No matter the industry, IoT devices rely on connectivity. Devices connect to coordinate tasks and connect to servers to compile mission-critical data. Ultimately, they connect to decision-makers, providing the real-time intelligence business owners need for sustainable growth. After all, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.
Without a reliable connection, this whole digital ecosystem falls apart, so it’s wise to pay close attention to those means of connectivity. In mobile applications, that’s almost certainly a cellular network. Cables and routers won’t work for a fleet of delivery vans. Cellular networks provide reliable data sharing when construction takes out the fiber cables or a natural disaster strikes even in a fixed location. If your IoT systems can’t afford to go dark, they must access cellular networks. The hardware you need to do that is a SIM card.
But traditional SIM cards have their vulnerabilities. They typically connect to a single provider. That’s not much help if your IoT vehicle drives out of the coverage area or if a carrier’s network fails. Today, IoT-reliant businesses are turning to a more robust solution: multi-carrier IoT SIM cards.
These devices send and receive data via multiple provider networks. They scan the area to find the most reliable carrier, hopping to a new network when another falls short. This approach all but guarantees consistent service for IoT devices anywhere they travel and in any contingency.
That durability is playing out in different ways across verticals. Here are a few real-world examples of how multi-carrier SIM cards improve IoT connectivity in many industries — including, perhaps, your own.
1. Retail: Maintaining IoT Uptime
Redundancy is one of the chief advantages of the multi-carrier SIM. When the disastrous 2020 Atlantic hurricane season battered the Southeast U.S. coast, business owners confronted weeks of network outages. Some retailers had credit card readers with multi-carrier SIM cards, which could jump to active networks as others went down. While single-carrier SIM users may have faced two weeks or more without processing orders, these businesses maintained operation with nothing but a quick router restart. That’s the power of network redundancies, which are only possible with multi-carrier SIM cards.
2. Food Service: Consistent, Dependable Connections
Quick-serve restaurants tend to operate on a global scale. When you have thousands of locations worldwide, managing all those carrier contracts becomes a costly hassle. Multi-carrier SIM cards allow you to work with a single provider, making your hardware uniform across locations.
Every network experiences bandwidth congestion during moments of heavy traffic. Multi-carrier SIM cards can detect this congestion and switch providers to ensure quick service, regardless of external factors. They also speed up everyday tasks, whether a credit card transaction or an FDA-compliance check through an IoT freezer.
3. Shipping: Mobile Coverage for the Last Mile and More
Customers have come to expect real-time updates on their deliveries, up to and including map-based tracking. That requires connected delivery vehicles. Network outages interrupt delivery updates, leaving customers frustrated and confused. Multi-carrier SIM cards prevent this potentially disastrous scenario; if the Verizon network gets spotty, they’ll hop over to AT&T, or vice-versa, and with all available carriers.
During long hauls, multi-carrier SIM cards keep electronic logging devices (ELDs) and telematics systems transmitting. That helps fleet owners maintain safer, more efficient operations while improving compliance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. These IoT monitoring devices can also lead to lower insurance premiums — benefits that could be threatened by unreliable connections.
4. Construction: Reducing Risk at the Job Site
Construction sites rarely have the luxury of a broadband connection. Instead, they run communications — including security systems — through cellular networks. Video surveillance protects job-site assets, which is crucial for an industry that loses up to $1 billion per year to theft. Multi-carrier SIM cards ensure those systems remain active 24/7, regardless of network interruptions from a single carrier.
5. Agriculture: Connectivity for Smart Farming
Today’s IoT combines harvesters are essentially mobile data centers. They’re loaded with sensors that collect data about the harvest and the soil below, and they send that data to a centralized server wirelessly. Cellular networks and SIM cards make that happen, but they must find the best signal in areas that might not have the best network coverage. Multi-carrier IoT SIM technology provides this more reliable connection, even from the middle of a vast field of crops.
You’re probably sensing a theme by now: the multi-carrier SIM card’s combination of mobility and redundancy is powering more stable connections. Those connections are improving dependability for IoT devices in every industry. Multi-carrier SIM cards are also powering IoT connectivity in education, manufacturing, warehousing, mining, oil and gas, and on and on. The benefits we list above are by no means relegated to a single vertical, and this list is far from comprehensive. Odds are, the industry you work in is on the list, too.