What is permanent roaming in IoT devices?

IoT glossary

What is permanent roaming in IoT devices?

What is permanent roaming in IoT devices?

Today, the widespread utilisation of IoT devices on a global scale has become a standard operational procedure for many businesses. As these corporations expand their operations across multiple borders, the seamless movement of assets across international boundaries has emerged as a critical component for the sustained success of many enterprises. These roaming IoT devices, commonly deployed in logistics, remote monitoring, and asset tracking applications, often find themselves stationed in foreign territories for extended periods.

However, while some countries maintain lenient regulations regarding the presence of foreign devices on their networks, others have grown increasingly apprehensive about the prolonged presence of such devices and are taking proactive measures, including sudden disconnection or charging exorbitant rates for data usage while in the country.

In this article, we will explore why international networks are taking measures against, permanent roaming IoT devices, highlight the countries where there is a heightened risk of disconnections for permanently roaming devices, and delve into strategies for mitigating such risks.

Why is permanent roaming an issue for IoT devices?

Certain countries have enforced regulations regarding the presence of foreign devices on their networks. Should an IoT device remain in a country for an extended period, typically exceeding 90 days or three months, and if the host country does not permit foreign devices on their network, both the device owner and the network face potential risks.

Many IoT devices are intended for long-term deployment, spanning years or even decades. In the event of an unexpected SIM card disconnection, the device owner incurs significant costs and inconvenience. Retrieving the device to replace the SIM card with a roaming solution or, if retrieval is unfeasible, replacing the entire device becomes necessary.

For mobile connectivity providers offering IoT solutions, lacking proper agreements with international networks exposes both the business and its customers to substantial financial risks and reputational damage. Therefore, ensuring comprehensive agreements with international networks is imperative to mitigate these risks effectively.

Why are some foreign networks concerned about permanent roaming IoT devices?

Foreign networks implement roaming agreements to accommodate visitors to the country for short periods such as for business travellers or vacation makers. They were not designed for the deployment of IoT devices permanently in the country. This concern stems from various factors, including the strain on network stability and performance, potential regulatory violations, security risks, inefficient resource allocation, and financial implications. As a result, foreign networks are increasingly cautious about the implications of permanent roaming devices and may take proactive measures to address these concerns. Some of the main areas that the local networks have a concern include:

Permanent roaming IoT devices can impact network stability and performance: Permanent roaming devices can strain the capacity and performance of local networks. These networks are typically designed to accommodate transient traffic, and the continuous presence of roaming devices can lead to congestion, increased latency, and decreased overall network reliability.

Permanent roaming IoT devices can pose a security risk: Permanent roaming devices may pose security risks to the local network infrastructure and data. These devices may not adhere to the same security standards and protocols as devices registered on the local network, making them potential targets for cyberattacks, data breaches, or unauthorised access.

Permanent roaming IoT devices can take up resource allocation on the network: Permanent roaming devices consume network resources even when not actively transmitting data. This can lead to inefficient resource allocation and may hinder the performance of other network-connected devices and services.

Which countries present a heightened risk of taking actions against permanent roaming IoT devices?

Countries that pose an escalated risk of encountering sudden disconnections in IoT device connectivity due to permanent roaming are characterised by stringent regulations that they enforce. For instance, Brazil, China, India, Egypt, Nigeria, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore have imposed outright bans on the utilisation of permanent roaming-enabled IoT devices within their territories. In parallel, jurisdictions like the US, Canada, and Australia have opted for a more nuanced approach, implementing restrictions on permanent roaming within their telecommunication networks.

Although these restrictive measures occur in just a fraction of the world's countries, their impact resonates globally. Remarkably, the collective population of these countries exceeds 50% of the global populace, while their influence extends to commanding over 75% of the global IoT market. It is crucial to be aware of these restrictions whether you have IoT devices operating across international borders or are providing international connectivity services to customers with such devices. Implementing a connectivity solution that is not subject to these restrictions becomes imperative in ensuring seamless operations and uninterrupted service delivery.

What are the options for an IoT device that needs to reside in a country with permanent roaming restrictions?

The requirement to have an IoT device for extended periods or even permanently in an international country is critical for some businesses. So, what are the options if you require constant, uninterrupted data connectivity for these devices in countries where permanent roaming devices are banned? The best solution is to work with a connectivity provider which has a specific solution aimed at resolving any potential risk caused by permanent roaming. Cellhire, via our MVNO with Orange France, has developed a permanent roaming IoT SIM card which can connect to over 700 networks in over 200 destinations and is fully compliant so there is no risk of disconnection due to permanent roaming on foreign networks. Our permanent roaming solution eliminates the need to manage multiple profiles or track usage in each country.

When considering the appropriate option for IoT deployments in countries with permanent roaming restrictions, factors such as regulatory compliance, operational efficiency, and risk mitigation should be carefully evaluated. Ultimately, selecting a solution that balances these considerations effectively is paramount to ensuring uninterrupted connectivity and operational continuity for businesses reliant on international IoT deployments.

Looking for a permanent roaming IoT SIM card for your device or to sell to your customers? Cellhire is here to support you.

Cellhire is a leading supplier of IoT SIM cards suitable for permanent international deployment. As an MVNO of Orange France, we can not only offer a solution which offers the required connectivity resilience but also is available with competitive data rates.

Our permanent roaming SIM card solution includes:

  • Access to 4 UK networks;

  • Access to 700 international networks;

  • Un-steered solutions that connect to the strongest network;

  • VPN options;

  • Protection that permits permanent roaming;

  • Commercials that improve margin at the same rate across UK & EU;

  • A SIM management portal that provides access to live data