Radio Access, reimagined: emnify’s vision for next-gen IoT connectivity


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In IoT, reliable access and network resilience are paramount. emnify redefines last mile connectivity by building direct partnerships with Last Mile Radio Network Operators. This strategic approach reduces the risk of network interruptions and downtime. With emnify, modern IoT businesses gain a dependable partner committed to providing seamless last mile access for IoT infrastructure, empowering operations with stability and efficiency wherever devices are deployed. 


A resilient and adaptable IoT connectivity ecosystem is not just about the mobile core network, it’s also about the Radio Access Network (RAN). RAN is an integral part of mobile telecommunications, serving as the essential ‘last mile’ that connects end-user devices to the broader telecommunication infrastructure.  

It works in tandem with the core network of a Mobile Network Operator (MNO), forming a symbiotic link to the operator’s central network services. In the context of international connectivity, the RAN acts as a ‘cousin’ to the mobile core of foreign mobile cores (e.g. roaming partners).  

This architecture facilitates a continuous and harmonized service experience for users, navigating across territories by interfacing with any number of partner RANs worldwide, while still being connected to one single mobile core.  

At emnify, we’ve taken an innovative leap in how we approach last mile RAN access. We go beyond the confines of standard roaming agreements to provide a solution tailored explicitly for IoT connectivity.  

Let’s look at this in more detail.  

Beyond ‘roaming reseller’ 

The phrase ‘roaming reseller’ is inextricably linked to RAN and is often associated with non-MNO entities like MVNOs. It’s important to understand that even MNO IoT business units can act as resellers, repurposing roaming agreements originally designed for human subscribers.  

The traditional model of a ‘roaming reseller’ often comes with inherent limitations which can include:  

  • Rigid Contractual Terms: Standardized agreements might not cater to the unique needs and sensitivities of IoT use cases. 
  • Lack of Direct Control: Reliance on third-party networks can mean compromised connectivity and slower issue resolution. 
  • Higher Costs: Intermediaries and standard agreements can also lead to higher costs. 
  • Limited Flexibility: Without direct partnerships, there’s less room to adapt to evolving technological needs. 

This model can lead to suboptimal connectivity, higher costs, and limited flexibility to cater to specific customer needs. 

emnify does things differently.  

We don’t own a radio network—and have no plans to own one—so our approach to accessing RANs is both methodical and strategic, focusing on the last mile. 

Typically, a RAN operator is synonymous with a mobile network operator, and with approximately 700-800 of them globally—averaging about 2-4 per country—managing these relationships is vital. 

To address this, emnify has a full-blown department solely dedicated to negotiating a variety of agreements with radio network operators. This team works on negotiating, implementing, and continually updating these technical integrations, ranging from established technologies like 2G to cutting-edge platforms like 5G, satellite, and beyond.  

It’s important to note that these updates are manual, intricate processes that require technical rigor and testing, a challenge that our dedicated team is specifically geared to handle. 

Our commercial agreements are diverse, spanning from traditional wholesale or ‘roaming’ agreements to revenue-sharing and capacity agreements in an MVNO-like fashion. This capacity for direct negotiation and technical integration with radio network operators is more than a service—it’s a core competency and a USP that sets emnify apart.  

Unlike the rigid, one-size-fits-all agreements typical of roaming resellers, emnify’s direct negotiation ability allows for tailored, bilateral agreements that ensure a viable deal for specific customer projects, providing a distinct advantage in accommodating unique customer requirements. 

Furthermore, direct access ensures: 

  • Real-time Troubleshooting: Immediate issue rectification for minimal downtime. 
  • Customized Terms: Tailored agreements to suit specific IoT operations. 
  • Enhanced Connectivity: Best-in-class connectivity without reliance on third parties. 
  • Cost Efficiency: Savings from direct partnerships are passed on to our customers. 
  • Flexibility: Quick adaptability to evolving needs without being bound by rigid third-party agreements. 

What’s in it for the RAN? Benefits for mobile networks from working with emnify 

Mobile networks need to deal with IoT SIMs that generate significantly less revenue than traditional human inbound roamers, presenting a unique set of commercial and technical challenges. While these SIMs are not entirely non-revenue generating, they can strain network resources and complicate direct customer support.  

Collaborating with emnify offers a better solution. Our direct engagement strategy enables RAN operators to efficiently address and resolve both commercial and technical challenges.  

This collaborative framework not only ensures that mobile networks can optimize the commercial benefits derived from IoT but also improves their network security and efficiency. In essence, emnify’s approach ensures a win-win situation, where both the RAN and the customers reap the rewards.

Unbounded global connectivity 

Traditional mobile networks often find themselves tethered to their home infrastructure setup, constrained by geographical boundaries and hard attachments between their core network and home and foreign RAN relations. This model can limit their reach and reduce their adaptability to diverse customer needs.   

emnify’s independence from a fixed geographical boundary gives us total flexibility. We aren’t just unbounded by geographical constraints; we’re also free to form direct partnerships with radio networks across different countries. This gives our customers a truly global reach, ensuring they’re not limited by any one network’s constraints. 

We collaborate with radio networks worldwide under varied commercial and technical models. This expansive approach not only ensures redundancy but also adds an extra layer of resilience. No matter where your IoT devices are, we ensure they’re connected through the most optimal routes, providing consistent, high-quality connectivity. 

Resilience through multi-routing: Guaranteed low latency 

IoT applications often demand low-latency connections. To offer the lowest possible latency, we use a multi-routed approach, incorporating multiple routes and physical lines to connect to radio networks.  

By incorporating multiple routes and physical lines to connect to RANs, we ensure uninterrupted data flow. Even if one route encounters issues, alternative pathways are already operational, ensuring continuous connectivity. 

But it’s not just about having multiple routes; it’s about the quality and exclusivity of these connections. emnify utilizes both public and private interconnections for signaling and data, ensuring that our customers benefit from exclusive bandwidth.  

These interconnections, while distinct, are designed to co-exist, further boosting our network’s redundancy. The outcome? A network that’s not only fast but also resilient, ensuring that our customers’ IoT applications always remain online and responsive. 

Navigating global regulations, including permanent roaming, with precision 

Navigating the regulatory landscape and managing permanent roaming scenarios are integral parts of emnify’s strategic approach to RAN.  

Our direct access partnerships play a pivotal role here.  

By having direct negotiations and agreements with radio network operators, we can dive into the specifics of each region’s regulatory demands.  

Permanent roaming, for instance, can be a challenge in many jurisdictions. Yet, with our strategic approach, we tackle this head-on, ensuring compliance so devices stay connected even in countries where permanent roaming restrictions apply.  

Furthermore, as data sovereignty becomes a significant concern in many countries, emnify’s approach ensures that data is handled in compliance with local regulations, be it GDPR in Europe or other data protection mandates worldwide. 

A case in point: Brazil 

Our global presence demands a strong focus on localized compliance. In Brazil, we’ve established a robust local presence through the deployment of network nodes within the country, leveraging our full MVNO license.  

We issue our own local IMSIs and have a direct technical and commercial relationship with CLARO, a significant Tier 1 operator in Brazil. CLARO is not only a market leader but also an incumbent telecommunications giant, renowned for its extensive coverage and pioneering services. Our partnership with them highlights our commitment to delivering exceptional connectivity solutions within this dynamic and important market. 

This ensures that all traffic and subscriber data remains within national borders, maintaining service and security integrity. Our approach, underpinned by our globally distributed core network—the SuperNetwork, differs fundamentally from common industry practices which tend to resell IMSIs, SIM cards, or SIM profiles.  

These practices offer limited control over service quality and security, in contrast to our model, which avoids the limitations of parallel, localized infrastructures characterized by resale and fragmented control. 

Architectural flexibility for future technologies 

emnify primarily supports radio networks from the 3GPP family and has taken a significant stride into next-gen IoT satellite networks, symbolized by our latest converged satellite and cellular connectivity offering launched in 2023.  

By integrating both satellite and cellular capabilities into a single emnify SIM and modem, we have not only simplified global IoT connectivity but also extended it to remote areas, making IoT solutions viable for an even broader range of use cases. 

This convergence not only extends the global IoT coverage but also offers a cost-effective solution, making satellite connectivity accessible and affordable. Typical use cases like track and trace, metering, and sensoring can now seamlessly incorporate satellite connectivity without impacting the financial viability of the business use case. 

Our architectural framework isn’t rigid; it’s designed for evolution and flexibility. While we currently have a strong focus on 3GPP networks and have taken strides in satellite connectivity, we’re by no means limited.  

Our endpoint-centric architecture allows us to integrate a variety of radio types in the future. Whether it’s WiFi, LoRa, or even newer innovations down the line, emnify is poised to incorporate them, ensuring our customers always have access to the latest connectivity solutions. 

Future-proofing customer experience 

What sets a provider apart isn’t just the technology they offer today, but their vision and preparedness for tomorrow. emnify’s strategic approach to Radio Access is a testament to our commitment to delivering reliable, adaptable, and customer-focused experiences.  

Our direct access partnerships with radio network operators highlights our dedication to excellence. At the time of writing, we have proudly inked over 400 bi-lateral agreements with RANs globally, covering more than 190 countries. These partnerships not only ensure reduced costs and improved connectivity but also position us at the front of future developments in Radio Access Technologies.  

As we continue to expand our services and integrate more RAT types into our networks, our promise remains consistent: a high-end experience for our customers, irrespective of the underlying technology. With solutions like our converged satellite and cellular connectivity, we’ve shown our commitment to addressing modern enterprises’ connectivity challenges. 

If resilience, regulatory compliance, architectural flexibility, and a forward-looking approach to IoT are what you seek, then emnify is your ideal partner in this journey. 


For those of you intrigued by our vision and offerings, I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn. 

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