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SIM Providers: LTE-M/Nb-IoT + Roaming, and Setup

In order to get online with our 4G LTE-M/NB-IoT devices, you will require a SIM card that operates on these networks. Network terminology can be confusing - often multiple terms are used for the same network - e.g. Cat-M1 and LTE-M are used interchangeably. 

Make sure you have read SIM Providers: LTE-M/Nb-IoT + Roaming, and Setup as an overview of all the key concepts of LTE-M/NB-IoT

Important points

Tracking Specific SIMs

Our LTE-M/NB-IoT devices will need special SIMs for these networks - i.e. often a standard '4G Prepaid SIM' like you would buy for your mobile phone will likely not get you online. 


LTE-M and NB-IoT networks are relatively new, and are still being rolled out in some places. Teething problems may occur. They are usually quickly resolved and once a network has been up and running for a while expect trouble-free operation. However test new SIMs, networks and technologies thoroughly before deploying in volume. 

Pricing - you get what you pay for

Keeping ongoing data costs to the absolute minimum is critical and a key factor if many tracking applications are even viable, or will get off the ground. When deploying many devices, even small differences in data costs per device can quickly rack up. However it is important to note that a higher level of service = higher cost. Not all SIM cards work the same - some can even reduce device battery life.

Please see our website for information on the differences between LTE-M and NB-IoT. The general difference in application can be summarised as:

  • NB-IoT: Suitable for very limited updates, i.e. location updates 4 times a day, temp readings 2 x per day. Plans and data limits which are now emerging reflect this - i.e. some provide less than 100kB per month. NB-IoT is not suitable for tracking - i.e. turn by turn tracking of a vehicle with many updates and comparatively more data. 
  • LTE-M: Suitable for tracking applications. Cell tower handover is supported (so the device will stay connected if a vehicle being tracked drives between towers) - and more data usage above the very stringent NB-IoT limits is covered. 

Commercial Deployments

It is tempting to go for some very low cost, relatively unknown roaming SIM cards. However certain networks may have agreements with the roaming providers that if a SIM stays attached to their network for too long (i.e. >6mths continuously) - it can be kicked off. This kind of uncertainty is not acceptable for a large deployment. Any savings on SIM data will quickly evaporate if units need to be recovered and SIMs swapped. This is not to discourage cost saving measures - lower priced tracking is great for everyone! But the risks and benefits should be weighed up when choosing untested SIMs and networks. Test thoroughly before rolling out large scale deployments!

So what SIMs should I actually get? What providers are there?

This article serves as a record of what SIMs which Digital Matter have knowledge of working with our products in various countries.

Key Points

  • The list of SIM/networks in this article is not an exhaustive list of all available SIMs and providers - plenty others exist and may well work. 
  • This is not a list of 'approved providers', you're free to use any SIM you choose!
  • This list relies purely on the feedback of our partners to help build it. We have better data in the countries where we are more active/have more devices. It's just our experiences/learnings. 
  • Many of the roaming SIMs will list on their website that they roam to many more countries than are indicated below. We add an entry when we have confirmation the SIM will work in that country. 
  • Results often change, we have had some providers which initially would not connect, only to find after various updates from 3rd parties (networks, SIM providers, component providers) to have them connect.
  • The inverse is not as common but also possible. Partners should conduct their own testing!

LTE-M/NB-IoT Networks are still relatively new, but in many countries coverage is very widespread. Roaming is also relatively new, but in recent months we have seen many new providers come to market with good results.

See GSM Arena - Mobile IoT Commercial Launches for an up to date list of current and announced LTE-M/Nb-IoT networks globally. 

So in selecting a SIM card, in making your decision:

  1. Check the GSM Arena list, to find what networks operate LTE-M or NB-IoT networks in your country/countries of interest
  2. You will need to source a SIM, either:
    1. A 'home' SIM directly from the network or one of their resellers (preferred if roaming between countries isn't a requirement)
    2. A roaming SIM that can roam onto one of these networks

The information below can guide you in making your choice in (2) 

Our Results/Findings

See our other article discussing 4G Connectivity - Cat-M1 vs NB-IoT, Coverage, Providers and Roaming

This article summarises our current confidence level in the various technologies and SIMs as follows. 

Digital Matter current confidence levels can be summarised as:

LTE-M1 on SIM's home network
Highly confident, well proven over many years
LTE-M, with a roaming SIM
Confident, well proven over many years.
It is important to apply the relevant APN and bandmasks for best performance - see: SIM Providers & Setup
Some roaming SIMs will cause significant extra battery drain, and should be avoided if using battery powered devices. See Roaming SIM Cards - Battery Life Impact 
NB-IoT, Home network SIM
Confident, well proven.
In general, NB-IoT networks are 'younger' than LTE-M in many regions, so some minor teething issues (which have since been resolved for LTE-M) may remain on certain NB-IoT networks. However issues are fast becoming few and far betweween.
NB-IoT, with a roaming SIM
Confident - this has improved greatly over the last 12 months.
As above some roaming SIMs should not be used in battery powered devices. 

How do I configure any network settings if required?

Our devices make use of clever firmware features to automatically detect which type of SIM card is installed in a unit on startup, and automatically apply the right settings to get online. We call this Autonet

What this means is that in the majority of cases, devices will get online automatically, with no special setup. However this is not a guarantee in all cases. 

Once online, it is recommended that you specifically configure your settings - but this is easy to do Over-The-Air once online. 

If you are unsure whether your device will get online automatically, it is best that you order a DMLink Cable with your devices, and then configuration instructions are covered here:

In the tables below, all SIMs should (things can change!) connect automatically unless otherwise specified.

In many cases, we've heard from our partners that our latest generation devices automatically connect; without the manual configuration settings done on our previous generations. 


In Australia the current preferred option is Telstra's Cat-M1 network, using a SIM card provided by M2M One.

Other roaming SIM cards are available that will work on Telstra's Cat-M1 network. Yet certain roaming SIMs have the

We have a very high level of confidence of M2M One's Cat-M1 SIMs that work on the Telstra network.

The other listed SIMs appear to be working well but are not as extensively tested. 

TechnologySIM ProviderResultsNetwork
Cat-M1M2M One (reccomended)Recommended SIM for Australia. Excellent results on Telstra's Cat-M1 network. Great service from M2M OneTelstra Cat-M1
Coverage is widespread. Available in essentially every area 3G exists.
Coverage Map
Cat-M1TelstraExcellentTelstra Cat-M1
Cat-M1EmnifyCan potentially lead to excessive battery drain.
See Roaming SIM Cards - Battery Life Impact.
Telstra Cat-M1 (roams on network)
Cat-M1SoracomWorking well - testing is not widespread but initial results look goodTelstra Cat-M1 (roams on network)
Cat-M1Spark NZ Roaming SIMWorking well - testing is not widespread. A decent option if devices will travel between AU and NZ. Telstra Cat-M1
(roams on network - and to Spark's network in NZ)
Cat-M11NCE Roaming SIMUsing this SIM in AU seems to cause issues with the uBlox SARA R410M - avoid for these devices. 
Works ok in other countries though, so there seems to be a specific issue with these SIMs roaming in AU on devices using uBlox modem.
No such issues on newer range of devices with Nordic modem - Connects automatically.
Best to configure the APN as provided by 1NCE
Telstra Cat-M1 (roams on network) 
Cat-M1Twilio Super SIM (global roaming SIM)Limited Testing, shown to be working.
APN = super
4G Network - Global: Cat-M1 Only

Feb 23 - Devices initially connect however facing registration issues, recently. Some partners have reported this to Twilio - caution advised.
Telstra Cat-M1 (roams on network) 
NB-IoTM2MOneThe DMA office have tested a few Telstra NB-IoT SIMs and got them online.
Network only recently launched (Q3 2020). We got "NB-IoT Type 1" SIM Cards online
Telstra NB-IoT 
NB-IoTM2MOneLimited testing of eDCP NB-IoT SIMs (this is Telstra's roaming NB-IoT SIM). Got online automatically.Telstra NB-IoT
NB-IoTOptusTested by DM in DM Perth office - working well. Connects automatically with no input.
Extent of coverage is not well known.
Optus NB-IoT
NB-IoTVodafoneInitially Vodafone NB-IoT Would not work due to DNS issues as ePCO was not enabled.

This is now reportedly enabled - but DNS still does not work.

As of 2020 we can work around this using our Provisioning Tool. But aiding data downloads fail - so fixes take longer, reducing battery life on battery powered devices.
Vodafone NB-IoT
TechnologySIM ProviderResultsNetwork
NB-IoTA1Proven to work well with our devices in Austria using A1 SIMsA1
TechnologySIM ProviderResultsNetwork
NB-IoTOrangeCoverage is good, DM devices have had a lot of success using Orange NB-IoT SIMsOrange
LTE-M1NCECoverage is good, DM devices have had success using 1NCE SIMs *issues in Australia – see AU section
APN must be set to ""
TechnologySIM ProviderResultsNetwork
LTE-M1NCECoverage is good, DM devices have had success using 1NCE SIMs *issues in Australia – see AU section
APN must be set to ""
TechnologySIM ProviderResultsNetwork
NB-IoT1NCECoverage is good, DM devices have had success using 1NCE SIMs *issues in Australia – see AU section
APN must be set to ""
Hong Kong
TechnologySIM ProviderResultsNetwork
NB-IoTOrange/3 MobileIssues with DNS but can be worked around using a Wired Provisioning Tool.
See DNS Troubleshooting on 4G
NB-IoTChina MobileIssues with DNS but can be worked around using a Wired Provisioning Tool

Either use ‘x’ into the network string.

Or use Oem server’s IP address

See DNS Troubleshooting on 4G
China Mobile
TechnologySIM ProviderResultsNetwork
NB-IoT1NCECoverage is good, DM devices have had success using 1NCE SIMs *issues in Australia – see AU section
APN must be set to ""
1NCE - Vodafone
LTE-M1NCECoverage is good, DM devices have had success using 1NCE SIMs *issues in Australia – see AU section
APN must be set to ""
New Zealand
TechnologySIM ProviderResultsNetwork
Cat-M1Vodafone NZGreat results. Many devices in operation in NZ.
Coverage Map
Vodafone Cat-M1
Cat-M1Spark NZGreat results, many devices in operation. Widespread coverage. Coverage MapSpark NZ Cat-M1
NB-IoTVodafoneCoverage Map - reportedly performing well - but DM have not yet seen significant evidence to support thisVodafone NZ NB-IoT
  • Set APN to hologram
  • Set bandmasks to m1+3+28

Limited testing, have seen SIMs online with the above settings.

Spark/Vodafone (roaming SIM)
Cat-M1M2M One (Aus) Roaming SIMReportedly working well on the Spark network

May 23 - A few partners have reported that these sims do not connect - caution advised
Spark Cat-M1

Note in NZ, Vodafone may supply a 'local' and GDSP (Global Data Service Platform) SIM card. The latest versions of device firmware should join automatically. If older devices do not, firmware can be updated via the DM Link cable, or set the APN via this cable. Check with your provider for this APN. 

North America


Cat-M1AerisGood results, across a large number of devices (recommended roaming card for the US)AT&T
Cat-M1PodGood results, Pod supply 'native' AT&T SIMs
Must set APN "data641003"
Cat-M1EmnifyGets online automatically but be sure to apply the right configuration once online.
Some Emnify SIMs have been seen to swap IMSIs regularly, causing excessive battery drain
Roaming SIM Cards - Battery Life Impact
Roams on Sprint and AT&T
Cat-M1AT&TOnly certified devices may be used on these networks (Oyster2 and Dart2 currently)AT&T
Cat-M1VerizonDevice IMEI must be added to Verizon database by Digital Matter. Only certified devices may be used on Verizon (Remora2, Oyster2, G62 and Yabby GPS currently). Limitations on how often the device may upload - this is handled by Applying the correct settings for VerizonVerizon
Cat-M1HologramMust configure APN: "hologram" to get onlineAT&T
Cat-M1Twilio Super SIM (global roaming SIM)Setup:
APN = super
4G Network - Global: Cat-M1 Only
CAT-M1 & NB-IoT1NCEolder generation devices using uBlox modems must have the APN set to "" before they can connect.

newer generation devices using Nordic modems (Bolt2, Dart3, G70, Hawk, Oyster3, Oyster Edge, Remora3, Yabby3, Yabby Edge) connects automatically. Best to configure the APN as provided by 1NCE


Cat-M1RogersMust configure APN to get online. Received from the carrier.Rogers
Cat-M1BellMust configure APN to get online. Received from the carrier.Bell
Cat-M1TelusMust configure APN to get online. Received from the carrier.Telus
Cat-M1AerisGood results, recommended roaming sim.AT&T
Cat-M1EMnifyGood results, gets online automatically but be sure to apply the right configuration once onlineTelus
Cat-M11NCEAPN must be set to ""1NCE
NB-IoTTelenorProven to work well with our devices in Norway using Telenet SIMsTelenet
NB-IoTCOM4Proven to work well with our devices in Norway using COM4 SIMsCOM4
LTE-M1NCECoverage is good, DM devices have had success using 1NCE SIMs *issues in Australia – see AU section
APN must be set to ""
LTE-MEmnifyProven to work well with our devices in Norway using Emnify SIMs. No APN configuration is needed.Emnify
Papua New Guinea
Limited tested - have seen a device manage to get online. Further testing required
Limited tested - have seen a device manage to get online. Further testing required
Vodafone global roaming SIM able to connect on LTE-M in Portugal
NB-IoTVodafoneePCO does not appear to be enabled on Vodafone Portugal's NB-IoT network, causing DNS issues.
This may be able to be worked around by setting the OEM Server IP in parameters ahead of time
Further testing required.
South Africa
NB-IoTVodacomMust configure APN to get online. APN must be set to ""Vodacom
LTE-MEmnifyGood results, gets online automatically but be sure to apply the right configuration once onlineOrange (roams)
Global Roaming SIM connects in Spain. Limited Testing
NB-IoTMigrosNB-IoT devices reportedly connecting.
NB-IoTHologramNB-IoT not yet supported on Hologram. Awaiting further tests. 
United Kingdom
LTE-M1NCEDM devices have had success using 1NCE SIMs *issues in Australia – see AU section
APN must be set to ""
LTE-MAISVery limited testing has proven successful. Partners should test further before deploying in volume.  
APN: internet
NB-IoTAISVery limited testing has proven successful, partners should test further before deploying in volume.
APN: devkit.nb
4G Network - Global: NB-IoT Only
Custom Network Or Bandmasks - n8+28

Roaming SIM Cards

Modem and network updates has led to their performance improving dramatically in recent months. Many of these cards are referenced in the above tables as they have been tested in the relevant country. Consult the provider's network and country list for full details - but always test!

Roaming SIM Note

Some networks have in their agreements with roaming SIM providers that they roaming SIM shouldn't roam for too long on the home network continuously - or they may be switched off. Check with your providers before deploying large device volumes!

Some also may significantly reduce device battery life - Roaming SIM Cards - Battery Life Impact

*The 1NCE SIM card was successful roaming through Belgium, France and the Netherlands, on band 8 and 20.

These SIMs are mentioned in the above tables per country. However they are listed here for convenience. Check the providers website for a list of countries and networks the SIMs roam on:

  • Emnify
  • Soracom
  • Hologram
  • Twilio
  • 1NCE
  • M2M One
  • Vodafone Global Roaming

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