The Essential Guide to Network Steering in IoT Connectivity

May 21 – 2023 | Vera Miretsky

In the world of Internet of Things (IoT), ensuring consistent and reliable connectivity is paramount. This is where network steering comes into play, a crucial concept for businesses leveraging IoT technology. Unlike traditional consumer devices, IoT devices demand specialised strategies to maintain connectivity due to their heightened sensitivity to performance issues such as latency and service quality. Let’s explore the nuances of network steering and how it optimises IoT operations.

Understanding Network Steering

Network steering is the process by which mobile operators direct IoT devices to connect to specific networks that best align with business goals. This involves prioritising networks based on commercial agreements rather than optimal coverage or performance. For typical mobile users, network choice can be manual, offering flexibility during travel. However, IoT devices lack this option, requiring automated, strategic network steering to avoid service disruptions that could have severe implications.

Three Pillars of IoT Network Steering

IoT devices can adopt three main approaches to network steering, each with its distinct advantages and challenges:

1. SIM-Based Steering:

   – Advantages: Directs devices to preferred networks, saving battery and reducing connection times.

   – Disadvantages: Fails to connect if no preferred network is available, which can be critical for essential services.

2. Core Network Steering:

   – Advantages: Offers flexible control, allowing devices to connect to the strongest network available.

   – Disadvantages: Can result in longer connection times, affecting devices with strict time constraints to establish a connection.

3. Billing-Based Steering:

   – Advantages: Enables real-time control over data usage and costs by monitoring and managing connections based on set quotas.

   – Disadvantages: May attempt to connect to blocked networks, leading to unnecessary battery drain and additional communication overhead.

Tailoring Steering to Your Needs

The choice of steering method should be dictated by specific business requirements:

– Efficiency and Battery Life: SIM-based steering is ideal for battery-dependent devices.

– Control: Core network steering offers comprehensive control for businesses needing robust oversight.

– Cost Management: Billing-based steering helps manage expenses through precise data usage monitoring.

Integrative Solutions by CommsCloud

Recognizing the diverse needs of IoT businesses, CommsCloud utilises our Connectivity Technology Partner floLIVE’s comprehensive solution that integrates all three steering methods into a single platform. This approach allows for customised configurations that align with specific business needs, ensuring optimised service quality and cost-efficiency. floLIVE’s platform isn’t about limiting to certain networks but providing the best options tailored to each customer.


In the evolving landscape of IoT, effective network steering is more than just a technical necessity; it’s a strategic asset. By understanding and implementing the right steering method, businesses can enhance the reliability and efficiency of their IoT operations. With an integrated platform, the power to optimise IoT connectivity is more accessible and impactful than ever. We ensure that IoT businesses not only meet their connectivity needs but also achieve a competitive edge in the IoT market, demonstrating the true power of partnership in the digital age.

CommsCloud IoT Connectivity Solutions | Empowering Your Business to Connect, Grow, and Thrive – Contact Us | +27 21 551 5526 or  Get in Touch and follow our journey across Africa with the social media links below.

Original Article Posted by floLIVE