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IoT Roaming – is this a Game of Scale?

The enterprise IoT global connectivity market is dynamic and complex, driven in part by increasing global and regional sourcing, as well as the changing face of how enterprises operate internationally and devices that roam on connection after manufacture in a different country.


Enterprises need to be thinking about a range of issues regarding global connectivity and roaming including:

· How much coverage they need and where

· The level of sophistication of a solution, with a preference towards simpler solutions

· The overall cost to the enterprise

· What quality of service the CSP can offer and network performance

· The degree of security offered by the solution


IoT CSPs need to guide enterprises through this complexity and help them plan for IoT global connectivity.


In the TecFutures IoT CSP Survey 2022, we asked CSPs what percentage of their IoT enterprise connections are roaming. 53% of CSPs report that between 5% and 10% of their connections are roaming. A further 9% state that between 10% and 25% are roaming ones.

· Some 50% of CSPs operating globally report that between 10% and 25% are roaming ones, and those managing the most customers have the highest proportion of roaming connections.

· Geographically, CSPs operating in Europe have the greatest level of roaming connections whilst we see the lowest level in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The chart below shows some of the differences by CSP operating footprint.



The enterprise requirement for IoT roaming is clear – IoT devices can cross international borders and CSPs should look beyond offering simple local contracts. CSPs can meet different coverage scenarios and provide a level of network coverage to match the enterprise operational footprint and should emphasize their ability to provide cost-effective and efficient solutions.

· TecFutures’ survey highlights that 72% of IoT CSPs think that offering global connectivity to enterprises is an important connectivity feature.


For IoT CSPs, there are a range of considerations in play depending on the type of roaming required by the enterprise including:

· The suitability of roaming for IoT

· Managing roaming connections

· The best way of offering coverage

· Scenarios where the final device location is unknown

· Solutions for permanent roaming


IoT CSPs also need to be thinking about how they can make their profiles both global and digitally available and offered on as many local networks as possible rather than relying on roaming. They should work with developers and give them the necessary visibility and control over CSPs service for billing, service management and data.

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