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Key Drivers to Massive IoT

5 minute read

The exponential growth of IoT connections over the next several years is going to be greatly supported through a developing segment of the Internet of Things (IoT) called Massive IoT. Massive IoT is defined by the proliferation of IoT devices in large-scale deployments made possible through emerging low power wide area (LPWA) network technologies. These LPWA technologies are anticipated to generate $5 billion in connectivity revenue globally by 2025 through an estimated 3 billion LPWA connections.

Opportunities for Massive IoT

Several LPWA networks are growing in adoption as an opportunity to connect devices affordably and reliably – three of which include Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), Long Term Evolution for Machine-Type Communications (LTE-M), and LoRaWAN (the wide area network built off the LoRa spectrum) These LPWA networks work well for Massive IoT because they have a wide reach and the bandwidth to be able to support the types of lower-complexity IoT devices. These devices are sensor-based and take measurements and readings before returning to a sleep-mode state.

This achieves a few important goals. First, these measurements and readings support a wide range of applications to drive useful analytics, which is the main intent. This has been more prohibitive in recent history because cellular connectivity has not widely supported low-power, low-usage devices.

With LPWA networks, smaller packets of data can be transmitted less frequently and the device can power into sleep mode, which helps manage usage and battery life. This pairs well with the lower-complexity devices’ usage and power limitations. Ultimately, LPWA networks can make it more affordable through less usage and devices can be deployed in the field longer – potentially the entire device lifetime, which can be up to 10 years in the field.

Why is this important? If a farmer wants to put sensor devices in a field that measures soil quality and moisture across vast plots of land, the device number could range in the thousands. If a cellular network is going to treat those devices like a smartphone, the usage costs would be astronomical, and those devices would have to be replaced in a matter of days.

With the lower-complexity devices leveraging LPWA, those small data packet transmissions and the ability to return to sleep mode after taking a measurement will preserve costs and battery life, which makes a long-term, large-scale deployment feasible and much more affordable.

Precision farming/smart agriculture are just one example of many that can benefit from Massive IoT, including:

Smart cities: Traffic congestion, air quality, facial recognition, IoT-driven public works, garbage collection, and more can benefit from sensors aggregating data for analytics so government leaders and planners can make more informed decisions.

Utilities: Monitoring utilities both above and underground is simpler when devices can be deployed once and last an entire lifecycle. Efficiency, optimization, and sustainability can be more achievable with high-level insight collected through a broad infrastructure of IoT devices.

Assets and logistics: With IoT driving assets and logistics through high visibility and analytics, more efficiency, less waste, and faster-moving supply chains will aid in the shipping and receiving space.

Smart security and home applications: With the penetrative abilities of LPWA and lower-complexity, yet bi-directional devices, features within the home – including security features such as home alarm systems – will become a more mainstream consumer product.

Education and entertainment: The bandwidth to support high-device traffic or span across a large campus, whether it be a university or event space, IoT will find a foothold in creating smarter spaces.

Where eSIM Fits in the Massive IoT Landscape

When it comes to massive deployments of IoT devices, eSIM is a simpler approach to device provisioning and future-proofed connectivity. If a device’s lifetime is 10 years, a lot can change in a decade when it comes to connectivity. Legacy networks sunset, carrier changes can happen, or an organization might choose to change carriers or networks within the device’s lifetime.

When deploying hundreds or thousands of devices, choosing connectivity that can stand the test of time or organizational changes can be daunting.

eSIM is a unified approach to global, future-proofed connectivity that can help organizations attain Massive IoT deployments regionally, nationally, or internationally. With over-the-air (OTA) provisioning capabilities, if an organization needs to switch networks or carriers, eSIM makes that possible.

OTA provisioning also allows a zero-touch approach for organizations to deploy wide-scale IoT devices with just the touch of a button, which reduces logistics to a simple, single-SKU approach to help speed time to market and reduce costs.

When it comes to deploying massive numbers of IoT devices, eSIM can be the keystone that simplifies that process, so devices work right out of the box anywhere in the world. Want to see how it works? Reach out to try eSIM for free!

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Topic(s): eSIM , Connectivity , Featured

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