Utilities and IoT SIM Cards

Rony Cohen – floLIVE 

When you consider IoT technologies, it’s challenging to find a better application than connected Utilities. Whether it’s advanced metering for water, gas, and electricity, smart grids, or water control and irrigation systems, IoT enables centralized control and management of devices, ensures continuous data availability, and prioritizes reliability and security.

However, when dealing with global Utilities, additional complexities emerge. Companies like BERMAD, a world leader in water and flow management systems, recently tackled this challenge when launching their line of smart irrigation controllers. The insights gained from their experience serve as a blueprint for any Utilities company aiming to streamline its entry into IoT.

Coverage: Global Operational Efficiency, with Compliance in Mind

Most global Utilities providers desire the flexibility to manufacture devices without precise knowledge of their deployment locations. This can be complicated due to varying compliance regulations in different regions. GDPR is a prime example, as well as regulations in countries like Brazil, India, the UAE, and Turkey, which restrict roaming after 90 days—a rule intended for consumer devices but problematic for long-term IoT deployments.

Companies can address this complexity by leveraging local connectivity for their water management systems. This approach ensures that devices remain location-agnostic at the manufacturing stage and automatically connect to a local operator upon deployment in-region. By utilizing local connectivity, companies can circumvent roaming issues, thereby ensuring compliance.

Control: The Ability to Test, Provision, and Maintain

Testing is paramount in the Utilities sector. For instance, inaccurate data measurement by a smart meter could lead to billing errors and customer dissatisfaction. While local connectivity facilitates compliance and global coverage, it often impedes pre-deployment testing. This can be problematic for Utilities companies, which require rigorous testing before launching solutions.

By adopting a modern IoT solution, devices can be configured over-the-air (OTA), enabling local activation and testing before global deployment. This approach offers centralized control and visibility, allowing for efficient troubleshooting and maintenance.

Complexity: A Single SKU to Streamline Business Worldwide

Many businesses contemplate utilizing local connectivity by partnering with operators in each region of operation. However, this approach introduces operational overheads, including multiple contracts, integrations, and processes.

Alternatively, companies can opt for a single partner offering global coverage through a network of local points of presence (POPs) and an extensive IMSI library. This streamlined approach simplifies operations, reduces costs, and enhances transparency.

Cost: Reducing the Bottom Line Expense, By Working Smarter, Not Harder

Working with a single vendor can yield economies of scale for Utility companies, leading to reduced service costs and more competitive data rates. This approach is feasible when compared to managing multiple operator relationships across different countries.

Furthermore, modern Connectivity Management Platforms (CMPs) offer smart billing systems, providing flexibility in pricing models and real-time cost insights. By optimizing cost control, Utilities companies can enhance profitability and customer satisfaction.

Battery Life: Real-time Insight and Control to Extend Device Lifetime

Smart connectivity policies are essential to prolong the battery life of Utilities devices. Technologies such as NB-IoT and CAT-M enable energy-efficient data transmission, ensuring devices remain operational while conserving power.

Modern connectivity management systems employ various strategies to minimize latency and optimize battery life, including local packet gateways, network optimization, and efficient data exchange technologies.

Bringing it all Together with a Hyperlocal Global Network for IoT in Utilities

A hyperlocal global network managed by an intelligent Connectivity Management Platform dovetailed with cross-border SIM cards offers comprehensive solutions for Utilities. By consolidating operations under a single vendor, utility stakeholders can streamline complexity, ensure compliance, optimize costs, and extend device lifetimes.

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