Permanent Roaming may be the Biggest Barrier to Global IoT Success

Lucy Holden Senior Marketing Executive

Lucy is passionate about how IoT is used for the greater good to change the world and save lives.

Complexity and the reluctance of operators and regulators to support permanent roaming means intelligent eSIM localisation is critical for IoT to achieve full potential 

Guildford, UK ‚Äst13th¬†May¬†2021: Global IoT projects will fail to reach their potential unless the problems of global permanent roaming¬†are¬†resolved, according to a new¬†research¬†report published by¬†leading telecommunications analyst firm,¬†Kaleido Intelligence, commissioned by¬†global IoT connectivity specialist¬†Eseye.¬†¬†

The¬†‚ÄėSolving Permanent Roaming Challenges Through eSIM and Localisation‚Äô¬†report¬†analyses why global IoT rollouts have failed to meet expectations, the challenges of¬†permanent roaming¬†and future regulatory concerns,¬†and¬†why¬†advanced¬†eSIM and¬†localisation is a¬†long-term, flexible solution to meet industry requirements.¬†

Despite global cellular IoT connections standing at 1.7 billion, the limiting factor influencing future growth now lies in guaranteeing connectivity for commercial IoT devices, regardless of where they are deployed. This is especially crucial in applications such as telehealth or telecare, where personal health depends on reliable connectivity. Without guaranteed in-country connectivity, business cases become untenable, projects cannot scale and there is an unacceptable level of risk. 

Permanent roaming is not viable for long-term commercial IoT deployments

Roaming is the historical solution for connecting consumer cellular devices outside of their domestic market. When an IoT device is connected to a network outside its home country for more than 90 days, it is deemed to be permanently roaming and risks being disconnected from the network. The implications for enterprise IoT deployments include:   

  • Permanent roaming is becoming more¬†frequent given¬†that¬†commercial models¬†for inbound roaming¬†are¬†not¬†as¬†attractive for the¬†mobile network operators (MNOs).¬†In contrast,¬†a¬†localised¬†eSIM¬†connection¬†generates up to five times more revenue¬†per device¬†for regional operators.¬†¬†
  • 80% of roaming agreements between operators do not support¬†both PSM and¬†eDRX¬†which are¬†essential¬†for¬†battery life management in IoT devices. These functions are often limited to devices that are connecting locally to a network.¬†
  • Commercial disputes between MNOs over roaming agreements,¬†which can often be at short notice, can result in¬†the¬†termination of connectivity agreements between the parties, leading to¬†a¬†loss of connectivity for¬†enterprise IoT devices.¬†
  • Countries such as Australia, the United States, China, Canada, India,¬†Turkey,¬†and Singapore have introduced restrictions, and in some cases, outright bans on permanent roaming,¬†meaning¬†any IoT deployments at scale will be¬†affected.¬†
  • Roaming data¬†must¬†be backhauled leading to poor application performance due to data routing architectures causing¬†network capacity,¬†latency,¬†and performance issues,¬†which is unacceptable for most IoT applications.¬†

Nick Earle, CEO, Eseye comments: ‚ÄúNegative attitudes towards permanent roaming ‚Äď from the perception that the volume of connections may cause network capacity and performance issues to regulators objecting to cross-border data transit ‚Äď mean operators are unable¬†or unwilling¬†to guarantee the global connectivity required for successful large-scale projects. A more flexible solution is needed to de-risk global IoT projects and reduce uncertainty in the pre-deployment phase by ensuring devices can connect to the best provider, wherever they are located.‚Ä̬†¬†

Steffen Sorrell, Chief of Research,¬†Kaleido Intelligence¬†adds:¬†‚ÄúKaleido Intelligence has found that while the installed base of eSIM-enabled IoT devices reached over 300 million in 2020, less than 20% of those devices were actively using the eSIM to connect to data services. Thus, it is clear that the current state of eSIM has not made a considerable dent in reducing IoT roaming or delivering the benefits of¬†eSIM localisation for international IoT deployments.¬†Furthermore, unless connections produce substantial amounts of data that can make inbound roaming connections financially viable, operators are losing out on significant revenue by not localising those connections, which will¬†also¬†allow enterprises to enjoy near-ubiquitous connectivity in their deployments.‚Ä̬†

Achieving true global IoT deployment through eSIM and localisation 

Eseye has built a global network of localisation agreements with regional operators, unrestricted by existing roaming agreements. Its unique multi-IMSI eSIM with advanced eUICC profile management is completely agnostic and can store up to 10 bootstrap profiles. These profiles can be easily uploaded overtheair, enabling seamless switching between MNOs to deliver optimum connection levels for customers.  

Guaranteed connectivity allows device owners to circumnavigate permanent roaming restrictions, which is not possible with the majority of available eSIM solutions that rely on a single global SIM and bootstrap option. These are unable to offer the long-term flexibility to deliver high levels of global connectivity at all times, especially if device circumstances change. To address this, Eseye offers more comprehensive, reliable connectivity for IoT devices, across a greater number of territories, than any other provider can deliver, eliminating the cost and risk of devices being disconnected.  

Earle¬†concludes: ‚ÄúUncertainty about both initial and lifetime device connectivity is a huge concern for businesses rolling out large-scale IoT projects. Global rollouts are not cheap, and the level of investment needed is harder to justify in commercial terms when the connectivity environment is not assured. This situation will continue to¬†stifle¬†the enormous potential of IoT unless an alternative,¬†such as¬†advanced¬†intelligent¬†eSIMs¬†supported by a network¬†localisation¬†capability,¬†is adopted.‚Ä̬†

  • Download¬†Eseye‚Äôs ‚ÄėSolving Permanent Roaming Challenges Through eSIM and Localisation‚Äô¬†white paper¬†here.¬†
  • Register¬†for the¬†Kaleido Intelligence and Eseye¬†webinar on 17 June.¬†¬†

-ENDS- 


About Eseye

Eseye empowers businesses to embrace IoT without limits. We help them to visualise the impossible and bring those solutions to life through innovative IoT cellular connectivity solutions that enable our customers to drive up business value, deploy differentiated experiences, and disrupt their markets.

Our pioneering technology allows businesses to overcome the complexity of IoT deployment and develop, deploy, and manage IoT projects without the fear of getting it wrong. We guide them every step of the way. Supported by a powerful partner ecosystem, we seamlessly connect devices across 190 countries, agnostic to over 700 available global networks.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Jim Pople
C8 Consulting for Eseye (UK)
jim@c8consulting.co.uk
+44 7955 030191

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