What Is a Pay as You Go SIM Card?

A pay as you go SIM card, or a prepaid SIM card, allows users to pay for utilizing of the SIM in advance. In other words, one charges based on actual usage. In IoT applications, these SIM cards are often used in devices with varying data consumption or within unpredictable usage scenarios. 

How Pay as You Go Works on Practice? 

It’s pretty simple. Users just buy a SIM card with a preloaded balance or top up their account with credits when necessary. As the IoT device transmits data, the usage is deducted from the available balance. When the balance decreases, one can easily top up their account to ensure uninterrupted service. This "pay-as-you-go" model empowers users to control costs and scale their IoT deployments according to demand. 

Pay-as-You-Go vs. Flat Fee 

The best pay as you go SIM card is not always about the brand but about the use case. Anyway, in some cases, flat rate can be even more relative to the specific application than any pay-as-you-go solution: 



Flat Fee 

Cost Predictability 

Variable costs based on usage, leading to budget uncertainties 

Fixed monthly fee regardless of usage, offering predictable expenses 

Billing Simplicity 

Requires constant monitoring of usage and account top-ups 

Streamlines billing with no need for usage monitoring or account management 


Flexible but may result in cost fluctuations and challenges in budget management 

Seamlessly scalable without unexpected costs or overage charges 

Examples of Providers 

Twilio, Particle, Soracom 

1NCE, Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone 


Ideal for dynamic deployments with fluctuating usage patterns 

Perfect for stable deployments with predictable data consumption 

Key Advantage 

Flexibility to adjust usage and costs in real-time 

Cost predictability and simplicity in billing 

1NCE Shop

Buy the 1NCE IoT Lifetime Flat now

Visit the 1NCE Shop and start connecting your IoT devices easily. Simply order your SIM cards, choose the desired type of SIM card and fill out all required forms. After the payment has been approved you get your cards within five to seven business days.