Notes on SIM Cards and Selecting a GSM Service Provider

Selecting a GSM Service Provider (Notes on SIM Cards)

Haute Solutions and Sleeper Cell Alarms are NOT a GSM Service providers. We do not require that you subscribe to our services or that you use a provider that we have a relationship with. As different customers have different requirements, we believe that the individual customer should be able to decide which GSM service provider best meets their needs. We provide the equipment, you select your service provider! But maybe we can help… Here is some information which you might find useful when selecting a GSM Service Provider (Cellular Carrier).

There are basically two carriers in the USA who provide GSM Services (AT&T and T-Mobile). There are many service providers who can sell you a GSM compatible SIM, but they all will ultimately ride on top of one of these two main carriers.

TRUPHONE (www.truphone.com): We have been using and distributing Truphone SIM cards and services for several years now and we REALLY like their service. They used to support BOTH the TMobile and AT&T networks, but they recently discontinued using the AT&T network with little or no warning to their customers. They have a really great “pay-as you go” plan with no monthly fee but now they only ride on top of T-Mobile. It’s likely we’ll see an end to support for 2G devices very soon AlarmSIM (www.alarmsim.com):

T-Mobile (www.T-Mobile.com): Let’s go right to the source! T-Mobile has a very low cost “pay-as-you-go” service that costs only $3.00 per month. It even includes 30 texts per month at no extra charge. You should note that setting up a prepaid account with T-Mobile will require you to get an SMS text message with a validation code to confirm you actually have the SIM installed. Normally, this is easiest done with an unlocked handset, but you can also use the Sleeper Cell Alarm to do this. The Sleeper Cell will forward any incoming text messages, to everyone on the notification list, if the alarm is in “Config” mode when the message comes in. Normally, we wouldn’t want to process any commands from unknown sources if the alarm was actually alarming, but if you are physically in “Config” mode, we’ll pass along any SMS messages which arrive. (Just make sure you are already on the Notification list and the device is powered up in Config mode when the validation message is sent).

AlarmSIM (www.alarmsim.com) is a relatively new company. They also offer “pay as you go” plans with no monthly fee and they will ride on top of either T-Mobile or AT&T (customer’s choice). They have been working on getting their service established and the associated growing pains are perhaps more obvious than they should be. However, once they get their service sorted out they might be a very attractive solution provider.

TING (www.ting.com): Ting is a basic “M2M” (Machine To Machine) GSM service provider. As many of the devices they host require 2G service, they ride on top of T-Mobile. Their “pay as you go” plans start at $6 per month but that does not include any text messages ($0.03 each).

ECOMOBILE (www.ecomobile.com): Ecomobile is another provider which has been suggested to us. We had not yet tried any of their SIM cards, but they do offer a pay-as-you-go plan with no monthly fees.

We don’t think it should be required, but often it can be useful to have an unlocked GSM handset (cell phone) at your disposal to help troubleshoot SIM problems should they occur. You can find lots of these on Amazon, and the ones we use in house are inexpensive ($40) Yezz Andy AC4E Android phones which can be purchased on Amazon. They also have some nice Dual SIM handsets, but we like the single SIM handsets for simplicity…