What are IoT Service Providers?
As the IoT environment is growing and even companies operating in more traditional industries recognize the potential value of a well-designed IoT environment, more and more IoT service providers are trying to appeal to these companies in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, the entire concept of IoT is relatively new and, as such, there is a lack of objective information that enterprises can use to educate themselves. A lot of blogs and company whitepapers have strong commercial incentives to convince readers to make use of a specific connectivity protocol, gateway, IoT SIM card, or cloud platform.
Which IoT Service Providers are out there?
IoT services come in many shapes and forms. Many companies are attempting to get their share of this new and growing market. While technically an entire IoT ecosystem could be developed from scratch, realistically, most companies will greatly benefit from utilizing a specific connectivity protocol, managing their entire network using cloud management software, or using e-sim cards that don’t need physical replacements.
These platforms focus solely on addressing the networking challenges that arise when planning and maintaining an IoT network. Customers are provided with connectivity hardware (gateways), data directing, software, and firmware necessary to keep IoT devices online and up-to-date. These platforms typically sell subscription-based eSIMs or physical SIM cards on a large scale. The connection utilized by these SIM cards is typically provided by existing carriers, but they are configured for setting up IoT devices
Device Management Services
These services provide platforms that specialize in the most time-consuming day to day tasks for IoT network operators: Device Management. Using these platforms, an IoT network operator can efficiently maintain the entire network from one interface. Automatic firmware updates, alerts, activity logs, and security patches are just some of the many features these service providers use to appeal to their potential customers. Especially at a larger scale, having an all-in-one device management platform to conduct routine tasks becomes a worthy investment.
Cloud-based service providers
Cloud platforms give their users the tools and infrastructure required to create sophisticated IoT systems themselves. They are centrally located and often boast great scalability capabilities while providing a low barrier of entry for small-scale operations.
Proprietary LPWAN Developers
One company is even attempting to develop its own LPWAN technology and sell gateways licensed with proprietary technologies. Albeit extremely rare, these developers may also be considered future IoT service providers.