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Topic # 152258 21-Sep-2014 22:48
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Hi there,

I have just sent off email requests to both Spark and Vodafone about their M2M offerings but was wondering if anyone on here has had any experience with them?

In particular their pricing structure and network coverage?

I am looking into a GPS vehicle tracking system using MQTT over GSM and will require some sort of SIM for data transmission.

Any thoughts, tips or suggestions?

Cheers,
Ben

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  Reply # 1133359 22-Sep-2014 07:21
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Pricing would depend on the number of connections and network coverage would be the same as normal mobile network

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  Reply # 1133364 22-Sep-2014 07:43
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What's your budget? Their M2M solutions are really catered for people who require their own APN and are connecting large numbers of devices. This doesn't come cheaply.

Assuming you're just connecting a small number of devices you simply need to buy SIM cards and manage these yourself.





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  Reply # 1133376 22-Sep-2014 08:29
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Thanks guys. That is what I wanted to know. Initially it would be low numbers, but potentially increasing to larger counts. 

My contact in Europe can supply European M2M SIMs with international roaming for around EUR1.50 per month plus EUR0.35/MB. We envisage about 2-3MB of data per month, based on our current calculations.

So it is very low usage, hence a standard SIM is likely to be uneconomical. Something like the VF Prepay $19 deal for 500MB could potentially work, but I couldn't see anywhere that mentioned whether those SIMs expire after a certain length of time? I.e. could I buy a $19 Prepay SIM and use it for data only, for 2-4 years?

What are the usage rates and prices for M2M SIMs assuming I did want enough of them to warrant them? And what is the threshold before I would be considered 'big' enough?

Thanks for the feedback guys,
Ben






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  Reply # 1133382 22-Sep-2014 08:31
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Ah...found it I think...

(b) Payments on your Prepay Account remain available for use for 365 days after the date of Activation or Payment or other timeframe specified in the terms and conditions for that plan (credit expiry period’). You must make a Payment of at least $20 at least once during each credit expiry period. Any unused balance on your Prepay Account at the end of the credit expiry period is forfeited unless another Payment is made within the applicable period.

So they would only be usable for 12 months. 

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  Reply # 1133383 22-Sep-2014 08:33
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I had some discussions with both Telecom and Vodafone around a year ago for a project that would have required a small(ish) number of SIM cards. Their rates at the time didn't even come close to some of the options for European M2M SIM cards and roaming.

I think things have changed at Vodafone now with their global MTM platform, but I don't know anything about current pricing. If you do want (or need) your own APN so data can be tunneled back into your network it suddenly becomes very expensive.



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  Reply # 1133386 22-Sep-2014 08:37
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Excuse my ignorance Steve, but what does having my own APN give me, and what does that involve? From what you are saying, obviously a fair bit of cost!

The devices we are looking at using will be communicating using MQTT over a secured (TLS/SSL) connection with authentication to an MQTT broker on a server in either the customers premises or in our own hosted environment. I don't think we will need our own APN but I could well be missing something here.

It may well just end up cheaper and easier to run on the roaming European M2M SIMs, which seems crazy to me.

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  Reply # 1133391 22-Sep-2014 08:57
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Your own APN can give you a link back into your own network meaning the traffic don't go over the internet at any point - this means you can be responsible for IP addresses and actual internet access (if needed) which would go via your network, not Vodafone.



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  Reply # 1133396 22-Sep-2014 09:04
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Ok - so I don't think I am in that boat, for this particular product. I have received an email back from Spark offering me a few SIMs as part of their developer pack. I might give them a go and see how it pans out.

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