So during the AMA event with Zach and team, the general comment was made by Zach: “We are working on expanding the list of cellular partners we support in the U.S. and internationally. The elephant in the room is Verizon, which many of our customers have requested that we add to EtherSIM.”
Can someone confirm that when or maybe at this point it’s just a big IF, particle.IO added support for Verizon that it would be capable with existing Ethersim devices? The reason I ask is I’m on the cusp of placing an order for multiple BRN404 trays especially with the extended lead times yet. The bulk of my customers are in remote areas which generally Verizon seems to have better coverage. So like many of us, I’m eager to see Verizon capability added. In any case, I’ll be placing the order but would maybe up the quantity ordered if I know that IF (I know it’s a big IF, ) Particle.IO added support for Verizon that an existing Ethersim capable device (say a BRN404) would be compatible. Do we think connecting to Verizon would require different hardware? Just hate to over order and then shortly after I receive the order particle.IO comes out and says we now support Verizon but it requires a BRN405(or some other version that I don’t have.
There are too many unknowns to say for sure. For example:
It is possible that Verizon could be added via a software change to the EtherSIM. However there is also a possibility it could require a different physical MFF2 SIM.
It’s possible that it could be added on the LTE Cat M1 SKUs like the B404 and BRN404. However, it’s also possible that it could require a different SKU, perhaps a LTE Cat 1 SKU like the B524, but with an Americas band modem.
Verizon LTE Cat M1 requires that we undergo Verizon certification and submit a list of IMEIs to allow onto the Verizon network. If we have to make any changes to the B404 or BRN404, it’s possible that only the new SKUs would be certified.
Which is to say if we were able to add Verizon, there is a path where existing devices would gain support. But there are also other possible scenarios where only new devices would be able to support Verizon.
Thanks for the explanation @rickkas7! I wasn’t sure if it just a business contractual discussion with Verizon or a technical development item. Sounds like maybe both. Thanks for elaborating/letting me know!
We were able to get Verizon certification for our product which uses Boron 404’s (not 404x) as the cellular device, but it was a fairly big pain and an ongoing annual cost for us to do so (insurance)… If anyone really has no other way out for some remote locations and needs a 402/404 device or two onboarded to Verizon, let me know and we can potentially discuss with our rep and see if we can onboard these under our product, and potentially get the conversation going for them to self certify as well and to share some of our learnings. I know what a struggle this is and we almost went out of business over it when ublox stopped submitting those IMEIs to verizon a few years back (and we spent tens of thousands of dollars prototyping other solutions which ultimately fell short).
For us, as a small business to get certified, it was somewhat difficult as we had to learn a lot more than we ever wanted to about cellular communications and test cases. For a company like Particle this would almost be a drop in the bucket in terms of overall cost and effort for them (hologram/ublox contacts eluded to this as well), and they just seem reluctant to do it for some other reason (I’m guessing maybe contractual reasons with other carriers, but it’s just a guess and I really have no clue).
So, it’s not impossible if you really need to go with Verizon and want to use Particle products, which in my opinion are still the best out there right now… but hopefully it will be a supported out-of-the-box solution again in the future by Particle for those of us in rural areas without AT&T.
Particle will be adding support for Verizon to EtherSIM in Q2 2023; we are currently targeting a May launch for General Availability. We are likely to run a private beta beforehand and if you are interested in participating we would be happy to add you to the list of participants. Verizon support will only be added to EtherSIM devices, may require a Device OS update, and may require additional fees; final pricing is to be determined and will be announced in May.
You will not need to go through Verizon certification for Particle LTE Cat M1 devices with an EtherSIM to use the devices on Verizon.
Looks like May is soon coming to a close. Any update on general availability for Verizon connectivity for existing EtherSIM devices? Is it now active and maybe I never noticed? Or maybe this going to be announced at Spectra? Will this include activating US Cellular coverage at the same time?
Hey everyone, thanks for your interest in this — I would like to encourage all of you to register and attend Spectra. We will be sharing some announcements that should answer your questions. See you there!
I'm honestly happy to hear Particle is adding Verizon connectivity! But on the flip side, it's super frustrating to hear that is is only available to enterprise customers.
I get it... there are likely more ongoing costs on the Particle side to add Verizon coverage. That has to be taken into account somewhere in Particle's business model. But forcing growth customers to go to an enterprise plan for their fleet for the "promise" of improved connectivity via Version is frustrating. I'd greatly appreciate if Particle would consider some alternatives:
Verizon enabled check box/opt in option for any device with an additional monthly charge per device that is Verizon enabled. I.e. I'd pay $x.xx/device/month premium surcharge. I could enable a device/s in poor connectivity/questionable areas with Verizon coverage and use that to evaluate if Verizon coverage helps.
Add a multiple for Verizon Data Operations (I.e. normal data operations is 1.0 multiplier. Verizon enabled data operations is a 1-2X multiple. Therefore I eat up more data operations if using Verizon coverage and would purchase additional blocks for those devices that leverage the improved connectivity.
Verizon enabled growth plan "tiers". I.e. a regular block of 100 devices is $300/month but you can opt in for a Verizon enabled block of 100 devices for $xxx/month where $xxx > $300.
An easier stepping stone to go from Growth to enterprise especially for a seasonal use case. In particular an enterprise plan that accommodates a few months out of the year seasonal connectivity use case.
An ability to evaluate Verizon connectivity prior to jumping into enterprise. Migrating to enterprise for the "promise" of improved connectivity via Verizon is a challenge. What happens if we transitioned to enterprise for the promise of improved connectivity via Verizon, are locked in for 3 years under that agreement, only to find out it was an empty promise with little to no improvement.
@Dan-Kouba - I'd be happy to discuss my perspective with Particle on this. I'm pretty reasonable and maybe we can figure out what's a win-win pricing model for both Particle and Particle growth customers alike. You and the Particle team put in so much work to finally enable Verizon. To not have a way for growth customers to evaluate and leverage that benefit feels like such a missed opportunity. You alienate your growth customers (the pipeline/funnel for future enterprise customers) and you also miss out on additional revenue that many growth customers would happily pay.