Multi-Network IoT SIM Cards for Reliable Global Coverage by Georgia Palfrey

Multi-Network IoT SIM Cards for Reliable Global Coverage


Insert an IoT SIM card into your device and voila, you’ve got built-in network connectivity – your device can now interact over the IoT network, transmitting, receiving and manipulating data collected by its sensors. Connecting to the Internet of Things all sounds simple enough, but what happens when your IoT device is deployed in an area with patchy coverage? Or crosses a border into a neighbouring country incurring costly roaming charges?

Unreliable connectivity can have disastrous consequences for remote or mission-critical IoT applications and so weighing up the network coverage offered by different providers is fundamental. However, that’s not the only factor you need to consider when choosing the right IoT/M2M SIM card provider. From affordable and flexible rates to expert support around the clock, you need a provider that will enable your venture to grow and develop. So how exactly do you go about finding the IoT SIM that’s right for you and your IoT application?

IoT shared data plans

In the world of IoT, a regular SIM card – the kind normally used in a cell phone – won’t cut the mustard when it comes to future-proof solutions; it doesn’t offer several of the critical functionalities afforded by IoT SIMs which are key to the success of your IoT deployment.

Take data usage as a prime example. In an IoT business model, it’s not unusual to deploy hundreds, if not thousands of devices at any one time, however not all devices will use the SIM card’s data at the same rate. IoT connectivity providers offer aggregated data plans allowing an entire network of connected devices equipped with IoT/M2M SIM cards to share one data package. In this way, small, irregular and infrequent data transmissions can be covered without your monthly bill fluctuating wildly.

To steer or not to steer, that is the question

For any IoT application requiring network coverage in a remote location or multiple countries, the ability to roam between networks guarantees that all-important data connection for your IoT devices. SIM card providers typically offer steered and non-steered network roaming capabilities, but which is more beneficial for you?

  • Steered network roaming
    • Multi-network connectivity is only available when it is not possible to connect to the primary network or a particular roaming network.
    • The network you are steered to will depend on your agreement – operators tend to have preferred roaming networks, often bumping you over to the network provider with the lowest cost, but not necessarily the strongest coverage.
  • Non-steered network roaming
    • No primary network: IoT devices with multi-network SIM cards will automatically connect to the closest (and strongest) available signal in their location.
    • By not ‘steering’ devices to the operator’s preferred network when coverage is lost, users of network-agnostic SIM cards are ensured the best possible connection at all times.

While steered roaming will offer you connectivity, it won’t necessarily offer the strongest data connection, a scenario that’s far from ideal in remote or mission-critical IoT applications. Non-steered network roaming, on the other hand, takes operator restrictions out of the picture meaning that the quality of the connection is never compromised, ensuring maximum uptime for your IoT/M2M application. With network-agnostic SIM cards, the ability to connect to the strongest available signal means that your business will never lose track of its devices when roaming across borders or in areas where coverage is hard to come by.

IoT SIMs make for stable connectivity in remote or rural areas

Finding reliable connectivity in remote areas can be a challenge, to say the least. With sites located on the periphery of network signals or in areas with a high density of trees, Arnia Remote Hive Monitoring knows this only too well. Continuous data transfer is a critical part of their bee monitoring system and fail-safe connectivity could be make-or-break.

Network-agnostic connectivity solutions are key for businesses deploying IoT devices in remote areas where a stable connection from a single network provider is not guaranteed. Non-steered multi-network SIMs will automatically detect the strongest signal in the area, switching to an alternative network when coverage is lost. For businesses such as Arnia Remote Hive Monitoring whose IoT venture sees devices deployed in remote and rural areas, multi-network IoT SIM cards ensure the reliable connectivity that single-network SIMs don’t.

Hand-in-hand: IoT SIM cards and reliable borderless coverage

The ability to roam with the guarantee of reliable global connectivity is paramount in today’s increasingly international, interconnected world. For a large number of industries utilizing IoT applications, from Transport and Tracking through to companies such as TAHMO, whose network of weather stations gathers climate data from across the entire continent of Africa, international roaming is a lifeline for business success. 

Losing resilient network connectivity as IoT devices are deployed across borders and falling into the trap of costly roaming charges is a scenario known only too well. However, non-steered global multi-network SIM cards offer businesses the perfect connectivity solution: the strongest data connection at all times regardless of a device’s geographical location and roaming for one flat rate. For sectors deploying IoT applications with mobile devices, agreements with global M2M network providers guarantee international network coverage and with one set rate, there’ll be no billing surprises at the end of the month.

Enhance your IoT application with Pod Group’s Multi-Network SIM Cards

For maximum network uptime for one flat rate regardless of location, international multi-network data SIMs are just the ticket. Pod Group’s connectivity solutions can revolutionize your IoT/M2M application – with access to over 600 networks in 185 countries, our Multi-Network SIM Cards are the solution you’ve been looking for. An agnostic IoT connectivity provider with global M2M network agreements, Pod’s affordable and flexible data plans offer reliable global coverage and network roaming for one flat rate. And with expert support available 24/7, there’s always an experienced member of our team on hand to help.

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Georgia Palfrey

Content Writer

Educating our customers and the world on all that is IoT.

Posted: April 28, 2020