Comparison: IOT Connectivity versus Traditional Mobile Connectivity

IoT connectivity versus traditional mobile connectivity

When we talk to customers about IoT business cases, we always get a lot of questions about connectivity, with one of the fundamental questions: “Why can’t I just go to my local store, buy some simcards and deploy them in my ‘devices’? It is cheaper compared to what you offer! “

It is a good question and a natural one if you are new to the IoT landscape (M2M, LTE M, NB-IOT, LoRa). This question rarely comes from customers who have deployed thousands of devices and have an organizational structure that requires control and oversight. So let’s clarify.

What do you want to achieve with your devices?

“Why can’t I just buy connectivity from the local store like I would for my cell phone?” An important question is what do you try to do with the ‘devices’, how many do you want to connect and deploy in the field, what control should you want to exercise and how will your organization develop.

If you have a very simple organizational structure and you have easy access to the ‘devices’ and simcards, there are cases where traditional mobile connectivity can make sense. It is also a question of volume: how many devices do you want to use? If you have few devices that also remain the same over time, a mobile subscription with data only based on a single network may be the right solution.

IOT connectivity benefits

On the other hand, with a professional IoT connectivity solution, you have a connectivity platform where you have lifecycle management of all your simcards. You have control over when to activate and deactivate the connectivity (simcards), you can automate all aspects of it and it gives you control over the costs. Plus, with a professional IoT connectivity solution, you get the help of dedicated IoT support, rather than a traditional telecom help desk, which can be critical as your solution grows and becomes more complex.

What role does roaming play in the solution? Then we have the issue of networking and roaming. If you do not expect any movement of the ‘devices’ and you are satisfied with the coverage that the local operator (single network) offers, that can also provide support. On the other hand, with a professional business partner for IoT connectivity, you have commercial options to upgrade your coverage (multiple networks per country) and expand, and to dynamically switch to different rate plans based on the needs, all through self-service with an IoT connectivity platform.

It is a matter of balancing your current and future needs and realizing possible savings. The crux of all this isn’t the issue of where you bought connectivity, but what the purpose of the connectivity is. The solutions that we as Thingsdata offer are:

  • 24×7 connectivity management;
  • analysis and reports;
  • Automation rules for, among other things, data use;
  • Security;
  • Automation and integration;
  • IoT support.

You may think you don’t need any of the above and if so, you need to ask yourself the important question: why are you plugging in your devices? The whole point of IoT is to gain insight and visibility into your organization so that you can achieve any number of goals, from improving productivity to streamlining processes and saving time and money. To be able to do all that, you not only have to connect the ‘devices’, but also manage and operate them.

IoT connectivity gives you the opportunity for automation rules, such as setting limits on things like data usage. You can set communication plans (which networks can my ‘device’ connect to?), change rate plans (5 MB or 500 MB) and limit the number of SMS messages allowed. If someone tampers with the device and puts the simcard in something else, you can have that simcard deactivated automatically. You’ll have analytics and reports that give you in-depth insights that you need to effectively use IoT to improve and grow your organization. And if you need any help, you have dedicated support at your disposal.

If a ‘device’ doesn’t work, you know it. You have a platform that allows you to not only provide valuable analytics, but also troubleshoot when things go wrong. With IoT connectivity, you get a solution that delivers critical functions to those who need them.

What about security? The simplest answer is that IoT connectivity is configured to provide security from the start. Traditional mobile connectivity usually does not offer built-in security solutions. Usually, you need to ensure security through antivirus programs, operating system security, and third-party VPNs. With professional IoT connectivity, you have a range of options, from private APNs to VPNs. You also get enhanced security with a user audit trail, IP authentication, and other measures to keep you and your customers safe.

You also have to think about the future: as time goes by, you connect more ‘devices’, you buy more ‘devices’, sometimes you throw away some ‘devices’. Who manages the subscriptions you bought one, two, three years ago?

In summary, yes, there are instances where buying traditional mobile connectivity would work. IoT is not black and white, there are many gray areas. We believe it is important that customers are well informed to make the decisions they need to be truly successful.

For more information, you can contact us via telephone number 085-0443500 or by mail to