Global IoT connectivity and the ubiquity of IoT connection, in general, have been thought of as the (near) future of web 4.0 and the Internet of Things. We will soon move from IoT—which admittedly seemed like it was just introduced yesterday—to a new concept of the Internet of Everything.
Global IoT connectivity is very important to the future of the IoT industry for a few reasons. More IoT devices are increasingly mobile nowadays, including the soon-to-be-popular fleet of autonomous vehicles. For IoT vehicles, the further they travel, the more extensive the range of connectivity they will need, and soon enough truly global connectivity will be necessary.
Challenges In Implementing Global IoT Connectivity
Achieving large-scale IoT connectivity is already difficult, and so there are also various challenges organizations will face in implementing global, or even international IoT connectivity. In general, there are four main issues that arise during IoT connectivity implementations:
Scaling the connectivity to keep pace with the growth of IoT deployment
An organization with IoT deployments would want a connectivity solution that is reliable with quality coverage, but on the other hand, can “chase” the organization’s speed in scaling its IoT deployment while maintaining cost-efficiency.
Also, a proper IoT connectivity solution should also provide a way to manage all the different IoT devices/sensors in one place, typically in the form of a management solution. For organizations, finding a future-proof solution that can fit the business’s exact needs can be a major challenge. On the other hand, creating a versatile service that can scale with the client’s IoT deployment’s demands will be a challenge for any network providers.
Integrating with various different mobile network operators (MNOs)
It’s very difficult, if not impossible for a single network to cover many different countries with its service, much more in achieving global connectivity. A viable solution for this issue is to partner with trusted carriers in each region so you can offer the broadest coverage possible with just one service under one umbrella. This can also help in maintaining cost-efficiency since the network provider can “share” its infrastructure costs, which are often the most significant cost for the network provider.
Managing different carrier contracts with their own complexities
Finding and working with the right connectivity partner is already difficult, but it will also open the door to another major challenge. Onboarding IoT devices and sensors to various different network carriers in real-time can be extremely complex, while we must also reduce—or completely eliminate—downtime between each network switch. Network providers must provide streamlined contract management for their clients, while organizations must look for a network provider that can help simplify this contractual management on their end while you can simply monitor and manage everything in one account.
Maintaining comprehensive IT security on the whole IoT deployment
It’s no secret that in this day and age, data breaches and various other cybersecurity attack vectors are getting more prominent, and is now a threat not only for major enterprises but also for smaller businesses.
When it comes to global IoT connectivity, maintaining a good cybersecurity practice is going to be increasingly difficult the bigger the network gets and the more devices get connected to the IoT network. Both the IoT organizations and the network providers must embrace cybersecurity best practices with multi-layered security infrastructure.
Achieving Global IoT Connectivity With a Single Provider
While technically we can use various different network providers in many different countries to produce “global” connectivity, it is far from an ideal approach since, as discussed above, managing all of these different carriers can be very difficult, and it will only get increasingly difficult the more your IoT network grows.
Each different network carrier can offer differing fees, terms, contracts, and other factors to manage. This can be a major hassle to manage in the long run, especially if you are planning to scale your IoT deployment into an international or global scale.
This is why a single IoT connectivity provider that offers global coverage as an “umbrella” service is preferred. Services like Truphone for Things, for example, offer a global coverage plan by partnering with other carriers in 100+ countries, and there are several benefits in adopting this model for your IoT deployment:
- Convenience: you only need to deal with one carrier and manage one contract. With the eSIM technology, Truphone will handle switching between carriers automatically and you don’t need to change your physical SIM card anytime there’s a switch between networks.
- Reliability: with a single plan powering all your IoT devices in the network, you can count on them to always be connected wherever they are located. Typically a global IoT connectivity plan will offer backup carriers in every location, so when your device can’t connect to its usual network, it will automatically search for the next available option.
- Versatility: since you only have to manage a single plan, you can have an easier time managing your network and making changes whenever necessary. This will provide you with more flexibility in scaling and expanding your IoT deployment.
Managing a scalable IoT deployment is a complex and delicate task. There are many different elements that you will need to control from each different IoT device from onboarding/provisioning to managing different cellular networks in different areas, among other factors.
So, if you want to ensure your IoT projects run successfully, it’s very important to streamline and simplify all the different elements as much as possible.
Having a provider like Truphone for Things that offers global IoT connectivity solutions can significantly help simplify your IoT deployment. Having just a single network provider would mean you can onboard devices, activate SIM cards (eSIMs), and manage all devices in a single dashboard. This will also provide versatility as you attempt to scale your IoT deployment even further, as you only need to manage a single network provider to also scale-up according to your exact needs.
While achieving a truly global IoT connectivity is still very challenging at the moment, we can expect it to come to fruition in the relatively near future. So, if you haven’t already, there hasn’t been a better time to start building your IoT deployment.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.