Over the last few years, The IoT space has been revolutionising many traditional industries by providing deep insights and analytics directly from inanimate objects and devices. This boom has been driven by Cellular IoT (CIoT), which essentially means there is unlimited potential, even if your ‘thing’ is constantly on the move and crossing borders.
The ability for devices to ‘roam’ is a critical element of IoT as businesses need a reliable internet connection that isn’t tied to a single network and do not want to encounter unreasonable roaming charges as they are in transit around the world or crossing continents.
The answer is Multi-Network enabled SIM cards. These IOT SIMs connect to any network globally and offer fail-safe connectivity, which means devices can remain connected to the internet without dropping signal. The other huge benefit for businesses is the fact that tariffs can be defined at the outset, regardless of where they are in the world. This means businesses can plan for OPEX and expenses with pinpoint accuracy, and there are no surprises in transit.
How Multi-Network SIMs are changing the game
Possibly the biggest benefit is the fact that Multi-Network SIMs can switch between multiple networks without the need to have contracts in place with every single network provider. It also means devices only need a single SIM slot and you don’t need to configure multiple SIMs for each network’s unique settings.
Another major benefit is that switching between networks is seamless with no drop in connectivity, or at least very little, even if there is an outage. This ultra resilience is critical for businesses that rely on a steady flow of data to make critical decisions, manage customer expectations and in some cases, keep employees safe.
This resilience is also supported behind the scenes by real-time connectivity control centres such as Cisco-Jasper. These hubs allow businesses leveraging the power of IoT to access enhanced control capability, data management and deep insights and analytics, critical for making decisions and optimising services.
Why Consumer SIMs Are Not Fit For Purpose
The biggest barrier for IoT is that consumer SIMs are tied to a single network and this means a business is beholden to the tariff deals made between the networks. It also means that it is highly likely users will be buying far more data than they actually need and connectivity is totally unreliable as devices wait for the SIM to connect to the nearest local network.
Cellular Connectivity Is Future Proofed
As we roll into 5th generation technology, such as 5G and ‘Over-The-Air’ connectivity, resilience is enhanced even further and by embracing CIoT and Multi-Network SIMs you can continue to remove unnecessary admin and ensure a steady flow of business critical data.
What To Look For In A Service Provider
Look for a provider offering non-steered multi-network SIMs, which simply means they are not configured to a default ‘home’ network. Rather, they look for the strongest signal available at all times.
It is possible to use steered networks, especially if the device is remaining in predetermined locations where specific networks offer superior connectivity for guaranteed resilience. A good service provider will be able to offer both and give guidance on what works best for each unique business case.
Non-steered is particularly useful for telemetry and asset tracking devices, which rely on business continuity where zero down-time is a must and non negotiable.
Finally, find a provider who can provide consultancy and act as a partner rather than a vendor and ask to see case studies and user-cases in your vertical, they will often provide guidance on how to interrogate your data and how to interpret dashboards into strategic decisions and optimisation opportunities.
In almost every single industry, from logistics and apps to banking and agriculture, Multi-Network SIMs are the true game-changer and driving the future of IoT.