Permanent roaming emerging as the biggest barrier to global IoT success

Global IoT projects will fail to reach their potential unless the problems of global permanent roaming are resolved, according to a new research report published by telecommunications analyst firm, Kaleido Intelligence, commissioned by global IoT connectivity provider Eseye.

The ‘Solving Permanent Roaming Challenges Through eSIM and Localisation’ report analyses why global IoT rollouts have failed to meet expectations, the challenges of permanent roaming and future regulatory concerns, and why advanced eSIM and localisation is a long-term, flexible solution to meet industry requirements.

Despite global cellular IoT connections standing at 1.7 billion, the limiting factor influencing future growth now lies in guaranteeing connectivity for commercial IoT devices, regardless of where they are deployed. This is especially crucial in applications such as telehealth or telecare, where personal health depends on reliable connectivity. Without guaranteed in-country connectivity, business cases become untenable, projects cannot scale and there is an unacceptable level of risk.

Permanent roaming is not viable for long-term commercial IoT deployments

Roaming is the historical solution for connecting consumer cellular devices outside of their domestic market. When an IoT device is connected to a network outside its home country for more than 90 days, it is deemed to be permanently roaming and risks being disconnected from the network. Theimplicationsfor enterprise IoT deployments include:

  • Permanent roaming is becoming more frequent given that commercial models for inbound roaming are not as attractive for the mobile network operators (MNOs). In contrast, a localised eSIM connection generates up to five times more revenue per device for regional operators.
  • 80% of roaming agreements between operators do not support both PSM and eDRX which are essential for battery life management in IoT devices. These functions are often limited to devices that are connecting locally to a network.
  • Commercial disputes between MNOs over roaming agreements, which can often be at short notice, can result in the termination of connectivity agreements between the parties, leading to a loss of connectivity for enterprise IoT devices.
  • Countries such as Australia, the United States, China, Canada, India, Turkey, and Singapore have introduced restrictions, and in some cases, outright bans on permanent roaming, meaning any IoT deployments at scale will be affected.
  • Roaming data must be backhauled leading to poor application performance due to data routing architectures causing network capacity, latency, and performance issues, which is unacceptable for most IoT applications.
Nick Earle

Nick Earle, CEO, Eseye comments, “Negative attitudes towards permanent roaming from the perception that the volume of connections may cause network capacity and performance issues to regulators objecting to cross-border data transit mean operators are unable or unwilling to guarantee the global connectivity required for successful large-scale projects.”

“A more flexible solution is needed to de-risk global IoT projects and reduce uncertainty in the pre-deployment phase by ensuring devices can connect to the best provider, wherever they are located.”

Steffen Sorrell, chief of research, Kaleido Intelligence adds, “Kaleido Intelligence has found that while the installed base of eSIM-enabled IoT devices reached over 300 million in 2020, less than 20% of those devices were actively using the eSIM to connect to data services. Thus, it is clear that the current state of eSIM has not made a considerable dent in reducing IoT roaming or delivering the benefits of eSIM localisation for international IoT deployments.”

“Furthermore, unless connections produce substantial amounts of data that can make inbound roaming connections financially viable, operators are losing out on significant revenue by not localising those connections, which will also allow enterprises to enjoy near-ubiquitous connectivity in their deployments.”

Achieving true global IoT deployment through eSIM and localisation

Eseye has built a global network of localisation agreements with regional operators, unrestricted by existing roaming agreements. Its multi-IMSI eSIM with advanced eUICC profile management is completely agnostic and can store up to 10 bootstrap profiles. These profiles can be easily uploaded over-the-air, enabling seamless switching between MNOs to deliver optimum connection levels for customers.

Guaranteed connectivity allows device owners to circumnavigate permanent roaming restrictions, which is not possible with the majority of available eSIM solutions that rely on a single global SIM and bootstrap option.

Steffen Sorrell

These are unable to offer the long-term flexibility to deliver high levels of global connectivity at all times, especially if device circumstances change.

To address this, Eseye offers more comprehensive, reliable connectivity for IoT devices, across a greater number of territories, than any other provider can deliver, eliminating the cost and risk of devices being disconnected.

Earle concludes, “Uncertainty about both initial and lifetime device connectivity is a huge concern for businesses rolling out large-scale IoT projects. Global rollouts are not cheap, and the level of investment needed is harder to justify in commercial terms when the connectivity environment is not assured. This situation will continue to stifle the enormous potential of IoT unless an alternative, such as advanced intelligent eSIMs supported by a network localisation capability, is adopted.”

Download Eseye’s ‘Solving Permanent Roaming Challenges Through eSIM and Localisation’ white paper here.

Register for the Kaleido Intelligence and Eseye webinar on 17 June

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more
RECENT ARTICLES

Bluetooth Range and Reliability: Myth vs Fact

Posted on: September 21, 2021

As Bluetooth is becoming more and more ubiquitous in smart homes, buildings, and factories, there are many myths about what the wireless technology can and cannot do. In fact, its capabilities go far beyond its use in consumer electronics and enables a wide range of professional solutions in commercial and industrial environments. Here are some of the common myths around Bluetooth – and the lesser-known facts

Read more

OQ Technology reveals patent portfolio in the US and Europe to improve satellite communications

Posted on: September 21, 2021

5G satellite operator OQ Technology has revealed six pending patent applications in the USA and in Europe that will improve satellite-based IoT and M2M communications in remote locations. OQ Technology’s patent applications include a “wake-up” technology for satellite IoT (Internet of things) devices, IoT device localisation, frequency and timing synchronisation, inter-satellite link technology and satellite

Read more