02/08/2017

Hologram - a developer friendly international SIM

Hologram is a US company that offers both a hardware cellular device called a Dash, back-end cloud services and international SIMs that can be used globally.

The Dash is programmable through the Arduino IDE (and is supported out the box in recent versions) and the Dash firmware directly supports Holograms cloud services.

The cloud services know about Dash devices and then various routes can be set, which allow things to be sent to the Dash or from the Dash to another service (like IFTTT, Slack, etc).

The SIM is a standard 2G/3G SIM that can be fitted in a Dash and then be used on any supported mobile network. There are various pricing models with paid plans starting at $0.40 per month with data costing $0.60 / MB (billed by KB) in a pay-as-you-go service or pre-pay: -

>
DataZone 1Zone 2
500KB$0.59------
1MB$0.99$1.29
2MB$1.49$1.99
3MB$1.49$2.99
5MB$2.99$3.99
10MB$3.99$6.99
20MB$5.99$12.99
30MB$6.99$16.99
50MB$7.99$28.99
100MB$14.99$47.99
125MB$18.99$59.99
250MB$32.99------
500MB$55.99------

There are also US only plans: -

$8.00250MB
$12.00500MB
$20.001GB
$36.002GB
$70.005GB

SMSZone 1Zone 2
INBOUND (to device)FREEFREE
OUTBOUND (from device)$0.19 / Message$0.30 / Message

Zone 1 is EU, US etc and Zone 2 Canada, bits of Africa/South America and other odd countries.

Hologram have just announced a Developer plan (1 SIM ONLY), which gives 1MB per month absolutely free (and then $0.60 per MB billed by KB) and they'll even ship it for free using code "DEVPLANBLASTOFF" (no quotes).

That's pretty useful so testing the service is easy, without spending a lot of data charges.

The Dash has some pretty nice features too, such as being able to sent program and even firmware updates OTA (though that's going to quickly eat data, especially for firmware updates).