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Permanent roaming in challenging markets worldwide

In today’s interconnected world, permanent roaming restrictions pose significant challenges in several countries, including China, Brazil, and Australia. These restrictions, imposed by either regulators or operators themselves, can critically impact the efficacy of IoT devices deployed across multiple countries. The issues range from high data costs and poor connectivity quality to complex management and the risk of devices being barred from local networks.

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Understanding the global landscape of permanent roaming is the first step toward addressing these challenges.

Historically, roaming was a lucrative venture for mobile operators, ensuring seamless connectivity for business or leisure travelers who typically did not stay in a different market for more than a few weeks. However, the rise of IoT adoption worldwide has led to an increase in permanent roaming situations. In these cases, a device, often part of an IoT deployment, stays connected to a network outside its home network for an extended period.

Mastering Global IoT Deployments Amid Permanent Roaming Challenges

Global IoT deployments frequently rely on permanent roaming. Devices are usually manufactured in one location and can be shipped to any other market worldwide for activation and use. Since it’s impossible to predict where the product will be used at the manufacturing point, global IoT connectivity needs to be embedded into the product at the factory.

However, many operators and regulators worldwide are becoming increasingly wary of inbound permanent roaming by IoT devices due to the lack of visibility on how long these devices will remain within their networks and the resources they consume.

The environment for permanent roaming is not uniform worldwide.

permanent roaming

It ranges from hard restrictions to no restrictions at all. For instance, in markets like Brazil, Turkey, and Nigeria, it is banned by the regulator. In Australia, Canada, and the USA, there are no regulatory restrictions, but local MNOs are hostile to the practice, and one can expect to see harder restrictions enforced soon.

Overcoming Roaming Restrictions for Efficient Global IoT Deployments

When permanent roaming is not possible, enterprises need to establish local connections with MNOs to keep their devices connected. However, this poses a significant challenge to enterprises with large-scale IoT deployments. For a global manufacturer of consumer products, the fleet of connected devices can number in the hundreds of thousands. Seamless, automated connectivity requiring no human intervention is essential, or else the deployment becomes too complex to manage.

Establishing technical and commercial relationships with multiple MNOs and managing ever-changing restrictions on permanent roaming is not feasible for enterprises, who typically have little or no telecommunication background and experience. Therefore, it can significantly slow down time-to-market and can have a negative impact on margins.

One solution to manage permanent roaming restrictions across the world is the use of multi-IMSI technology. An embedded SIM, or eSIM, can access the connected infrastructure and receive a new carrier profile in different markets. However, this process can be cumbersome in a multi-market deployment. The enterprise needs to enter into contracts with multiple local eSIM connectivity providers, managing issues such as different pricing, processes for issues escalation, connectivity management platforms, different portals, different APIs to integrate, and more.

Instead, enterprises needing to connect in multiple territories can opt for a multi-IMSI approach, which can set up the device with a single profile but multiple IMSI. These multi-IMSI SIM profiles are a game-changer when it comes to overcoming permanent roaming restrictions.

Optimizing Global IoT Deployments with BICS SIM for Things

BICS SIM for Things is uniquely positioned to help global IoT companies in solving permanent roaming challenges. It offers multi-IMSI technology, combined with local IMSI, meaning one single profile embedded into the SIM, optimized to deliver permanent roaming everywhere. It also has extensive partnerships with mobile operators globally and a multi-IMSI applet that works both with physical SIMs and eSIMs.

In conclusion, global enterprises with large-scale IoT deployments in multiple markets can no longer depend on permanent roaming strategies to keep their devices connected wherever they may be. Many large global economies have stringent restrictions in place that prohibit or limit inbound permanent M2M roaming.

However, establishing individual relationships with local operators and replacing SIM cards on a market-by-market basis is prohibitively expensive and can critically damage the IoT business model.

With BICS SIM for Things, enterprises can easily overcome permanent roaming restrictions and benefit from the flexibility of multi-IMSI SIMs/SIMs and BICS’ global multinetwork coverage to optimize global deployments.

 

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