M2M and the Internet of Things

Machine-to-machine Communication: How is M2M pricing structured in the US?

Published on: 2015-02-05

I was asked recently about M2M pricing structures -- specifically, how carriers (generic and specialized) tend to price low-bandwidth and/or low-transfer cellular data plans, and what they tend to do about the physical modem or other devices they sell (or otherwise offer) to provide service. Here's my answer:

First, I would definitely not recommend relying on prepaid plans and the like, or consumer-grade wifi hotspot hardware (though consumer and "pro" grade cell modems are usually exactly the same from the carrier). In reasonable quantity (100 devices or so) a fair deal right now (2013) might be 10MB/month for about $15/device. The carrier will typically pool the data, thus what you'd really have is 1,000MB that could be distributed across your devices as you see fit. In low data/bandwitdh plans, data never rolls over from month to month though. At around the 100 unit mark you should also be able to negotiate a decent discount on the modems too (there was a time when they'd give them out to you for free, but that seems to happen much less often now).

While M2M-focused subcarriers can start offering you reasonable deals at higher quantities (high hundreds to low thousands) -- especially if you're paying for their industrial modems or other equipment -- generally they will be more expensive than going directly to the carrier if you don't need their equipment or specific expertise.


Add comment


Subscribe to the M2M Insider RSS feed


Looking for more articles and research? Our newest articles can always be found at M2M Insider, but there are many additional research articles in our historical articles archive.


You may also be interested in Digital Signage Insider: our blog about all things digital signage.


Questions?  Get pricing  •  Call us at (800) 989-9269 or +1 (954) 548-3300  •  Chat with us online
Copyright © 2016 WireSpring Technologies, Inc. All rights reserved. View our site map, privacy and legal info, and syndication policy.