with Data Package used up before the package renewal date

  • SIM cards with data packages used 10% of package data

Pooled Account Alarms

For Pooled Data accounts, the current Default  Alarms are:

  • SIM cards sends 10 SMS within 1 days

  • SIM cards with data usage for the past 7 above 0.5MB

  • SIM cards with no data usage for the last 1 days

  • SIM cards with no usage (data and SMS) for the last days

  • SIM cards with the usage 10% over allotment

  • SIMs roaming outside of countries of data pool

Once enabled, you will receive an email to the Master Admin email address as well as a notification on the new “Alarms” tab which will appear in the main menu of OSCAR. We tried to create what we thought were the most important and pertinent Alarms. If there are alarms you think would be helpful, please send us any suggestions to feedback@onesimcard.com

Updating Multiple User Names & Device Information in OSCAR Is Now Even Easier

We received a lot of feedback asking for the ability to update the User Name and Device fields for multiple SIMs at once in the OSCAR Portal. Recently we added this capability in the SIM card page of OSCAR. If you select multiple SIMs (checkbox to the right of the SIM card number) then scroll down to the bottom of the page, there are 2 new bulk operations, “Set User Name” & “Set Device Type” available.

Most clients use User Name to identify the location or end customer name for the SIM, and updating this field makes it much easier to sort and filter your SIM cards by this value.

Data Pooling Now Available – Customized to Your Unique Needs.

You asked, we listened! We are very excited to announce data pooling plans are now available for M2M/IoT accounts. These plans will allow you to share your data across all of your SIMs so the SIMs that consume more data can be offset with those which don’t use as much – this cuts down on potentially paying for data that you aren’t using.

If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to your account representative, or sales@onesimcard.com.

What is an IoT SIM card?

It may sound very futuristic, but we are being monitored by a wide range of technologies controlled by Internet of Things (IoT) SIM cards. Yes, this may sound strange or scary to you because IoT refers to a future where every device, from ice-cream makers to car computers are connected via the internet. We are quickly approaching a time when IoT incorporates your whole home, office, manufacturing plants, farms & virtually every aspect of life.

What is IoT?

Today, the world revolves around a network of connected things. IoT is entrenching itself more and more into our life, and we are continually being monitored a number of technologies that are run by IoT SIM cards. By allowing the devices to connect and communicate, we can automate processes that would previously require human intervention. We recently wrote about AGTECH and how the farming industry is changing and relying on IoT devices to reduce cost and labor.

 What is an IoT SIM card?

SIM is and acronym for Subscriber Identity Module. An IoT SIM card is designed to store the user’s information and provides the information necessary to access & connect devices to cellular networks. The rapid development, deployment and requirements of IoT devices, are bolstering the improvement of the IoT SIM Cards. IoT devices must work with machines with little or no human interaction. Unlike SIM cards which you may find in your smartphone, IoT device deployments often incorporate thousands or even millions of devices, and they need stable, flexible, & secure networks to which they can reliably connect, especially in harsh environments. IoT SIM Cards are designed with these requirements, which are not only beneficial, but necessary for commercial use.

IoT SIM cards, also known as M2M SIM cards, give the connectivity and robustness required to automate processes. In any business organization, when we need to connect two devices to communicate, they must use a data connection to start communication. In some cases, it wouldn’t be wise to use a standard cellular mobile SIM, to form a relationship in two devices, as the consumer-grade SIM cards aren’t designed with this use case in mind. It’s a risk to use Regular SIM card connections in an IoT application. IoT SIM cards provide critical functionalities including security measures. We have compiled up a list of Functionalities that IoT SIM cards give you. IoT SIM cards are beneficial for businesses.

Global IoT SIM Cards vs. Native IoT SIM Cards

 Global IoT SIM Card

Global IoT SIM cards, also called Roaming SIM cards, include eUICC capabilities. With a Global IoT SIM card, you can access a cell network, and in many cases multiple networks, built for M2M data that works worldwide with a simple activation, a single APN, transparent pricing, and developer-friendly tools. Global IoT SIM cards are also “no steering” cards. No steering cards do not put a preference to any particular network in a given country; they allow the device to decide with which network to connect.

Native IoT SIM cards

Native SIM IoT SIM cards are those provided directly from the Mobile Network Operator (MNO) in a given country. While they can potentially roam in other countries (depending on their roaming agreements), the MNO will likely limit the amount of time the card can roam, or restrict the percentage of cards on your account that can operate out of the home network. Native IoT SIM cards also steer your traffic to their network because the MNO only wants the SIM to operate on their network. If these SIMs roam, there is a financial impact to the MNO. In most cases the native SIM provider will not “charge” you for roaming, and that is why the MNO limits the amount of roaming allowed. Steering your traffic can cause serious problems because the MNO of the native IoT SIM will force your device to use their network, even in very poor coverage areas, and they only allow roaming when the coverage goes down to zero. This causes delays in connecting, speed degradation, and potential loss or corruption of data.

IoT for Businesses

Maximize Productivity

IoT allows the businesses to automate processes and build-in more efficiencies. For example, Fintech IoT utilize computing devices which are many times faster and are more accurate in providing the correct results rather than humans. There are very few human errors found when using IoT in your business. In case the IoT device goes wrong at some point, the machine can quickly inform the engineer. This way, you can easily identify where the problem occurred.  IoT is a time saver.

Expanding Uptime

Businesses can also increase their uptime. Working in remote areas with multi-network IoT SIM cards can maximize uptime. Using Global IoT SIM no steering cards with multi-network capabilities devices or machines can limit the chance of losing connectivity. The no steering roaming capacities of a Global IoT SIM card enables multi-network connectivity and, therefore provides redundancy. If the primary network isn’t available, the device will automatically connect to another available network. Global IoT SIM Cards minimize the risk of losing the signal. That is why Global IoT SIM Cards are found to be useful for businesses using remote devices and tracking.

Interested in learning more? Please reach out to our experts anytime to discuss your IoT project. Contact our team at sales@OneSimCard.com to have a no-obligation conversation about your requirements, and we can mutually determine if there is an opportunity to partner.

When Is the Optimal Time to Engage with, and Decide on, a SIM Connectivity Provider for Your IoT Project?

When starting a new IoT project, there are many pieces of the puzzle to put together. You want to ensure on-time delivery of the project and you need to make sure that all of the bugs have been worked out during the testing project. Many IoT projects fail to deliver on-time because they put off testing with their chosen IoT SIM card providers until the very end. This causes loss of revenue, an unhappy end customer because the delivery time is not delivered on time (which can cause penalties or loss of confidence and the end-customer decides to cancel their order and choose another solution), and bad reviews for your company.

The most successful project engages with, and choose, an IoT SIM card provider in the initial stages of project design. There are many factors that go into the decision process for a SIM card provider. Some of the factors include:

  • Coverage – Does your provider have a robust network to ensure the IoT SIM card will work where you need it to work? Are your needs in one country or are you looking to deploy your IoT SIM cards international? Whether it is Domestic or International deployment, is the provider able to provide coverage on multiple networks (for redundancy) without “Steering” your traffic. Can they provide this service using a single APN & with a single management portal?

  • Functionality – Does your IoT SIM card provider offer all of the functionality you require? Typical functionality can include:

    • Portal for SIM Management – It is critical that you have access to maintain your fleet of SIMs. The IoT SIM card management portal is used to

        •  activate & deactivate SIMs;

        • analyze data consumption;

        • gain an understanding of where data is being consumed;

        • put limits on usage;

        • provide access for multiple users & profiles allowing access to specific functionality and/or specific SIM cards – even provide access to the end customer in cases of B2B2X scenarios;

        • Send SMS through the portal;

      • Batch operations;

      • Etc.

    • Dynamic and Static IP Addresses – Most IoT SIM card providers default to Dynamic IP addresses. If you require Static IP’s, do you need Public or Private Static IP addresses? The more secure option is Private IP addresses. Private static IP’s require that the device communicating with the SIM card be on the same IP range – this is commonly called Peer-to-Peer connectivity. Public static IP’s can be addressed from any device on the Internet which is why Public Static IP’s offer no security.

    •  VPN Service Open VPN or IPSec? Open VPN is typically a less expensive solution but it limits tunnel to one user concurrently per VPN. This can be a user’s PC or Laptop, or a server where multiple users can access from within you LAN, but only one at a time. IPSec VPN tends to be a more expensive solution and allows multiple concurrent users and is chosen when a team needs access. Both Open and IPSec require Static IP’s for the IoT SIMs.

    • Private APN – APN’s (Access Point Name) are required on all SIM cards because it provides a point of entry into the IP network. Typically IoT SIM card providers give all of their customers a shared APN. Private APN’s are given to clients because they want simple and secure access to all of their devices. Clients sometimes use multiple APNs because they want one APN to provide service with different security levels. For example, one APN can be used to connect to the public internet while the second APN can be used to transmit sensitive data (like credit card transactions) via VPN using a private network.

    • IMEI Lock – The IMEI lock ensures the SIM will only be used and a particular device. Without the Lock, it is possible to remove the SIM and insert into another device (like a phone or tablet) and run up data consumption.

    • Whitelist IP’s and/or URLs – Sometimes there is a requirement to provide data connectivity access to and from a handful of addresses and not allow any access outside of this narrow list.

    • Limit Data or Money Usage – Limiting usage on IoT SIM cards is extremely important when in testing & in production. You want to limit your financial impact when there is a device that “goes rogue” and starts using an inordinate amount of data This is particularity important when in the testing phase because the chances that there is a bug in the device is much higher – that’s why you test. This can happen in production as well, so you want to look into these limits. In pooled data plans limits should be put into place for how much data is allowed in a given time period. In prepaid plans, there needs to be a limit for how much money an IoT SIM card can spend in a given time period?

    • Voice, SMS and Data – What are the requirements for your project? Are you just looking for Data access or do need access to voice and/or SMS also? Voice is typically used in wearable device projects such as child or elderly care (think about trackers with a “panic button” for dialing caregivers). It can also be important in the medical tech industry as well for tele-medicine as an example. SMS is typically used to send commands to the remote device and receive confirmations of those commands back from the remote device. There are many other uses for SMS, but sending commands to the IoT SIM card is by far the most popular use case.

    • Multi-IMSI Support – Multi-IMSI support allows the IoT SIM card to change which HLR (Home Locator Register) to use. The ability to allow changing IMSI’s is important to provide the best network access. The device in the field will need to have a SIM toolkit in order to enable OTA (over the air) IMSI changes. Multi-IMSI support provides peace of mind that if the current HLR doesn’t allow International Roaming for that country, that another HLR can be written to the card.

    • No “Steering” – Network Steering is the method providers utilize to keep your traffic on a particular mobile network. Providers do this to ensure your traffic stays on the least expensive network for the provider. Domestic (often referred to as Native) SIM cards typically steer traffic to their network first and keep the connection on their network until there is no signal before allowing the IoT SIM card to roam onto another network. This may make sense for the provider, but it does the customer a disservice by causing connectivity issues (the connection may bounce between networks) and connection speed problems. Steering isn’t limited to Native carriers. International IoT Sim card providers may also Steer traffic when roaming to ensure the least expensive network is connected. Look for a provider that does NOT steer traffic.

    • API functionality – Do you want the ability to access the IoT SIM card provider’s portal using API’s? Is the provider able to add API’s specific to your specific needs quickly? Many customers need to perform IoT SIM management through their portals instead of through the SIM card provider’s portal. An example of this might be a scenario where you are providing a GPS solution. You have all of your IoT SIM cards installed in your inventory of devices, but the SIM card is not activated. When you sell a GPS device to your customer, they will activate that service through your portal. Your portal is connected to your IoT connectivity provider via API and send a command to the provider’s portal to activate data service on the installed SIM card. API integration is a “must have” for many IoT projects, especially in larger deployments or when there is a high number of small transactions required.

  • Flexibility – Does the provider partner with you and listen to your particular requirements. Is the IoT SIM card provider able to design a solution that is custom to your project’s needs or are they requiring you to design your needs to fit their “cookie cutter” solution? While some projects are fairly straightforward, most IoT projects are better served by custom plans for that particular need.

  • Form Factor – What type of IoT SIM card do you need? Are you designing for an embedded SIM (Mff2) or a tradition SIM (2FF, 3FF or 4FF)? More and more projects are moving to embedded SIMs but adoption still lags behind industry predictions. Embedded SIMs provide more flexibility and allow devices to become smaller because of the amount of real estate that traditional SIMs require. Also, is there a need for industrial SIMs which have a higher tolerance to temperature (high and low) fluctuations.

  • Customer Support – If you contact your IoT SIM card provider, do they answer your call and reply to your emails? If there is a problem with connectivity, will they help troubleshoot? Is there a team assigned to your account to ensure success? Are they willing to roll up their sleeves and help you with design?

  • Cost – There is a reason this is the last consideration when choosing an IoT SIM card partner. If your project’s requirements from the above are not met, then cost doesn’t matter; even a no cost solution that doesn’t meet your needs costs too much. Too often, cost is too heavily weighted without understanding how the above criteria are satisfied. It’s not to say that cost is unimportant but if you choose the least expensive solution and you spend a lot of development cycles trying to make it work you will end up spending more money on something that ends up not working.

To summarize, you want to partner with an IoT SIM card provider very early in your design process. You need to understand your particular needs and ensure that the chosen SIM card connectivity provider has the experience with similar projects and can meet YOUR particular requirements.

OneSimCard IoT has a team of IoT connectivity experts who are always curious about, and willing to engage with your particular project. We design our global IoT SIM card solutions to your needs and never try to put a square peg in a round hole because we understand every project is different. If you are looking for a connectivity solution, please contact sales@onesimcard.com for a no obligation consultation.