Connectivity Management - Making IoT Devices Do More

By CIOReview | Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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Fremont, CA: The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a web of electronics, software, hardware or sensors with network connectivity, armed with unique identifiers. These provide them with the automated ability to transfer data, without requiring human-to-human communication. IoT devices are verbose, and while they may not send out and obtain massive volumes of data, these devices utilize predetermined schedules to transmit and receive data from time to time.

Communications Service Providers (CSP) offer telecommunication, information and media services, content, entertainment and applications services by leveraging the network infrastructure. A CSP network has a base of regular traffic from IoT devices that display unique usages and peak-hour characteristics. IoT connectivity management allows CSPs to easily manage the elements of IoT devices. Connectivity management manages mobile connections, e.g., SIMs in a GSM/GPRS network to provide connectivity control, alerting, and other functionality. Moreover, they provide billing, rating, reporting, and a set of well-documented APIs.

Most of the CSPs today use specialized IoT connectivity management platforms, either by outsourcing to third-party vendors or by building their own. Connectivity management platforms characteristically include four integrated components—firstly, at its core, remain subscription management. It manages the connectivity element that is more often than not a SIM or similar mobile connectivity element. It permits a CSP to activate, deactivate, create, and manage account hierarchies, monitor usage characteristics, and ascertain subscription/usage problems.

Secondly, any CMP possesses a billing and monetization component that allows it to handle tariffs, rating, and billing for IoT operations. This helps them, ensure, usage data from elements are properly monetized and associated with subscribers. Few platforms also come with amenities like revenue assurance, second-or third party billing, as well as roaming and bundling support.

Thirdly, CMPs have data routing capabilities that allow usage data to be routed to other CSP systems. Many platforms also have the ability to route sensor data from IoT devices to back-end enterprise IoT applications.

Finally, CMPs possess varied reporting and analytics capabilities that help aggregation and visualization of usage data associated with subscription management, billing, monetization, and data routing. Connectivity management tools let a CSP to do the reporting and analytics in-system or shared via APIs to reporting tools.

Connectivity management has grown to become an integral part of IoT. Its providers showcase state-of-the-art technology and an ecosystem of partners that work together to supply creative connectivity solutions.