M2M – the need for roaming and international SIMS

Posted on February 19, 2014

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M2M or Machine to Machine, or Internet of Things, or the instrumented world.   OK bored now.

M2M has a problem that needs to be addressed and it is good to see that T-Mobile USA are trying to fix it with a new tariff.
You see the thing with M2M is that they are SIMs that get put into a device,  but the supply chain is far more complex than a phone’s SIM*.  You see a phone’s SIM is bought by the operator and installed in the country in which the user will buy and use the device.  Easypeasy (any squeezed lemons about ?)

But,  with a SIM destined for an M2M device this can be far more complex,  because quite often the SIM is embedded in the device,  lets assume it’s a satnav for a truck.
The satnav is made in china, and the SIM inserted, then it is sold to a distributor, who sells the device to a company in Germany. they install it in a truck in Austria, and the device is first turned on in Italy, and then used in France, with regular journeys across Europe.
So which country’s network should you register the SIM with ? Germany, Austria, Italy, France.  Tricky.
Thus having a single tariff that works across a lot of countries would make a lot of sense .

Vodafone is already there,  it’s M2M core network is not based in any one country network (hosted in Germany) and so when your M2M SIM connects it is always to the same core network, regardless of which country you are in. this means their “global SIM” is always pre-provisioned and works the same regardless of where you are.

So if you’re looking for a mobile network based M2M solution for your device then do check the realities of the device working anywhere, and look for a service such as Vodafone’s because this makes life so much easier.

* in case you’re wandering the SIM is the small card that identified the device to the mobile network.  And for many sensors, and other devices it is built into the device at the factory and is not exchangeable. e.g. with a TomTom Satnav.

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Posted in: M2M, mobile