After hosting conferences and workshops and during our interactions with customers, we have noticed that finding a suitable mobile connectivity provider is one typical concern of people who are working on IoT projects that require GSM connectivity. But oftentimes they don’t know what they have to look out for. If you are one of them, these five questions will help you to determine your requirements.
My name is Karina Popova, I am a developer evangelist @ whatever mobile. And I welcome you to my presentation. Today we will discuss 5 questions to help you choose the right mobile connectivity provider for your project.
"whatever mobile GmbH" is a well-known german service provider that specializes in mobile technologies. For nearly 14 years we have been working closely together with our clients which gave us an excellent overview about the needs for mobile connectivity for IoT devices.
To give you a brief introduction about the company: we have 50 excellent employees, almost 80 mill. transactions per month with 23 mill. € revenue in 2015, we provide access to more than 400 mobile networks worldwide, with excellent platform availability.
The Internet of Things is about converting the objects that surround us everyday into a community of information. IoT devices turn billions of objects into data-generating “things” that can report on their status, and in some cases, interact with their environment. These IoT devices can certainly connect through a lot of different ways, but today we will focus on cellular connectivity. Obviously, the Wi-Fi reception is always limited to the access point, and also dependent on network and device configurations. Cellular has reception everywhere without any maintenance effort from the customer side, so with telecom access a large-scale investigation is possible. Given the ubiquity of sim based devices, cellular solutions can achieve an unbelievable level of coverage in both space and time for observing any events.Mobile connectivity is becoming an integral part of IoT. Most use cases that are designed for mobility, which in turn makes it an extremely compelling project topic.
In the past few years together with our customers we have learned a lot of experience in IoT projects. We discovered that choosing the right mobile connectivity provider for your IoT project, which fits your needs, is one of the most important and underrated choices a customer can make.We have identified the 5 most important questions, which will support you to find the most suitable provider for your IoT project. Do you want your device to be mobile?Do you have an automated business processes?How much security does your project need? How often do you need access to your device?Where do you use your device?After hosting conferences and workshops and having many interactions with customers, we have come up with what we think are the best explanation to these questions.
The first question: Do you want your device to be mobile?If you answer is YES -> Ask yourself if your device needs to move across countries or borders. If so, you might need a provider with worldwide coverage. NO -> You might still have your devices in different locations. Then it is hard to make sure that all locations are covered by the same provider. It might be much easier to choose a multi network provider that is independant from the mobile network operators. Then you can always connect to the strongest network.
Think if your project requires the permanent connection on the device at any place with the maximum possible existing coverage worldwide, and ability to switch to the strongest network.The mobile connectivity with no preferred connection gives you a faster and easier way to the market, worldwide coverage provides global access instantly and you don’t need to check which operator is in the area where all your devices situated, every time it will be connected to the strongest network.
The second question: Do you have an automated business processes?Our experience has shown that real-time monitoring of your devices is fundamental for collecting data. It includes monitoring on the customer side, which may help to control measures like changing parameters (if too many or too few data has been collected, or if a specific sub-area must be covered better); observations may also lead to the creation of new data collection tasks.
Consider the direct control over all SIM cards is one of the most important features, where you can manage the data in real time and check and adjust data usage, location and status of your devices in one customer portal or via API.
The third important question: How much security does your project need?Imagine a Network which replaces the core of existing operators and which is Extremely secure, Completely cloud-based and Globally distributed, which means you are not dependent on any operator anymore.There are network architectures that provides a direct access to all your mobile IoT/M2M Devices via IP. How important is it for you that your traffic is encrypted? Some providers take care of it before transmitting data over public internetOr the access to the public internet can be completely locked down and only the predefined IP address can be used through the VPN.
Determine if the communication can be restricted to certain IPs. Do you need the SIM card locked function to a specific device, to make sure it cannot be used by unauthorized people? If encryption is essential for you make sure that the integration to the customer’s network can be done via VPN and has a firewall.
The fourth question: How often do you need to access your device?If you need bi-directional communication, it is possible to access your devices through your Application Server directly. This is setup due to static private IP Addresses.
Choose the right way to communicate with the device, don’t miss the opportunity to use static IP, establish bidirectional communication and status monitoring.With a simple push notification it is much easier to update and maintain the device: either connecting it or debugging it.
The last question: Where Do You Use Your Device?Are you, for example, planning to track polar bears in the Arctic? Or are you using the SIM card in a very hot metal processing environment?Resistance of SIM cards to the temperature range from -40 to 221 Fahrenheit degrees, shocks, vibrations, and humidity could be the biggest issue. Make sure your SIM card provider has the form factor and correct protection you need.
You can have cards with extended endurance for industrial applications, which means you can use the device in harsh environments or for a significant amount of time, which for example is ideal for the automotive sector.
Having considered all five questions you should be well prepared to create a list of requirements your mobile connectivity provider has to fulfill. However, there are a few more aspects you might want to keep in mind.Always try to get the most out of your own data. Check if there is a Data Pooling option. It will allow you to share your total monthly data between IoT devices. And combine data consumption from all your SIM cards into one bill.
As well as data pooling also think about the following questions: What will it cost you after your data limit is reached?How precise is your provider at billing for the correct amount of data used? Do you pay for 100 KB every time you connect, even if you just use 5 KB, or are you charged for every 1 KB you actually used?And how short is the cancellation period for the whole contract?
The main reason to gave this presentation, was to help you choose the right mobile connectivity provider that will work on a GSM based IoT project.I hope you have learned the basics of multi-network sim-based connectivity solutions and how to translate your individual needs into actionable results that could benefit you.
To find more information, please visit Our blog https://whatevermobile.com/mobile-connectivity-provider Website http://whereversim.com Or twitter @whereverSIM
Thank you very much for youк kind attention during my presentation today, I would be extremely happy to receive your feedback and questions any time.
Five questions to help you choose the right mobile connectivity provider. Karina Popova
“Five questions to help you choose
the right mobile connectivity provider”
Karina Popova @kary_key
Dev/Ops, M.Sc at whatever mobile GmbH
Do you want your device to be mobile?
Do you have an automated business processes?
How much security does your project need?
How often do you need access to your device?
Where do you use your device?
Five Helpful Questions