How IMSI numbers create challenges for IoT manufacturers
There aren’t many situations where an average consumer will want to juggle multiple contracts or SIM cards. So for cell phones, it makes sense to have a single IMSI on a device. But in cellular Internet of Things (IoT), being limited to a single IMSI creates some significant challenges for device manufacturers.
Lack of coverage
The first two parts of every IMSI (the Mobile Country Code and Mobile Network Code) define which network the subscriber will use in a particular country. If you deploy within that country, your devices can only attach to that MNO’s network (AT&T in the example above). In regions where this “home network” has poor coverage, your device may lose connectivity. And your customers won’t blame your provider. They’ll blame you.
If you deploy outside of your home network or your device is mobile and roams often, you’ll have more options—but the networks your device can attach to will be based on your carrier’s list of Network Roaming Partners, not the networks that have the best coverage in your region.
Your connectivity isn’t optimized for the best global coverage. It’s optimized for your MNO’s profit margins.
Relying on a single carrier can put you in a vulnerable position. When they have problems with their infrastructure and experience outages and downtime, that impacts your ability to serve your customers. Their dead zones become your dead zones. If their technology is outdated, your devices suffer. And if they change their prices, you’re stuck paying more for the same coverage.
The IoT solution: Network-agnostic SIM cards
Nearly anywhere you deploy, there are going to be multiple cellular carriers with coverage. As an IoT manufacturer, you want your devices to connect to whichever network has the best signal, and for applications with high data throughput, you want to avoid roaming costs by working with a local operator.
You don’t have to lock yourself into a relationship with a single operator, where you’re beholden to their list of approved roaming partners. With network-agnostic SIM cards, your device can automatically attach to the network with the best signal or lowest costs. Instead of navigating multiple contracts, you can use a single service provider—like EMnify.
Maximize global coverage with EMnify
EMnify is a complete end-to-end connectivity provider. We build Multi-IMSI SIM cards in all form factors, and when you let us handle your connectivity, your devices can connect to over 540 cellular networks in more than 180 countries right out of the box.