Considerations for IoT Connectivity

Consumer options have driven much of the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). The ability to check your account balance from an unaffiliated ATM, or to check inventory levels at your markets, or even to keep a mobile POS system instead of being tied to one spot are just a few small and specific examples of how IoT impacts many different aspects of our lives. IoT is all around us and is the lifeline of a vast majority of goods and services today, with 127 new devices connecting to the internet every second.

But there’s a catch, in order to be connected to the internet, you have to have some way of getting connectivity. On the commercial level, you can evaluate Wi-Fi, landline, and cellular options to determine what works best for you and your organization. Different needs obviously have different requirements, and your connectivity is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all. That’s why it’s important to find the right source of connectivity for you and your business needs. As you look to find the best connectivity to suit your needs, the four main considerations are coverage, pricing, data packages, and security.

Each of these are important to weigh, so let’s take a look at what they involve.

Coverage. When you consider coverage requirements, you will want to think about how many devices you are connecting and their location(s).  Is every device in a single metropolitan area?  Or are they spread out across the country?  Is it in a rural community with little interference? With most landline and Wi-Fi options, you are typically limited to local providers, which sounds great, until you are paying 3, 4, or more vendors for services nationwide that can be difficult to manage as you grow. Cellular connections have grown throughout the last decade, providing a reliable connection throughout the country, with several providers being able to connect all of your locations.

Pricing. Pricing considerations drive much of the discussion in any organization as they evaluate what connectivity solution will be most reliable and affordable.  When was the last time you saw someone make a purchase for a good or service without understanding the price point and value?  But if we go one step beyond pricing, we look at the value.  Value is what drives cost-effectiveness.  I’m more likely to spend more money on an item if I know that it is high quality, reliable, and will last me a long time.  As you weigh your options, what value does the connection bring to you, and how does that affect your buying decision?  Is it important to have a reliable product that you can count on with steady support? Can you afford to have your device go offline or is your application “mission critical” in that it has to have constant and reliable connectivity 24/7? Sometimes a less expensive option doesn’t provide the reliability that your application requires and so it ends up costing more in long run in downtime, troubleshooting, and maintenance versus paying a little more upfront for a more robust solution.

Data Packages. Data packages tie in with pricing as you will want to ensure that you have a plan that reduces potential overage costs while keeping the overhead low to avoid unnecessary monthly fees.  Does your device just use data once or twice a day to check inventory levels?  Are you also running a surveillance system?  If so, is it a cloud or DVR-based? A cloud-based system will consume much more data than a DVR system, as a DVR only consumes data as you are viewing the recordings. It is vital to understand the demands of your device and how much data it will transmit in order to calculate the true cost of ownership.

Security. Security should be an important aspect of your consideration. If you are using an unsecured network or a Public IP, what’s stopping anyone from hacking into your connection and streaming videos and racking up data overages?  A secure network helps safeguard from data-hijacking or potential breaches in confidential information.

With OptConnect, we understand what is important to you and your organization.  With nationwide coverage and multiple carrier options, we are committed to providing you an IoT connection you can rely on. We provide data packages that are aligned with your device needs to reduce monthly fees and overage costs.

Our devices are secured within private IPs, maintaining network integrity.  But most importantly, the value behind OptConnect’s cellular connectivity is beyond the scope of most providers. We pride ourselves as a partner, not a vendor, to help you remain connected.

To learn more about OptConnect’s solutions, please visit http://www.optconnect.com/2015/OptConnect.html.

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