According to some estimates, there will be 40 billion IoT devices in use around the globe by 2025, which will together generate almost 80 zettabytes of data (one zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes). A key takeaway from this statistic is that the devices generating this data also require and consume a substantial amount themselves as they produce value-added outputs.   

Worldwide spending on IoT has already surpassed the $700 billion mark, much of which goes to data plans. The use and transfer of data are integral to IoT solutions, so choosing the right connectivity partner is a critical step towards effectively managing your resources and optimizing your data consumption. A failure to find the correct data and device connectivity partner can lead to high data charges and other issues such as coverage failures, data loss, distortion, and high maintenance costs.  

Here are some characteristics to look for in an IoT connectivity partner.

Flexibility  

When it comes to data plans designed for IoT networks, it is best to opt for broadband connectivity designed for deployments that experience high data usage. Working with a provider that offers flexible data plans can ensure that your organization’s specific needs are met and that you don’t spend more than you should on an Internet or data transfer connection. If you expect your monthly data usage to vary month to month, look for an IoT data plan that offers automated resource allocation at optimized rates. Some providers offer pay-as-you-go data plans, in which you are only charged when your network uses data. Your network provider’s flexibility and the options they offer can help your organization save money and cut down on costly overages, helping you avoid surprises when your monthly data bill arrives.  

Analytics Tools  

The right analytics tools will empower you to understand your data usage and strategically make changes to lower your overheads. You should be able to easily manage your connections, whether on a local network or connected over different networks and wireless protocols. Be sure to check the availability of these tools, how easy they are to use, and whether they give you the insights you need into your connections on a single, intuitive interface. Finding the right tool will make it that much easier to optimize operations and effectively manage the costs associated with running your IoT deployment.  

You should also be able to see your network’s health in real-time and have the ability to adjust network pricing plans to meet changing system needs. Some plans offer self-care and lifecycle management tools that help you conduct real-time diagnostics, change usage controls, and tweak network parameters to find the right balance between data usage and your desired outputs.   

Custom Plans for IoT Data 

When people speak of IoT plans, they tend to focus on data plans. Some devices, however, may periodically use other forms of communication that require distinct kinds of data. Different types of plans may be better suited to meet these needs.

For example, even if your IoT solution requires a data-only plan, some of your applications may need to send alarms or warnings over SMS or via voice memos. Look for a provider who can offer custom IoT data packages that can cater to everything from short data bursts to large broadband file transfers.  

2G, 3G, 4G/LTE, 5G Mobile Broadband Packages  

If your organization still uses legacy 2G or 3G devices or systems of any sort, it can be challenging to rely on a single broadband package for all your data needs. Look for an IoT data provider that can accommodate both your new as well as your old devices. While most providers are phasing out their older generation networks in favor of 4G and now 5G, you can still find providers that seamlessly support and provide 2G and 3G broadband packages.

Every organization is different, and if you are not ready to upgrade legacy systems or devices to more modern technologies, finding a provider that can support multiple technologies will give you the time to continue business operations without making drastic changes to your systems or workflows.   

Transparent Fees  

It can be time-consuming – and therefore costly – to sort through bills and manage connectivity costs. In some cases, it can also be confusing to pinpoint where and how one cost category plays into your system’s larger scheme. Look for a provider that offers simple data agreements with transparent and predictable pricing. Ask about hidden fees, especially unexpected data overages or roaming connectivity charges. You can only optimize data consumption costs if you know what you are paying for every month.  

Final Thoughts  

IoT deployments, the aggregation of information, and extracting insights from your data can help your organization in so many ways, but it shouldn’t break the bank. Data is the most integral aspect of any IoT solution, so choosing the right connectivity partner is an essential part of getting more out of your devices while optimizing your data spend.   

Kajeet Solutions Engineers can help you design and deploy an effective and robust IoT solution custom-built to meet your business needs and reduce your network costs. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our solution architects.