Understanding an IoT Data Plan
A product maker enables smart connectivity for the solution to enhance customer experience and also collects feedback to optimize product development. Sometimes the business model allows the product maker to pass on the cost of smart connectivity enablement to the end customer. Sometimes IoT as a concept is so nascent for that industry or sector, that the end customers wait out to see how the ‘IoT enablement’ is adding value to their product experience. Depending on their experience, the customer decides whether to pay ‘something more’ for a ‘Connected device’ as compared to ‘just a device.’ In either case, it is very important for the product maker to figure out a sustainable cost model that will give the confidence to consider integrating ‘IoT’ into the product's core business model.
How should an OEM that implements IoT, approach & decide on an IoT Data Plan?
A simple way to answer that question is by considering these four factors
- Application or Use Case: Every type of device has different data needs depending on its type of application. For example, a smart street light will only require an NB-IoT plan due to its stationary position and low data usage, while an asset tracking device requires LTE-M since the device would be on the move.
- Data Throughput: Understanding the device data usage/throughput can be vital information on the data plan quota requirement. An example would be a Smart ECU/VCU requiring high bandwidth for loading maps and applications.
- Data Transfer Frequency: The frequency of data transfer during the activity performed. For example, once every few hours or once every few seconds.
However, these factors depend on the industry, the scale of the business, and the device's users. Once the requirement for IoT data has been established, it is time to find the right IoT data plan provider.
To further grasp IoT data plans, let's use the example of a smart air purifier. You would choose one depending on the size of the room, the general Air Quality Index of your locality, specific parameters that the air purifier can track, the capacity of the air purifier based on people density, etc. For instance, check out this Air Purifier from Dyson and how its features are defined. ( Disclaimer: We are yet to work on a project with Dyson, but we are sure the web team wouldn't mind a backlink like this.)
Finding the right IoT Data Plan provider
While identifying an IoT data plan provider, it is essential to look at the following features/capabilities.
Uptime and Security & Transparent Standard Operating Procedures, Service Level Agreements
With critical data being sent and received by IoT devices, network uptime and data security are two factors businesses should consider in order to facilitate this requirement. The network uptime ensures the devices are always running and provides data transfer from the end devices to the cloud, which can be vital in cases of medicare, utilities, or other use cases that require always-on devices. On the other hand, secure connectivity can be achieved by having VPN/APN access, multi-level security infrastructure, and different preventive setups. While selecting an IoT data plan, businesses must carefully consider the provider's reputation in the industry for speed, security, and customer support.
Network Coverage & Redundancy
We are talking about a device that survives only with the internet. When selecting an IoT data plan, network coverage is one of the biggest driving factors of consideration as it is one of the ultimate needs of the device. Downtime and unstable signals can cost IoT devices' business productivity and performance. For businesses spread across continents, international coverage is also another driving factor.
With cellular networks, network redundancy means being able to connect to multiple Mobile Network Operators inside the same country. This redundancy allows your devices to connect to the best signal wherever you deploy using the right technology.
Pricing & Data Pooling Capability
Most data providers go for a la carte pricing, which is directly proportional to the number of IoT devices connected. For businesses that are constantly growing, having a flexible data plan that supports scalability is imperative to manage the total cost of ownership. As much as businesses should not have to pay for unutilized services, it is necessary to look at the host of management tools and other value adds the provider is offering at a competitive price to select the right IoT data plan. Simply put, if a la carte is expensive, should you move to a buffet? While it might be impossible to predict all future needs, it is good business sense to have a flexible, scalable, and affordable plan in the long run.
Data Pooling Capability, such that the data pool contracts provide an amount of data that can be shared amongst a pool of multiple devices in a batch.
IoT Data Subscription Management on Cavli Hubble
Having established the criteria for choosing an IoT data plan, the next course of action is to find a provider who ticks off all or most of the boxes. It is recommended to find a vendor who is able to offer maximum uptime, well-defined security layer definitions, coverage, and scalability at affordable prices as organizations that are handling multiple operators face challenges with data costs and stacks of bills to manage.
Are you building a 'Smart- Connected' Product? We can help you build, connect & scale in the most secure, seamless, and cost-effective manner. Introducing the world’s first truly enterprise-grade IoT connectivity management cloud platform Cavli Hubble from Cavli Wireless, where you can securely manage & control all your connected devices, data subscriptions, over-the-air updates, and remote diagnostics. Hubble99 is one of the ambitious IoT adoption plans in the industry to be made available globally by Cavli, that marks the true entry of IoT into the subscription economy age. The plan has many other allied features/benefits like access to local IoT networks in over 150+ countries and in-built features of Cavli hubble, including Hubble Messaging Service and Hubble Cloud Connectors. IoT solution players get the eSIM integrated connectivity hardware of their choice of technology, pre-loaded IoT data pack, and the robust Connectivity-Device management cloud platform, all together as one single package.
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