Ensuring Reliable IoT Connectivity for a Device’s Lifetime

December 15, 2023

A digital globe surrounded by analytical graphs.

An Internet of Things (IoT) device’s lifespan is around 10 years, provided the user keeps it updated and changes the battery. In addition, users must maintain reliable connectivity to maximize the deployment’s efficiency over its lifetime.

Nevertheless, ensuring always-on cellular connectivity is a large task. There are several challenges users must be aware of when planning their next deployment.

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3 Challenges of Maintaining Reliable Connectivity

These three key elements encompass the connectivity profile of each IoT mobile virtual network operator (MVNO):

1. Coverage and Coverage Changes

In many cases, IoT devices are deployed in remote areas, which makes coverage support challenging. In addition, local mobile network operators (MNOs) in various regions and countries can experience coverage fluctuations.

For example, an MNO could undergo service degradation because towers stop working due to outages. These issues can occur over the device’s lifetime, which makes having more than one local network available crucial.

2. Network Technologies Sunsets and New Layouts

A hand reaching upward, overlaid with geometric lines connected with dots with a sunset in the background.

A device could operate for 10 years without encountering a technology sunset. However, there are times when the device’s lifetime will align with a major one.

In 2022, 3G sunset in North America. Those using devices that relied on cellular networks with 3G connectivity were in a serious bind. By not preparing, users must commit to the arduous process of redeploying their end devices. Businesses must consider upcoming network technology sunsets in the near and far future before deploying.

In addition to technology sunset challenges, companies must consider new technology rollouts and how they’ll affect a device’s connectivity. These technologies will determine the hardware choices and connectivity costs from the start of the project.

3. Price Fluctuations

For global IoT applications that depend on roaming, the commercial relationship with local MNOs is crucial for price stability. For example, one challenge is the additional access fees MNOs charge to manage IoT deployments and gain more revenue from roaming.

There are also fees associated with using new technologies. These fees are for low-power and low-usage technology like narrowband IoT (NB-IoT). Businesses should leverage suppliers with stable pricing to keep IoT solutions valid for their entire lifetime.

Generic Challenges: Permanent Roaming Restrictions

Unlike the previous challenges, permanent roaming restrictions are not in the IoT MVNO’s hands. They are subject to the decisions of local MNOs. Some restrictions come from specific government regulations and others from commercial regulations. Companies must adapt to and find solutions for both.

How an IoT MVNO Can Maintain Reliable Connectivity 

A city is enveloped in a secure wireless network, enabling reliable IoT connectivity.

Businesses should seek an IoT MVNO supplier with cost and coverage stability to maximize efficiency. Managing deployments remotely with low operations and minimal onboarding issues is also a priority. MVNOs like Telit Cinterion that have a global solution with multi-IMSI profiles are flexible and can overcome these challenges.

The supplier you select should completely understand the connectivity product life cycle and provide turnkey connectivity services that include:

A best-in-class MVNO doesn’t operate with multiple suppliers with different contracts and relationships. Instead, it can function as one entity or voice for all network connectivity issues.

Telit Cinterion: A Reliable IoT Connectivity Provider and Enabler

Discover how Telit Cinterion can solve your cellular IoT connectivity challenges. Speak with our experts to learn how we can support your connectivity requirements.