How can a prospective IoT business differentiate the qualities of one Telecom operator’s connectivity offer from another? Which connectivity provider gives best all-round value when it comes to reliable machine to machine connectivity, IoT expert service, and pricing? Here are top 5 tips that we recommend you to take a look at in order to optimize your data consumption and find the best IoT connectivity partner.
The communication between things provides significant value for most industries today, such as lowering service costs with remote access, efficient energy utilization through real-time monitoring and creating new revenue streams by selling differentiated services.
We use connected machines to perform variety of different tasks to achieve this business value. It can be using car sensors that enable pay-as-you-drive auto insurance. The ability to monitor equipment remotely or GPS tracking that monitors vehicles/containers location and activity. The use cases are endless.
As connectivity is a crucial part of all M2M/IoT solutions and one of the potential cost drivers, it is important to make sure you choose a Telecom operator that can help you optimize your data consumption. Below you find five tips on what to look for.
1. Understanding the units you’re using
Does the telecom operator understand diversity in M2M/IoT devices? Is the connectivity service provider experienced in dealing with HW units and how they are being used in field? In example, some tracking units uses Binary for data format that uses much less data than ASCII. If you have units that support both then make sure you set the unit to use binary as the data usage will be lower.
2. The configuration of your device
Depending on your needs, you should configure the best optimal setting on your device. Because actual configuration of your device will affect the amount of data being used. For example in GPS tracking devices, the way you want to have the tracking interval/polling and heartbeat are very important. If you want to set tracking time down to seconds, then the device will push a lot of data. Using heartbeat and/or sleep mode (if supported) would save cost.
3. Rounding effect (the handshake cost)
If you configure the device to be always ON (learn how long a data session can be with your telecom operator and CDR creation maximum timeout) instead of starting a data session, sending few bites and closing the session down, will save you up to 15% cost. This means you can lower your costs by aligning according to the rounding policy of your telecom operator for around 5-15% depending on how often you send data.
4. Reliability of the cellular connectivity
Static devices sending non-critical data may only require single network SIMs if the coverage in given location is good (do not forget that coverage also depends on the traffic at base station in a given time). But if the device is roaming/mobile, operates from areas with shaky signal coverage, or involved in sending business critical data, a single network SIM (or a SIM with roaming steering to the “cheapest” network partner) presents risks of connectivity failure. Multi-network SIMs go a long way in addressing this risk by automatically switching connection between networks to retain best signal connectivity. So, ask if you are getting full roaming without network steering and access to the best signal in a given location?
5. Automation to prevent overage charges
Most of the connectivity service providers also have some sort of SIM management platform. Check if your platform can be pro-active and take action if something un-expected happens. Inability to do anything beyond simple email alerts on potential issues is a possible extra cost and/or customer dissatisfaction for you. Real-time ability to de-activate rogue devices or push a notification into existing IT systems via APIs means devices with problems can be fixed before they become customer support calls to you.
All in all; you should look for the competence level of your telecom operator before signing an M2M/IoT deal with them. Most of the network and connectivity issues can often be resolved online or over the phone. But sometimes the M2M devices themselves malfunction or may experience network signaling issues. Check if your Telecom operator has testing skills that can work with you to physically examine the M2M device to ascertain the most likely cause of the problem? Will the service provider be able to help get you back up and running quickly if anything goes wrong?
At Tele2 IoT we have a long history in connectivity. We can help you to optimize your costs and go global. If you would like to learn more about how we can help enable your business, please get in touch.