When talking to customers we get a lot of questions around connectivity, with one of the basic ones being, “Why can’t I just go down to my local retail shop, buy a bunch of SIMs, and plug them into my devices? It’s cheaper compared to what you’re offering!”
It’s a good question and a natural one if you’re new to the IoT game. This question rarely comes from customers that have deployed thousands of devices and maybe have a business model that requires control and overview. So, let’s clarify.
Why can’t I just buy connectivity from the local retail store, like I would do for my phone?
The simple answer is that you can buy connectivity just like you would for your phone and pop the SIMs into your devices. It’s more a matter of what you’re trying to do with your devices, how many you want to connect, the control you want to exert and how your business will develop.
If you have a very simple business model and you can easily access the devices, well then there are instances where retail shop connectivity could make sense. It is also a questions of volume: how many devices do you want to deploy? If you have low amounts of devices that will stay the same over time, a prepaid MBB (Mobile Broadband) might be the right solution for you.
On the other hand, with a professional IoT connectivity solution, you have a connectivity platform where you have life-cycle management. You have control of when to activate and de-activate connectivity, you can automate your business, and it gives you control over your costs. Furthermore, with a professional IoT connectivity solution, you will have the help of a dedicated IoT support, instead of a traditional telco helpdesk, something that might be critical as your solution grows and becomes more complicated.
What role will roaming play in your solution?
Then we have the question of networks and roaming. If you don’t expect movement of your devices and you’re happy with the coverage the local operator provides in those instances, that might also support a retail shop connectivity case.
On the other hand, with a professional IoT connectivity business partner you have commercial options to upgrade and expand your coverage as well as to shift to different rate plans dynamically according to your data needs – all through self-service with an IoT connectivity platform.