Yes, in a first step, we’ve decided to bring cellular NB-IoT connectivity to the masses

Over the past months, we’ve been working hard to bring our developer community yet another step closer to easy IoT.
We all know that currently, it is a feat of stamina simply navigating mobile network sales channels, let alone trying to purchase SIM cards for testing NB-IoT.
Well, we have heard you! …and your days and nights of endless searching and scrolling, are over. We are happy to announce that we will be selling NB-IoT SIM cards, straight from our (easy-peasy to navigate) Webshop!

What are we doing?
Pycom is working with Mobile Network Operators globally, with one aim – to offer those much-wanted SIM cards on our Webshop. Not only that, we are also aiming to offer a range of quantities to customers, starting at one lone SIM card.

The first of these wondrous offerings stems from our relationship with Vodafone. We are chuffed to announce that we are their first partners to have agreed to resell their NB-IoT connectivity and SIMs!

Hang on, is this exclusive?

No, not at all, but it is a first for both Vodafone and us. We’re working with other Mobile Network Operators to enhance Pycom’s ability to supply mobile network access for these new cellular LPWAN networks, and we also aiming to supply other network SIMs too. It just so happened that Vodafone were the first to market with NB-IoT, and so they were ready to chat with us very early on.

Why are you doing this? We thought you were network agnostic…

Yes, we still are! You may be wondering what the end goal is here, and that’s understandable. Well, it’s super simple:  we are delivering our vision to remove barriers and speed up time-to-market for developers in our community.
We still maintain a completely hands-off approach to your network choices (so don’t worry).  And it gets even better, as we are currently working to give you even more choice by adding operators to offer different geographical coverage, and also covering CAT-M1.

Cool, but how will you deliver this at Pycom?

Our range of cellular development boards like GPy and FiPy support Nano SIMs, and we’ll be able to add those SIMs to the things we ship out to customers ordering either online or directly with us. Once the SIM arrives, it’s just a matter of registering it with the network and you’re off to a great start with cellular IoT.

Don’t fear, we’ll give you plenty of self-service help to get going, and once you’re up and running you can come back for more support either with us or with Vodafone directly!

When will the SIMs and the service be available?

It takes a good few months to complete the set-up, but as we started last year we are expecting it to be ready by the end of March 2019. So, get ready and get excited!

Where will the Vodafone NB-IoT Network be?

Great question! There’s so much hype around cellular network availability, yet reality is often quite different regarding access and usage. However, Vodafone have been actively rolling out their network over the last couple of years and are, in our opinion, well ahead of the curve with their active sites.

Currently, they cover networks in the following territories:

  • Czech Republic;
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Australia
  • Netherlands
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Turkey.

Soon to switch on

  • UK
  • Romania
  • Hungary
  • Portugal

The future is exciting. Check out the Vodafone official information here

This all sounds brilliant, but how much will it cost?

We’ll finalise pricing over the coming months but anticipate that NB-IoT will set you back a couple of Euros per month, per device, for low quantities.

It will be a monthly contract, just like phone subscriptions, and you will have to opportunity to pay for the year ahead in one go, if you prefer. Naturally, that price will reduce with higher volumes purchased.

What next?

Our plan is to keep going and offer more network services from our various partners also adding connectivity  for other network providers before the summer of 2019.

Eager to learn more?

Join us for 2 days in Nuremberg at Embedded World (Hall 3A / 3A-533) Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th February 2019 or catch us at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday 26th February. Do drop us a note to twitter (pycomiot) or email hello@pycom.io.

See you there?