SIM Types

Soracom provides several types of SIM modules to fit a wide variety of cellular devices. Soracom works directly with SIM manufacturers and network carriers to provide each type of SIM module.

Following standard telecommunications terminology, each SIM on the Soracom platform may be termed a subscriber when referring to its network properties or functionality. The terms SIM card or Embedded SIM are used when referring to the physical SIM module.


Characteristics

Each SIM is categorized by the following three characteristics:

Physical Form Factor

Form factor

Soracom offers both SIM card and Embedded SIM (eSIM) form factors. SIM cards provide flexibility and work with a wide variety of cellular hardware (such as 3G/LTE modems and development kits) that use SIM card slots. Most Soracom Air SIM cards come in a "trio" pre-cut card that can be resized to fit standard/mini- (2FF), micro- (3FF), and nano-SIM (4FF) slots. For hardware applications with space constraints or security requirements, eSIMs (MFF2) provide the same cellular connectivity in a smaller package that can be soldered directly on the device.

Network Coverage

Soracom Air SIMs differ by their cellular coverage: Global or Japan-only. Global SIMs offer network connectivity in 135 countries around the world (including Japan!), through roaming agreements between Soracom and each country's cellular network operators. Japan SIMs offer network connectivity only in Japan (connecting to other networks outside of Japan is not supported), and provides separate platform functionality tailored for customers whose devices will be deployed in Japan.

Subscription Plan

In addition to Global and Japan coverage, SIMs also consist of subscription plan that determine different levels of connectivity service.

Soracom IoT SIMs (Global network coverage)

The plan01s subscription provides the best coverage, with pay-as-you-go data pricing that varies from country to country.

plan01s SIMs also support Subscription Containers which allow you to add extra subscription plans to the same SIM. These optional subscriptions allow you to unlock lower data rates in specific regions, or extend coverage to more countries and networks. The planP1 subscription provides significantly lower data pricing in the Asia Pacific region while also extending the number of countries covered. The planX1 subscription provides significantly lower data pricing in Japan with connectivity to au/KDDI (by default, the plan01s subscription only allows connectivity to NTT docomo).

Subscriptions can be added directly from the Soracom User Cosole and are delivered wirelessly to your plan01s SIM. For more information, refer to the Subscription Containers documentation.

For use cases with minimal data usage, the plan01s - Low Data Volume (LDV) subscription provides flat-rate data pricing while still supporting most countries around the world.

Soracom IoT SIMs for Japan (Japan-only network coverage)

The plan-D (Data/SMS) and plan-D (Data-only) subscriptions provide connectivity to NTT docomo (3G and 4G/LTE). For high data usage scenarios, the plan-DU subscription provides prepaid bulk data with connectivity to NTT docomo (4G/LTE only).

The plan-K subscription provides connectivity to au/KDDI (4G/LTE), and the plan-KM1 subscription provides connectivity to au/KDDI (LTE Cat-M1).


The following tables provide an overview of Soracom Air for Cellular form factors, network coverage, and subscription plans:

Soracom IoT SIM Soracom IoT SIM for Japan
Plan plan01s plan01s - LDV plan-D (Data/SMS) plan-D (Data-only) plan-DU plan-K plan-KM1
Design

Pricing Pay-As-You-Go Pay-As-You-Go Prepaid Pay-As-You-Go
Coverage 135 countries *1, *2 85 countries *1 Japan (NTT docomo) Japan (au/KDDI)
Connectivity 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE *3 3G, 4G/LTE 4G/LTE 4G/LTE LTE Cat-M1
Form Factors 3-in-1 (Standard/Mini-, Micro-, and Nano-SIM)
Embedded SIM (eSIM)
Standard/Mini-SIM
Micro-SIM
Nano-SIM
Micro-SIM
Nano-SIM
Nano-SIM
Embedded SIM (eSIM)
Data
SMS
USSD
Voice
Subscription Containers
Optional Subscriptions planP1 planX1

*1 - Refer to the Supported Carriers documentation for carrier information
*2 - Total coverage changes based on any optional subscriptions added to the SIM
*3 - Actual network availability varies by country and local operator

Optional Subscriptions
Plan planP1 planX1
Pricing Pay-As-You-Go
Coverage Asia Pacific *4 Japan (au/KDDI)
Connectivity 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE *5 4G/LTE
Form Factors Over-The-Air update
Data
SMS MT-SMS only *6
USSD
Voice

*4 - Refer to the Supported Carriers documentation for carrier information
*5 - Actual network availability varies by country and local operator
*6 - Mobile Terminated SMS, or SMS delivered from Soracom to a device


Hardware Compatibility

Soracom IoT SIMs (Global coverage) require a SIM-free (or carrier-unlocked) device. When using a Global Air SIM in a device that is carrier-locked or carrier-branded, you may receive an error message indicating that you cannot use the Soracom Air SIM card. You will need to contact the carrier in order to obtain a code to unlock your device.

Soracom IoT SIMs for Japan (Japan-only coverage) work with both SIM-free (or carrier unlocked) devices, as well as NTT docomo-branded devices when using plan-D or plan-DU, and au/KDDI-branded devices when using plan-K and plan-KM1. NTT docomo- and au/KDDI-branded devices do not need to be carrier-unlocked when used with their respective subscription plans.


Network Compatibility

In general, Soracom Air SIM modules do not have any limitations with cellular networks around the world. However, you must check that your hardware device is compatible with the network frequencies in the country of use.

For example, when using a Soracom IoT SIM in a device in the United States, you must check that your device supports the 2G, 3G, or 4G/LTE frequency bands that are available in the United States.

In some cases, 2G, 3G, or 4G/LTE coverage may not be available on a particular network. Even if your device supports the correct frequency bands, it will not be able to connect on a particular radio type (such as 4G/LTE) if none of the available networks in that country have deployed the corresponding network.


Coverage Types

Whether you use the Soracom User Console's intuitive user interface to manage your subscribers directly from your browser, or the Soracom API or Soracom CLI to integrate or automate management tasks with your application, Global and Japan subscribers are organized into separate coverage regions, due to their different platform functionality.

When managing susbcribers from the User Console, ensure that you have selected the correct coverage type, Global or Japan, corresponding to your subscriber's network coverage.

SIM Type plan01s plan01s - LDV planP1 planX1 plan-D plan-DU plan-K plan-KM1
User Console Coverage Global Japan
API Endpoint

https://g.api.soracom.io

https://api.soracom.io or
https://jp.api.soracom.io

CLI Flag

--coverage-type g

--coverage-type jp