Downtime in IoT may refer to the time a device itself is inoperative, or to the time it spends offline. For mission-critical devices, this is nothing to take lightly, but for many devices, consistent coverage may be a crucial factor to a business case.
According to the Veeam Availability Report, downtime costs enterprise-sized organisations an average of $16 million annually. Meanwhile, 68% of IT decision-makers acknowledge that the impact of downtime can affect customers’ confidence in the organisation and the brand according to Information Age.
Switching is the process of moving a device from one network to another using signalling messages. The number of available networks is key in minimizing downtime. When the preferred network fails, devices should be seamlessly switched to a second network, and even a third if connection cannot be established quickly enough. Having multiple networks available improves both coverage and uptime. The ability to detect and automatically switch to the best network in any given region is at the heart of quality of service.
What difference can a SIM card make?
“Even with the resources to negotiate mobile operator contracts, an IoTSP must also deal with the logistics of which SIM to install for each global delivery and how to replace SIMs in devices already in the field when operator relationships change.” -Stephen Fitzpatrick
eUICC multi-IMSI capabilities vs. UICC
Traditional SIM cards store one IMSI profile (also called an operator profile) which includes the IMSI, ICCID, SMS-C Configuration, OTA interface, and list of preferred roaming networks. This one profile allows a device to work with one primary network and their roaming partners. eUICC technology is changing everything in this arena. eUICC SIMs and eSIMs allow multiple profiles to be stored on one SIM and then provisioned over the air (OTA). Instead of relying on the roaming partners and agreements of one network, you can utilize all of them as primary networks instead.
What does this mean for an enterprise?
This process is accomplished “behind the scenes” by an MVNO. Profiles are updated and reconfigured automatically by the operator according to the device location and usage agreement. eUICC SIMs and eSIMs are what enable global connectivity without roaming charges.
“Such technologies can work with both virtual “soft” SIMs such as eUICC and with the more familiar physical SIM cards. This approach ensures that, over the life of an IoT device (which may be 10 or 15 years), access to the best connectivity options is maintained. Such a solution also enables devices to be operated in countries that restrict the “permanent roaming” of IoT devices. In this case, if a device is found to be roaming in a country with a permanent roaming restriction, a local subscription can be downloaded to the device, ensuring compliance with > local regulations.” – John Candish (Digitalist Mag)
If a device travels overland from Portugal to Russia, they are able to automatically switch from one network to another in each country or area as if they were a subscriber to each network without being subject to the roaming fees of their home network. The MVNO simply reads the device location and automatically, remotely updates the SIM card with the necessary profiles to access available networks.
Make sure your provider offers eUICC SIMs and eSIMs to be able to future-proof the connectivity of your devices by adapting instantly, remotely, and automatically to the location of your devices for their entire life cycle.