May 23

Chen Porat

Achieving IoT Connectivity Success in APAC

This image illustrates IoT connectivity in the APAC region.

As more enterprises adopt IoT solutions—especially with the rise of AI—there is a growing demand for resilient and reliable IoT connectivity, and there is a sharp growth trajectory in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. This technology segment offers key benefits in vertical markets and is advancing in the area for several crucial reasons. 

The APAC region boasts a large and diverse market with significant opportunities for IoT solutions across various industries such as manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, logistics, and smart cities. Simultaneously, many APAC enterprises are undergoing digital transformation efforts to stay competitive in the global market. IoT plays a crucial role in these initiatives by enabling automation, improving operational efficiency, enhancing customer experiences, and adding new business models for recurring revenues.

Several governments in APAC are actively promoting IoT adoption through initiatives, policies, and funding. These efforts aim to drive innovation, boost economic growth, and address societal challenges such as urbanization and environmental sustainability. The GSMA estimates that the IoT revenue held in APAC will grow to 38 percent worldwide due to these initiatives. 

The APAC market is rife with challenges, however, which can stunt adoption or even quell overall success – leaving enterprises to struggle to see the myriad benefits IoT offers. 

IoT Connectivity Challenges in a Broad and Fragmented Ecosystem

The APAC region is extremely large and diverse, which does indeed enhance its market opportunity in IoT, but it also can be a hindrance to simplified adoption of the technology. 

The complex ecosystem of connectivity and mobile network operators (MNOs) makes it highly difficult to leverage a single provider in just one region. If solutions are deployed throughout the region or globally, this becomes even more difficult. 

There are three main approaches to achieving global connectivity:

IoT Connectivity through Roaming

Permanent roaming allows devices to remain continuously connected to a foreign network outside their home country for an extended period. However, the regulatory environment toward permanent roaming is shifting unfavorably. Permanent roaming restrictions enacted by local governing bodies have created challenges to deploying globally. 

Not only does remaining compliant create hurdles, but performance because of roaming can suffer. While some use cases can operate fine with roaming, it can be a big problem for use cases that require low latency, because roaming connectivity inherently creates latency that significantly detracts from the success of the solution. Regardless of where the device is based, the data it generates is routed through the home network before reaching its destination. This leads to an increased latency as it takes time for the data to travel to the home mobile operator and back. This slows down communications and can easily drain the battery, which is a massive challenge for IoT solutions. Largely in APAC, automotive is a large segment of IoT, and these solutions require low latency. The same holds true for applications in surveillance cameras, smart grid systems, factory automation and smart cities, among others. 

Altogether, roaming creates hurdles in:

  • Compliance: Compliance regulations are becoming increasingly complex. Roaming often involves sending data out of the country where it’s generated, which can lead to compliance and privacy issues. 
  • Performance/Latency: Connection latency in a roaming setup can reach up to 300ms, while a local connection typically achieves 100ms or less. This performance difference not only improves operational efficiency but also extends battery life, as devices engage with the network less frequently.
  • Security: With roaming, security measures are reliant on the host MNO, limiting control over security protocols. This lack of autonomy can lead to gaps in visibility and control.

Managing Multiple MNO Relationships

Another approach is to establish direct relationships with multiple MNOs in different regions. This strategy can provide better control over connectivity and compliance, as well as potentially lower latency compared to roaming. However, managing multiple MNO relationships can be complex and resource-intensive:

  • Complexity: Sourcing global connectivity through individual MNO relationships creates a patchwork of numerous contracts and billing systems, leading to logistical challenges.
  • Service Quality: Ensuring consistent QoS across multiple network operators is difficult, as different operators provide varying levels of service reliability, latency, and coverage.
  • Scalability: Managing multiple MNO relationships can hinder scalability and create gaps in visibility, impacting the overall performance of the IoT solution.

Localized IoT Connectivity

The third approach is to use localized connectivity, which involves using local MNOs within each region where IoT devices are deployed. This approach leverages local points of presence that are connected to local mobile operators. This method offers several advantages:

  • Unified Solution with Single-SKU SIM: Localized connectivity can be achieved through a single-SKU SIM that connects to local networks globally. This is facilitated via multi-IMSI or eUICC technology, where multi-IMSI can be the first profile on the eUICC.
  •  Compliance: Localized connectivity mitigates regulatory challenges by ensuring data compliance with local laws, as the connectivity is derived locally. This approach is particularly beneficial in regions with strict data sovereignty laws.
  •  Performance/Latency: Local connections avoid the latency issues associated with roaming, providing high-performance connectivity crucial for latency-sensitive applications.
  • Security: By leveraging localized connectivity, enterprises maintain better control over security measures, ensuring robust protection. Security protocols are managed locally, giving enterprises greater oversight.
  • Coverage and Permanent Roaming Restrictions: Localized connectivity solves permanent roaming restrictions by ensuring that devices connect to local networks, avoiding the 90-day limits imposed by many countries and operators.
  • Simplified Management: A single global provider offers a unified management platform, streamlining logistics and providing comprehensive visibility and control over the entire IoT deployment.

Local Connectivity, Globalized

Navigating the challenges of enterprise IoT in APAC requires a unified approach that enables local connectivity to be accessed globally. Simplifying connectivity through a centrally managed platform can provide real-time insights and actions, enhancing efficiency and performance. 

floLIVE designed and developed the largest, most elastic, and robust core cellular infrastructure in the world, leveraging 40 local breakouts.

Through this powerful infrastructure, the company offers numerous services to mobile operators, IoT MVNOs, and Global Enterprises seeking seamless, compliant, high-performance, and regulatory-compliant connectivity, anywhere in the world. This approach allows for:

  • High-performance connectivity not challenged by latency caused by roaming
  • Connectivity that is safe from permanent roaming restrictions
  • Regulatory compliance with local data laws

floLIVE also offers key benefits to IoT connectivity, including:

Robust, Single-SKU Connectivity

floLIVE offers a large IMSI library that provides a single-SKU SIM approach for streamlined logistics and allows enterprises to achieve connectivity through a wide choice of network operators worldwide. 

Visibility and Management

floLIVE’s award-winning connectivity management platform allows enterprises to achieve granular visibility into device and network behavior for comprehensive support and management. 

Real-Time Billing and Invoicing

Our flexible, cloud-based CMP helps enterprise customers by allowing for real-time billing and invoicing. 

Proactive Support

floLIVE provides 24/7, fully human support that is highly responsive throughout the customer journey, helping to tackle issues as soon as they arise for fast resolution and minimal downtime or deployment complexity. This allows enterprises to deliver on SLAs and enhances QoS. 

Want to learn more about how floLIVE enables IoT enterprises at scale anywhere in the world? Join us at CommunicAsia May 29-31 in Singapore. We’ll be at Hall 4, Booth 4I1-4 ready to talk about your IoT success. Want to meet one-on-one? Reach out to book time to speak with a floLIVE expert. 

This graphic allows the reader to schedule time to speak with a floLIVE executive at CommunicAsia May 29-31.

May 23

Chen Porat


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