We’ve seen an explosion in IoT adoption across industries in recent years. Whether customer facing or a B2B service, our reliance on digital technology for both communications and operations has had a profound impact on our business practices. These updated tools have likewise had a profound impact on our productivity and efficiency. Until, of course, they lose their internet connection. In which case, our business comes to a complete standstill.
It doesn’t matter which industry we’re talking about or which element of automation, IoT devices are rendered helpless without connectivity. With the number of connected devices projected to increase from 20-billion to 60-billion by 2025, it’s important to ensure those connections are strong and reliable, lest the entire interconnected digital system falls apart. While a single retail location may be able to succeed utilizing cables and routers, that won’t work for a Fortune 500 organization across multiple locations—or during a natural (or manmade) disaster.
Multi-carrier is SIMply better
The hardware needed to maintain a cellular network connection is a SIM card. Traditional SIM cards, like the ones we find in our cell phones, connect to a single provider. We’ve all dealt with spotty connectivity, or outages personally. However, when you’re running an organization that relies on this connection to conduct nearly every aspect of our business, a traditional SIM card will leave your company vulnerable to outages.
Securing multi-carrier IoT SIM cards is the solution for businesses that need to ensure their IoT connected devices remain online. These SIM cards are embedded with the ability to send and receive data via multiple provider networks. In simple terms, they toggle between different carriers when the connection is slow or lost. This ability to pivot to an active connection means no more down time due to a lost internet connection.
Beyond keeping devices connected, in the case of mobile devices traveling through different areas, these multi-carrier SIM cards also mean that a business with numerous locations or a remote workforce no longer has to contract with multiple carriers to ensure a strong connection throughout the company. The multi-carrier SIM card eliminates the need for determining which carrier to work with in each market, and streamlines the entire data management process.
Multi-carrier SIM cards have been successful in improving IoT connectivity across many verticals. Here are a few examples of how this improved IoT connectivity solution is working in practice:
- Retail: Redundancy to the Rescue
A fully redundant global IP network is the main feature that makes a multi-carrier SIM superior. In retail, a loss of connectivity typically means services can’t be provided and payments can’t be collected.
When the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season hit the Southeast U.S. coast, multi-carrier SIM cards kept many businesses open. Those with traditional SIM cards were faced with several weeks of interrupted or complete outages. And businesses that provided services without an IoT device were left with the reality that only 19% of purchases are made utilizing cash. This meant that even when they could still provide services, customers relying on credit card or digital payments could not make purchases.
However, companies that used credit card readers with multi-carrier SIM cards were able to toggle to an active network and continue selling their goods and services. These network redundancies are only possible with multi-carrier SIM cards.
- Food Service: Chainwide Consistent, Dependable Connections
Whether it’s a small regional chain or a global franchise, the logistics of managing multiple carriers is a drain on productivity, and costly. Offering the advantage of uniform hardware across locations, the multi-carrier SIM card offers consistent and dependable connections across the chain.
During rush hour, the multi-carrier SIM card recognizes bandwidth congestion and is able to seamlessly switch between networks. Long lines while a slow connection hampers credit card transactions are a thing of the past with a multi-carrier SIM card as well.
- Shipping: Coverage for the Entire Journey
A lapse in the connectivity during any phase of the shipping process leads to an inability to accurately communicate the shipping status to customers. In today’s connected world, customers have become accustomed to delivery updates in real time with map-based tracking, notice of delivery delays, and immediate notification once a delivery is complete. From the fulfillment warehouse to the delivery truck, multi-carrier SIM cards avoid dissatisfied customers left in the dark about the status of the receipt of their eagerly anticipated order.
On the operations side of things, multi-carrier SIM cards help fleets remain in compliance with Department of Transportation regulations for long hauls. Electronic logging devices are effective in keeping an entire fleet connected, safe, and efficient. If they rely on a traditional SIM card, the benefits of this IoT connected infrastructure are nullified.
- Construction: Job Site Safety
Cellular networks are the standard connection that construction sites rely on for their IoT devices. Sensors, wearables and maintenance systems are connected to keep workers safe and the entire project running according to schedule. These systems also keep IoT equipment connected, including security systems which are necessary in an industry that experiences $1-billion per year in loss of job-site assets due to theft.
Relying on an individual cell network to ensure job-site safety, efficiency and security of a construction site can cause dangerous situations and project delays.
- Agriculture: Smart Farming Gets Connected
Agricultural centers are typically found in rural areas which aren’t exactly known for offering a strong cellular signal. IoT enabled equipment does so much more than simply harvest crops, it also collects data about the harvest and soil. Multi-carrier SIM technology ensures that the data needed to efficiently manage the crops is delivered when and where it is.
Additional IoT enabled equipment utilized to track and monitor the health of livestock, or surveillance equipment to ensure their comfort and safety, are greatly enhanced by the stability of a multi-carrier SIM card.
IoT Touches Every Industry
Regardless of the industry, the more stable connection powered by a multi-carrier SIM card can better support the many functions of IoT connected devices that we’ve come to depend upon. The more stable connection offered by a multi-carrier card offers more mobility and redundancy than a single carrier SIM.
We’ve discussed five industries benefiting from the use of the multi-carrier SIM card, but the reality is that IoT connectivity is utilized in just about every industry. The benefits of multi carrier SIM cards go far beyond their traditional counterparts. For that reason, we see real world examples of the benefits of this valuable technology being utilized in education, manufacturing, warehousing, mining, oil and gas, and so much more.
Steve Higgins is the CEO of MobileWare, an industry-leading IoT solution provider that delivers end-to-end innovative IoT connectivity solutions to the restaurant, retail, education, security, and transportation/logistics industries. With its unique multi-carrier Single SIM™ card and data connectivity solution, MobileWare is able to provide Fortune 500 companies with reliable connectivity for all of their business functions. This multi-million dollar business is thriving as the need for reliable connectivity continues to grow to keep pace with the number of connected devices and their many tasks within our lives.