A European company wanting to launch an Internet of Things (IoT) solution in the U.S. needs to know that if not done correctly, it can become both a business and logistical nightmare. From technological barriers, to coverage issues, to certification requirements, launching a device in-country is no easy task.
It is predicted that within three years, there will be more than 50 billion connected devices and, as such, many businesses will be looking to create and globally deploy their own solutions. The obstacles to overcome can be overwhelming, but a well-thought out plan, accompanied by expert help, can make the deployment pain-free.
At Aeris, we are helping businesses launch IoT solutions, not just in the U.S. but worldwide. We have put together the following Q&As on what business leaders should consider when entering the American market.
Question 1: 2G or not 2G?
2G technology is used extensively by IoT devices, but this use needs to be carefully considered. 2G allows for wide geographical network coverage. The technology behind 4G still needs advancing to cover blackspots found in areas both in the U.S. and across the world. This is a significant issue for companies looking to roll out IoT solutions countrywide or worldwide.
Additionally, 2G is no longer supported by AT&T and is being phased quickly out by other carriers in the U.S. Other countries, such as Singapore, Australia, and the Netherlands, have phased out 2G as well. While 2G technology provides good global coverage, the technology likely will be superseded by 4G in the coming years, so businesses must think carefully about this upcoming scenario.
Question 2: Should Devices be Designed for CDMA?
Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Global System for Mobiles (GSM) are shorthand for the two major radio systems used in cellular networks. CDMA is used widely in America and in only a handful of other countries. It is not popular in most other nations. For that reason, companies need to think carefully about product design. If they are a European company, they might need to design a new product specifically for the U.S. market if they want to play in a CDMA marketplace. However, this should not be the biggest consideration. What decision makers must focus on is creating a solution that can be deployed worldwide.
Question 3: How Important is Device Certification and Frequency Selection?
IoT and M2M devices need individual certification from U.S. networks, such as AT&T. This poses additional headaches for European companies looking for a U.S. launch. Businesses must research this area in depth to ensure a pain-free certification process and to prevent costly delays in getting their device to market. Each certification must be researched prior to entering the market.
Question 4: Can Your Devices Connect Globally?
By using a global Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), and utilizing a global Access Point Network (APN), companies can ensure that their devices are operational globally and that data can be accessed constantly. This guarantees that U.S. and global deployments run smoothly and can be managed easily, especially if all devices are accessed through a single management platform.
For example, by using an Aeris global SIM with Aeris IoT Connectivity services, businesses are able to have mobile communication across more than 500 carrier networks in more than 190 countries using a single Aeris global APN. Aeris AerPort then allows companies to have near real-time access to data usage, alerting, and management for the entire SIM life cycle.
Think globally. Don’t Focus Just on the U.S.
These issues cover just some of the major considerations that face European organizations looking to deploy an IoT device in the U.S. market. However, a global approach is necessary if these businesses want to achieve true success. Creating IoT products specifically for the U.S. market can end up being a costly strategy — and actually could delay the global roll-out of a product — as creating country-specific devices slows the manufacturing process.
For these many reasons, it is imperative that European companies create solutions with worldwide deployments in mind. Also, they must be able to access multiple cellular networks through a carrier-agnostic SIM. Furthermore, businesses must utilize a single global APN and be able to manage all devices through one platform to ensure heightened management capabilities in a dispersed deployment. This would require reliable device connectivity anywhere in the world. It also would alleviate concerns about designing new products for each separate country in which devices are deployed, thereby easing global expansion.
For more information on global connectivity, or for information on scaling IoT, contact us at Aeris.com.