IoT connectivity can help companies streamline processes and increase productivity. For example, activity monitoring can improve employee efficiency by 10 to 12% and reduce maintenance costs by up to 10%. When choosing an IoT connectivity provider, procurement leads often look for the most cost effective solution without sacrificing quality.
As the world shifts from a price-driven market to a value-driven one, cost becomes increasingly important in selecting connectivity providers for IoT devices. Companies must understand their specific connectivity needs and carefully evaluate their range of capabilities, then choose a provider who can best meet those requirements with competitive pricing. For example, a company may need high data throughput to support a remote firmware update service, which enables manufacturers to send updates for security purposes or to add new functionality to battery-powered devices without needing to open them. Or, an industrial manufacturer may use a sensor-level network to collect performance data and alert technicians before breakdowns occur. Similarly, some IoT connectivity providers offer intelligent switching capabilities that help companies avoid costly roaming charges. For example, some SIM cards (eUICC or multi-IMSI) can connect to multiple mobile networks using a technology known as carrier-independent routing, which means the device can switch between different operators without incurring international roaming fees. This feature is precious for companies with IoT devices deployed in other countries or regions.
For connected device manufacturers, scalability is a crucial consideration. They need to balance intelligence and cost, which tend to move in opposite directions. They must also consider their devices’ network connectivity requirements, including cellular, satellite, LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, and other alternatives. In addition to coverage, bandwidth is another essential factor for IoT connectivity. Choosing a solution with more bandwidth would be best to avoid losing data or experiencing latency. Fortunately, several different IoT connectivity options offer different speeds and bandwidth levels. For example, cellular connectivity is a good choice for IoT devices that need to be constantly connected, like smart locks and healthcare devices. It also has the added security benefit, as it can protect devices from hackers trying to access sensitive information or bring down a network with Distributed Denial of Service attacks.
Additionally, it offers low data consumption for battery-powered devices, which can save on operational costs and extend the device’s longevity. Delivering firmware updates over the air is another critical capability for IoT connectivity providers. IoT connectivity providers need to scale up to support billions of devices. To do so, they need to accommodate a range of factors, including data speeds, power consumption, bandwidth, latency, and security. Choosing an IoT connectivity solution with scalability will ensure the platform and core network can handle a high volume of connections without compromising performance or reliability. This is especially important for LPWA networks such as NB-IoT, typically designed to connect millions of devices. Another factor to consider is the ability of your IoT device to use less power when transmitting data, reducing its overall operating costs. This is possible through features such as energy-saving power modes, remote firmware updates, and more. The final factor to consider is your IoT connection’s ability to support various use cases.
In a world where IoT devices are changing how we live and work, businesses must be flexible when selecting connectivity solutions. They should understand their IoT deployments’ use cases and data needs. This will help them find the most appropriate solution for their business needs. When choosing a connectivity solution, the key factors are power consumption, range, and bandwidth. It’s also essential to consider how much the solution will cost. For example, power line communication (PLC) is a hardwired option that uses existing electrical lines to transmit data, but it’s only viable for specific use cases. Companies should also consider how easily their IoT connectivity integrates into their software, hardware, and cloud. They should choose a provider that offers easy, efficient, and reliable integration with their infrastructure. This will allow them to save time and money while ensuring that their IoT connectivity works as expected. It will also enable them to scale their network and connect new devices without downtime or lag. As any IoT project grows in scope, the connectivity solution must remain flexible to accommodate changing requirements. Otherwise, devices may be unable to transmit data accurately or in real-time. This can lead to projects failing to meet their goals or, worse, putting users at risk. The ideal IoT connectivity solution should offer wide-area coverage, high bandwidth, and low power consumption. However, these factors can depend on the use case and the network’s environment. For example, a drone communicating with a control room to update its firmware may require more data throughput than a home alarm system that uses LPWAN.
Additionally, IoT solutions often deploy across regions and countries, making it essential that the connectivity provider offers global coverage options. This flexibility can reduce costs and help avoid vendor lock-in. It also allows organizations to switch between networks in different areas as network pricing and availability change. Typically, this is done through carrier-agnostic solutions that use multiple international mobile networks and eSIM technology. These can save money by lowering roaming charges and improving data transfer speeds.