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Julia SamaraSeptember 19, 20235 min read

Navigating IoT Roaming: Your Essential Guide

With IoT Roaming, devices can stay connected to essential services no matter where they are located. Even when moving across different countries or mobile networks, the devices can switch between providers without losing essential data or experiencing downtime. This is especially helpful for global businesses and supply chains that require real-time tracking of assets and data.


What is IoT Roaming?

This is a specialized connectivity solution designed for Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as sensors, trackers, and machines, allowing them to function globally. IoT roaming enables these devices to easily communicate with different mobile networks, ensuring the continuous and efficient operation of the entire IoT ecosystem.


This solution plays a vital role in keeping IoT devices connected to the networks they use, facilitating the exchange of information. With IoT Roaming, devices can transmit and receive data using Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) such as Long-Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M) and Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT). These LPWAN technologies offer wider coverage, longer battery life, and more cost-effective options for IoT devices than traditional cellular networks.


How IoT Roaming Works?

IoT Roaming works similarly to mobile phone roaming, but it is intended for IoT devices. It functions through pre-defined partnerships and roaming agreements among Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) worldwide. This arrangement enables IoT devices to connect to foreign networks when they move beyond the coverage area of their home network.


The Multi-International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) SIM card is a crucial component of IoT Roaming. It allows users to access multiple networks in different geographic locations. Unlike traditional SIM cards, multi-IMSI SIM cards host several IMSIs, each corresponding to a specific mobile network operator's data plan and network connection. This feature allows devices to switch between networks effortlessly without requiring manual reconfiguration.


Benefits of IoT Roaming

  • Streamlined Global Deployment: IoT Roaming significantly enhances and simplifies the deployment of IoT devices across international borders. By providing automatic connections to the nearest available network, organizations can reduce the complexities associated with worldwide IoT implementation and management.
  • Extensive Global Coverage: IoT Roaming allows devices to maintain communication and data transfer capabilities, regardless of geographical location. This worldwide coverage ensures that devices and applications can function without connectivity gaps, enhancing the effectiveness of their operation.
  • Cost and Complexity Reduction: Utilizing a single SIM card for multiple network connections can significantly consolidate costs, especially regarding data plans. IoT Roaming also removes the need for manual network configuration, promoting ease of use and streamlined deployment.
  • Enhanced Reliability and Redundancy: IoT devices connected through IoT Roaming have better reliability and redundancy. They use multi-IMSI SIM cards to provide backup connectivity options. These options are used when a network is not available or when the device is outside its home network coverage.


Challenges of IoT Roaming

  • Latency Concerns: IoT Roaming can introduce latency, primarily because of the need to backhaul data to the home network. Organizations must consider this potential increase in latency when planning global IoT deployments, especially for latency-sensitive applications.
  •  Increased Costs: The data transmission fees incurred in IoT Roaming, or roaming charges, can be challenging to predict. They can prove potentially more expensive compared to localized IoT deployments.
  •  Regulatory Complexity: Understanding local rules like data residency, data sovereignty, and roaming restrictions is vital for successful IoT Roaming. Failing to adhere to these regulations can severely impact a deployment's success and potentially result in substantial fines or business disruption.
  •  Permanent Roaming Restrictions: Strict regulations in some countries may prohibit permanent roaming. This necessitates the use of alternative connectivity solutions to ensure consistent IoT device deployments.


Optimizing IoT Roaming Management


Cost Control

Roaming costs can add up, especially for data-intensive IoT applications. Choose plans that align with your usage patterns to prevent unexpected expenses.

Network Compatibility

Ensure IoT devices are compatible with different network technologies and frequencies used across the host region. This is essential to maintaining connectivity, minimizing disruptions, and optimizing device performance.

Providing Local Support

Swift and effective customer support is crucial to the successful management of an IoT Roaming deployment. Local support teams can quickly address problems, reducing device downtime and helping to fix outages or connectivity issues efficiently.

Data Security

Protecting sensitive information during IoT Roaming is critical to maintaining data integrity and organizational security. Using strong encryption, trustworthy authentication, and adapting security to local rules are vital for a solid IoT Roaming data security plan.


IoT Roaming in the North American Landscape 

North America, encompassing the United States, Canada, and Mexico, offers a unique playground for IoT innovation. IoT Roaming in North America ensures that your devices can maintain connectivity, no matter where they roam within this region. Here's what makes it remarkable:

  1. Multi-National Coverage: IoT Roaming in North America extends across borders. Devices can stay connected and provide important information no matter where they are. This includes locations such as Texas, Toronto, or Mexico City.
  2. Extensive Carrier Network: North America boasts a plethora of network operators, each with its strengths. This diversity ensures IoT devices can tap into the best available network at any given location, optimizing connectivity and reliability.
  3. Seamless Transition: As IoT devices move between countries or regions, they smoothly switch between networks, providing uninterrupted service. No more worrying about coverage gaps or service disruptions.
  4. 5G Integration: North America is at the forefront of 5G technology adoption. IoT Roaming here means access to high-speed, low-latency networks, unleashing the full potential of IoT applications.
  5. Regulatory Compliance: North American countries have well-defined regulations governing IoT communications. Providers ensure compliance, so your data transmission meets all legal requirements.


IoT Roaming with POND

Our SMART IoT SIM cards support 5G technology and provide seamless connectivity not only in the US. They give access to 800+ partner networks across the globe. Auto-switching capabilities allow our IoT SIM to switch between these networks automatically or manually for optimal performance.

By using our SMART SIMs, IoT deployments benefit from enhanced data privacy, authentication mechanisms, and secure network connections, mitigating potential security risks and ensuring the integrity of transmitted information.

In addition, our multi-language live support is available 24/7 through email, chat, and phone, and can promptly settle any roaming issues.

Contact us to learn more.