One of the more important aspects to consider when deploying a solution with IoT connectivity is the choice between a steered or non-steered IoT simcard. Especially if this simcard is used in multiple countries and has to function always and everywhere.
While selecting the IoT simcard may seem simple, there are a few essentials to consider. This article explains the main differences between these two types (steered and non-steered) so that you can make an informed choice.
Roaming IoT simcard
The most commonly used simcards are secured multi-network simcards. The multi-network functionality ensures that the simcards can roam on all available networks and connect to the strongest network.
What is Steered?
Steered is the process used by carriers to send simcards to a specific network. The goal is to save on operational costs and earn greater margins by sending the simcard to a cheaper network. Sometimes at the expense of network quality.
Steered simcards have a list of primary roaming networks that determine which network the simcard connects to when roaming in a country. Steered simcards thus connect to the predefined networks, even if stronger, better quality networks are available.
Obviously, this is a barrier in terms of flexibility and reduces the effectiveness needed for a successful IoT implementation. We do not recommend using steered simcards for most business cases. The predefined network list increases the potential for conflicts when devices try to switch networks during a network outage. It can mean a disruption in connectivity, which can be harmful to your organization.
Non steered simcards
Non steered simcards do not have a predefined preference on their network list. Instead, they can connect to the strongest and best possible network in an area. Compared to steered simcards, non-steered simcards have the greatest chance of continued service in the event of possible network outages. We strongly recommend using non-steered simcards to ensure devices roam and connect on the best network.
Using non-steered simcards is critical for business cases that cannot afford to disconnect or suffer from low-quality preferred networks.
IoT SIM cards that Thingsdata offers?
At Thingsdata, we supply non-steered simcards, because we strive to provide the best possible service and quality to our customers. We recommend organizations in most business cases to configure their devices for automatic network registration. In this way, the continuity and guarantee of a good quality connection is highest, even if a network failure occurs with one of the offered networks. However, our customers have complete freedom to manually send devices to all available networks at the hardware level. They also have the freedom to exclude networks.