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All known mobile network operators (MNO’s) offer special rates for M2M applications. These differ from other data tariffs mainly in terms of billing modalities that take into account the exchange of small amounts of data between “machines”.

Particular attention should be paid to the size and timing of the block rounding when selecting a suitable M2M data tariff. The mobile providers bill data volumes in data blocks. Typical sizes are 1KB, 10KB – while standard data tariffs often bill in 100 KB units. Also important is the time of billing or rounding of a data block – e.g. every hour or every 24 hours.

The costs for the data transfer therefore depend very much on the communication behavior of the M2M applications. If an M2M device transmits data only a few times a day and a GPRS connection is terminated, block rounding plays less of a role than if an M2M device very often transmits small amounts of data and is “permanently” online. This behavior should be considered and controlled during the development of the M2M application.

Anyone looking for a suitable data tariff for an M2M application should seek advice. If larger quantities (SIM cards) are purchased, such rates can be negotiated individually.

The following points should be checked:

  • Basic price of the tariff
  • Package price for a flat-rate data volume (e.g. 500 MB)
  • Costs for additional volume (Run on Rate, ROR)
  • Billing unit and block rounding (clocking of the rate) !
  • Contract period
  • Network coverage and network quality of the mobile operator
  • Roaming / nationales Roaming
  • Need for a fixed IP address
  • Security requirements and service quality (QoS)
  • Pooling
  • Administration and monitoring of SIM cards – this should be possible via a portal (useful for larger M2M networks)

You can enquire about special M2M tariffs directly with the well-known mobile phone providers:

  • T-Mobile
  • Vodafone
  • MDEX
  • Telefonica bzw- O2
  • 1nce
  • emnify

There are applications that place high demands on data security, availability and service quality. This can be taken into account by using an own APN, secured VPN connections or by relocating services to the data centers of a mobile phone provider. There are specialized suppliers, e.g. MDEX, who offer these services.

For some applications, however, prepaid tariffs are also suitable, which are characterised by favourable contract conditions (no term) and favourable prices for SMS and data. Prepaid SIM cards offer an uncomplicated introduction. In most cases, these can be charged automatically (direct debit, credit card), so that they are also suitable for permanent use.

  • Blau.de
  • Simyo

Prepaid starter packs are easy to buy (internet, petrol stations, drugstore chains). These usually have a starting balance (10 €) and additional data options can be booked, which also cover a high data volume in the test phase.

Further information

Do you have questions about M2M SIM cards? Talk to us, we will be happy to advise you.