Author Topic: Affordable GSM data plans for low data rate apps!  (Read 4418 times)

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Offline SLOweather

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Affordable GSM data plans for low data rate apps!
« on: October 20, 2014, 02:56:42 PM »
I guess this goes more in this area than in Tech Corner.

As some of you know I have engineered or been apart of various cellular weather station projects based around Davis equipment. I started with a $600 Verizon BlueTree BT-6600 router and $40/mo for 250 GB. I worked with Verizon, AT&T, and Telit, and had discussions with lots of other carriers, before landing on Aeris. Like some others, Aeris is a middleman type of company. They have arrangements with the larger carriers and resell small amounts of data for relatively little $$.

(CAVEAT EMPTOR: Companies like this are affordable for small amounts of data where you don't want to pay $40 or $50 for 2 GB of data. In that quantity, they are most definitely WAY more expensive. KNOW YOUR DATA BANDWIDTH REQUIREMENTS, lest you get a big surprise.)

When I started with Aeris almost 2 years ago, I had to negotiate data plans, sign contracts, etc to get some SIMs to work with .

Now, Aeris has introduced NEO.

Neo SIMs are $2.75 each, not the $10-420 I paid elsewhere.

Monthly access is $1.00 per SIM, including the first 750 KB in/out per month, and access to their Web portal.

Data is $0.001/KB, rounded up to the next KB per session.

That's equal to $1.00/megabyte. (Here's where that CAVEAT comes in... There are 2,000 megabytes in 2 GB, so if you used it to browse and watch Netflix, and used 2 GB, that monthly bill would cost $2,000!) Now you see where companies like Aeris make their money.

So, with an Aeris NEO Sim card and something like a ZOOM Telephonics 4530 Router $134 from Provantage
, you should be able to affordable put any IP based station, like a WLIP or Acurite bridge, on the Internet from anywhere there's GSM service.

But keep that caveat in mind. I would suppose the WLIP is OK, but I dunno about anything that pushed firmware updates without permission. We really pushed some limits on both the Data Hub and server ends to get our data bandwidth down as much as possible.

FWIW, Aeris resells T-Mobile. So far I've been happy, with 3 WeatherElement station on their service. I think my cards will roam to AT&T if needed. Neo may be just T-Mobile.

Hmmm... I have a WLIP laying about for testing. I might have to try it on my spare zoom 4530 and see if it works and what the B/W is.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 03:12:37 PM by SLOweather »

Offline geofb13

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Re: Affordable GSM data plans for low data rate apps!
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 07:48:18 PM »
That sounds like a good deal, and one which I wish there would be something similar to up here in Quebec. Having moved from the States to here recently I'm still dumbfounded sometimes by cell service here. Especially since I've been working with stations and data transmission again but on quite a bit different budget then what I had before. This winter I'll be searching for something to work up here to try and make this next growing season and future ones better. Some new SIM card buying and service switches might be in store but we'll see.

Thanks SLO for posting this as it gives me a better baseline of what I could hope for but will probably not realistically find here.