Today at their online Spectra conference, Particle announced their new cellular-based IoT platform called EtherSIM, which opens their devices to a large network of carriers worldwide and adds the data plans into the Particle platform subscription price for professional users. Alongside, they also unveiled the “Particle Free Plan” which lets smaller users and makers access the Particle platform (with EtherSIM cellular data) for free for up to 100 devices.
In the announcement, Particle’s Product Director Will Hart said EtherSIM works with over 350 cellular carriers; products utilizing it can operate around the world. It will let you use multiple, overlapping carrier hubs for a strong signal anywhere, automatically choosing the best one and “self-healing” to new networks if there are dropouts, to stay online. They’re aiming to make a reliable, universal solution with this.
The IoT-focused board makers have long been involved in the cellular space. Their first product, the Spark Core, provided WiFi access in its 2013 launch. In 2015 they added a cellular option with the Electron. They’ve grown considerably since then, with various, large vendors using Particle inside their devices.
At the same time, Particle has kept itself accessible to the maker community. The new free tier of their EtherSIM is a nice nod to those of us who are working on our personal mailbox notifiers and garage door openers. Free use for 100 devices is impressive. And they’ll be automatically moving existing customers that fit in this segment into this section — they will no longer be billed for monthly service.
For professional use, Particle is also launching three for-pay tiers on the EtherSIM platform.
Particle says EtherSIM will be used on all their cellular products in the future. “Most people will use EtherSIM by purchasing new Particle devices that include the EtherSIM, usually as an embedded SIM (it’s a chip on the device rather than a removable SIM card).” CEO Zach Supalla tells Make:. “We will also be releasing SIM cards in a few weeks that can be dropped into existing Particle products that have a removable SIM card.”
Find more info in their Spectra discussion board.