The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of devices that communicate via the Internet to streamline processes, collect data, and improve safety within a variety of industries. From smart cars with high-end sensors to artificial intelligence that assists with surgeries in near-real time, businesses can operate at high efficiency with IoT. 

However, without reliable connectivity, even the most advanced device can’t do its job. This article will discuss IoT connectivity solutions and other tips for keeping your IoT devices functioning at their best for your business.

What is IoT connectivity?

IoT connectivity is the method by which IoT devices are connected and able to communicate, such as software applications, sensors, trackers, gateways, and network routers. Each method has different benefits and uses, depending on the industry and design of the device. 

Aside from ways to stay connected, IoT connectivity is also more specifically used to describe network solutions that keep smart devices connected to the internet and each other. This would include Wi-Fi, low power wide area networks (LPWAN), or cellular networks. 

Why is connectivity important for IoT?

For IoT devices to work reliably, meaning fully able to seamlessly transmit and receive data, it’s critical to have a strong and consistent connection. Connectivity can be affected by both the method and the network. If a router is malfunctioning, then the means of communication are bottlenecked at a single point of connection. On the other hand, if the network itself is down, any method of connectivity is going to fail.

Take a hospital, for example. Hospitals use advanced devices 24/7 to care for their patients. There are telehealth appointments that rely on the internet to communicate with patients, AI and analytics for patient profiles and health statistics, and even sensors that can be added to equipment so that every wheelchair, defibrillator, and monitoring device is accounted for by the staff.

If the primary application that doctors and nurses use to transmit and process patient information is down, there’s little the staff can do to keep things moving. Even worse, if the Wi-Fi is offline, then the portable devices for medical personnel will struggle. Emergency response teams don’t have the equipment they need, video calls are dropped, and important data is largely inaccessible. This affects not only the business of the hospital but also affects the safety and experience had by patients.

On the other hand, for a hospital that has everything online, communicating, and connected, it’s easy to make and keep to schedule, provide near real-time data, streamline billing automation, and help those in need of medical services.

Factors to consider when comparing IoT connectivity

No matter your business procedures, if you use IoT, you need the right IoT connectivity solutions to keep things running smoothly (and profitably), which we’ll go over next.


The cost of your network connectivity will vary depending on the needs of your business and what you currently have: you’ll have the initial setup costs and operational costs over time.

If you have to deploy an entire network infrastructure, you must dedicate time and resources to maintaining and operating that infrastructure. Depending on how advanced your network is and what you use it for, you may also have to put money towards development costs so that your devices are compatible with the latest protocols.

Then, whether you’ve deployed your own or are simply joining an existing network, like a cellular network, you will still have to evaluate and purchase a variety of equipment. You may need to make some one-time purchases, such as a modem, and then there are also recurring costs for each time you deploy a new network, such as gateways or routers. Don’t forget about device-specific costs, too, such as IoT SIM cards.

There is also data consumption. A connectivity provider charges users for data communications and internet connectivity, and can also add limits that come with fees should you go over that limit. Some Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) use pay-as-you-go methods to ensure businesses are only paying for the data they use — SIMON IoT uses data pooling for that very reason. Make sure you also check for hidden fees and understand the pricing of your plan since some providers have extra options or unexpected costs.


Can your system support an IoT connectivity upgrade? The newest and latest can be hard to keep up with, but your IoT tools will be even more efficient if they are capable of performing at their best. Some updates are relatively easy to integrate, which is a faster and more affordable option compared to gutting your current system to obtain the improvements of an upgrade.


Speaking of upgrades, you also want your IoT solutions to be capable of growing with your company. For a more secure future that makes the most of your IoT devices and networks, use solutions that are flexible, innovative, and have scalable features. For example, will your current devices, SIM cards, and networks be compatible with the rise of 5G connectivity?

You should also use a data plan and provider that can fully service your devices at scale—meaning all of your IoT networks and systems are fully connected and operational, even if your company has hundreds of devices around the world. Scalable data rates and technology are essential for businesses big and small.

Power consumption

One of the great parts of many IoT devices is the portability—you can ideally take your fully-connected devices anywhere. However, most portable IoT devices use a battery rather than a rechargeable function for power. Some connectivity solutions will drain the battery of your IoT device much faster, like Wi-F, which wasn’t originally designed for IoT. Some solutions were made for the power demand of IoT, such as ​​NB-IoT and LTE-M.

The amount of data you transfer using IoT networks can also affect how much power is consumed, though there are trade-offs. Advanced networks that transfer data faster will take up more power when your devices are idle or not in use, but they use less power when your data and devices are in use. Depending on your operations, the way your IoT fleet uses power and how much power you consistently need will likely affect the kind of solution you want. 

Coverage range

Is your business national? Global? Not all data plans, rates, or networks offer the range of coverage that you need, which is one of the most essential parts of IoT devices. Wherever you deploy, your employees and devices need a strong signal and connection, even in rural areas or through big buildings.

Some connectivity solutions use built-in backup solutions, like when cellular networks use 3G connectivity as a backup when LTE is unavailable. Wi-FI might work for smaller localized businesses, but for larger operations, it’s important to have cellular or LPWAN connectivity. Some carriers also have roaming agreements where customers can access partner networks while in other countries or locations.


A network’s bandwidth is its maximum capacity to transmit data, which affects how quickly data can be communicated across networks and between devices. One network shares the same bandwidth, so if you don’t have a plan with enough bandwidth or space for your operations, your data will become bottlenecked and struggle to work efficiently. Bandwidth affects both the volume of messages you send and the size of data portions you send. A large business that uses hundreds of devices needs a lot of bandwidth and space if its devices and applications are to stay up and running.


The delay between when data is sent and when it is received is called latency, which can either be minorly inconvenient or life-threateningly dangerous based on the industry. For example, a short delay or lag in your processing application will slow your employees down, but it won’t endanger anyone. Self-driving cars, however, need as close to real-time connectivity as possible to safely operate. Businesses want to reduce latency as much as possible; if you work in a high-risk environment where you use IoT devices, low latency is essential.


The beauty of IoT connectivity is convenience and communication that spans continents; however, such open connectivity is also the target of hackers and criminals looking to corrupt or steal your data. IoT security is just as important as how well a network operates. To protect private data, ensure all your devices are connected on the same VPN rather than unsecured Wi-Fi connections or other fickle network options.

IoT connectivity solutions

There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of IoT connectivity solution, so you should choose your system and network based on the needs of your company. Here’s a rundown of the primary connectivity solutions that will thrive in an IoT system.

Cellular/ Satellite

Cellular and satellite connectivity solutions are a standard and popular way to keep IoT devices online, especially considering their convenience and range. These networks can handle high volumes of data, even on a global scale. It’s more reliable than Wi-Fi and is relatively simple to implement, but there are some limitations as well. Cellular connectivity can be expensive, especially depending on the provider and your data plan. Some IoT solutions offer a satellite network that can complement existing cellular solutions to ensure global and cost-effective coverage, like KORE connectivity.



Wi-Fi works great for home usage and sometimes even localized office spaces, but there are some significant drawbacks when it comes to IoT. Wi-Fi is far more assailable than other networks, where any of your dozens of devices can become an entry point for hackers to access the entire network, and effectively access data and other devices. 

Stick with smaller appliances or areas for Wi-Fi since the signal usually isn’t strong enough to penetrate heavier materials or buildings. Also, note that battery-operated devices suffer from the drain of Wi-Fi, so use rechargeable devices on Wi-Fi when possible. Most importantly, make sure your Wi-Fi is secure so that you can enjoy your Wi-Fi connectivity.



LPWA networks are a newer option in the world of IoT, but it’s making decent headway with its coverage range capabilities. As the name suggests, it’s also a low power consumption connectivity solution, so it doesn’t drain battery power as severely. The primary downside is the lower bandwidth of most LPWAN solutions, which means it’s best used for smaller packets of data.

There’s a variety of LPWAN options such as LTE-M, NB-IoT, and LoRa. There is also the newer and innovative LoRaWAN option, which was specifically designed for the Internet of Things (though businesses often have to deploy this type of network themselves.)



Bluetooth connectivity is all about wireless short-range technology and easy setup. It used to be a big power drain, but Bluetooth is now considered a low-power option in most cases. It also uses such a weak signal that it usually isn’t affected by interference. Unfortunately, its limited range means Bluetooth isn’t suitable for large-scale operations. Instead, use it for close range, low data processes that only require medium to low bandwidth,


Simon IoT and IoT connectivity

IoT connectivity is making exciting strides in all sorts of businesses and industries. SIMON IoT connectivity solutions offer premium features like scalability for all sizes of business, customizable plans and dashboards, and international coverage—all for an affordable and transparent price.

You choose the amount of cellular IoT data for your business with no contracts or data limits—simply adjust your data plan to reflect your data needs as things change in your business. Even larger organizations with a range of connectivity needs can create multiple plans tailored to each fleet of devices. Once you choose a primary carrier, you can choose from a huge selection of IoT SIM card options, including M2M, 2G, 3G, 4G, and LTE global coverage.

Ready to get started? Contact us today with any questions about our IoT connectivity solutions!