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    Dec, 2 2022

    A Buyer's Guide to Reliable Cellular IoT Connectivity

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    No matter where we work or what we are trying to achieve, we all want solutions that we can count on to work. Not just work most of the time, but always work as they should.

    Some situations have wiggle room for when solutions don’t work, but you definitely want a solution that you can count on when your entire business’s bottom line and customer satisfaction are at stake. Examples of these use cases include tracking high value assets, cold-chain monitoring, manufacturing, EV charging, and micromobility. Many businesses that utilize cellular IoT device connectivity for critical business processes like these are in this exact situation, and often are acutely aware of the high stakes that depend on keeping their devices online 24/7, 365.

    In turn, many connectivity providers promote their solutions as reliable. But if you are not a technology expert, it is hard to know what features really impact reliable connectivity. For this reason, we’ve created this blog post as a buyer’s guide for what to look for in a connectivity provider when seeking a truly reliable solution.

    Key buyer decision-making criteria for choosing a cellular IoT solution

    To deploy IoT solutions worldwide, firms must consider four essential criteria when purchasing a cellular IoT solution: 

    1. Network Redundancy
    2. Global Coverage
    3. Secure Infrastructure
    4. IoT Expert Support

    1. Network redundancy strengthens network reliability

    For businesses that have a lot to lose if connectivity ever goes down, an IoT connectivity provider with multiple carrier network coverage could be a safer source of connectivity than a single carrier network; however, this is true only if the provider has what are called “network redundancies” in the areas that connectivity is utilized by the business.



    Network redundancy is a term used within the telecommunications and IoT tech space. The term refers to multiple carrier network coverage that has overlapping coverage areas built in. For example, multi-carrier network coverage could indicate that there is one carrier network available in the US, one carrier network in Mexico, one carrier network in Spain, etc. whereas multi-carrier network coverage with network redundancy would mean there would be at least two carrier networks that provide coverage to the same country. This is a safety precaution for companies that must avoid downtime at all costs because it provides a safety net as a backup in case there are issues with one of the carriers in the area.

    Not all connectivity providers that have multiple carrier network coverage and network redundancies will have the same levels of reliability though, so it is important to do your due diligence. In order to choose a highly reliable connectivity provider, we suggest that you take the time to study: what cellular networks each provider utilizes, where the networks have connectivity, how the partnerships with the networks are managed, how many layers of redundancy there are in key locations for your business, and how far-reaching the network redundancies are internationally. Then take your business’s unique use case into account when evaluating the risk of downtime for your application.

    2. Global coverage simplifies international IoT deployments

    Another specific situation where reliability can be tricky is when connectivity is needed in multiple locations—especially if the locations are multi-national.

    Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) build and maintain infrastructure that provides connectivity for a single country or region. These organizations typically provide very high-quality connections locally to their region of focus, but only in their region of focus.

    For organizations that have devices that are in transit, or in multiple countries—or devices in transit that need to maintain connectivity when crossing borders—multi-carrier networks can be a more reliable and convenient option than a single carrier MNO. Some cellular IoT providers like emnify provide cellular coverage to over 180 countries with a single SIM.

    However, global coverage alone doesn’t always equate to highly reliable connectivity. Some carriers even steer your IoT devices to connect to their cellular network so they can earn money on your data usage, even if the signal isn't the most reliable. Cellular IoT solution providers like emnify don't favor one network over the other - but prioritize the most reliable cellular network in a given region. Network redundancies also are an important aspect of a provider’s reliability for international connectivity for the same reasons we outlined above.

    3. Secure infrastructure protects against cyber attacks

    For mission critical connectivity such as remote machine monitoring or predictive maintenance, a cellular IoT provider’s platform is an incredibly important factor that impacts the risk of outages occurring. However, the people behind the platform are arguably just as vital to the reliability of the connectivity that the platforms provide.

    When minutes of downtime are expensive, you want people who have many years of experience building and managing enterprise IoT connectivity on your side. People with this background know the pain points that companies tend to face in different niche use cases. When that knowledge informs how an IoT connectivity platform is built and maintained, the solution will feel tailor-made.

     An IoT connectivity provider that is more specialized in ensuring uptime will have a platform with structure and processes that reflect that point of view built-in from the start, which makes for more reliable connectivity.

    Beyond application-specific experience, regular platform maintenance is also something to look out for in a provider. Like with most technology, regular attention is important for an IoT connectivity platform’s functionality to remain at its peak and always keep connectivity up.

    This sort of maintenance is not often the main focus of attention for the average MNO, where a majority of their business comes from consumer cellular customers relative to smaller enterprise IoT business. 

    When reliability is one of your key needs, it is wise to choose an IoT connectivity provider that has a specialized and dedicated team focused solely on keeping the IoT connectivity platform meticulously maintained because this attention can minimize the risk of lapses in data collection occurring.

    Beyond application-specific experience, regular platform maintenance is also something to look out for in a provider. Like with most technology, regular attention is important for an IoT connectivity platform’s functionality to remain at its peak and always keep connectivity up.

    When reliability is one of your key needs, it is wise to choose an IoT connectivity provider that has a specialized and dedicated team focused solely on keeping the IoT connectivity platform meticulously maintained because this attention can minimize the risk of lapses in data collection occurring.

    4. The value of expert IoT support

    Last, but certainly not least, do not overlook the importance of expert IoT customer support. Of course, if you choose a highly-reliable provider, the solution should just work most of the time. But in the rare case that anything was to go wrong with your devices' connectivity, you want an available support agent who has the IoT expertise to help you quickly resolve your connectivity issues.

    With the average MNO, you may have to work through layers recorded messages and support staff to get ahold of someone that has the device connectivity knowledge that is relevant to your situation. This is because enterprise IoT is a small percentage of a carrier's overall revenue. With an IoT connectivity provider that makes premium customer support a priority, you can get in touch with someone knowledgeable in your specific connectivity application in seconds—24/7, 365. The peace of mind this can bring for organizations that can’t afford any downtime is incredibly valuable.

    Choose a reliable cellular IoT platform

    You guessed it! EMnify does provide highly-reliable device connectivity. We have global coverage, network redundancies, a platform built and maintained by device connectivity experts, and premium customer support for added peace of mind. You will not be disappointed. Get in touch with our team of experts by filling out the form below, today.

    About EMnify 

    From reliable connectivity and secure remote access to machines to powerful APIs, automated cloud integration and advanced security features, EMnify provides you with all the tools you need to deploy and operate your IoT devices anywhere and at scale.

    Learn more about how we can help your IoT application or contact our cellular IoT expert to book a free consultation today.

    Shannon McCrocklin

    Shannon McCrocklin

    Shannon has over seven years of experience communicating with audiences on behalf of businesses. She is passionate about making complex, technical topics easy to understand for readers of all backgrounds.

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