How to optimise your LTE IoT connectivity

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Several members of our Cubic Team attended the Microsoft Inspire event in Las Vegas to demo our Cloud-to-Chip solution to IoT device makers, system integrators, and the Microsoft Azure cloud team. It was an eventful week and highlighted to us the growing demand for a seamless IoT connectivity experience.

Enterprises use IoT devices for many reasons. A transportation company can track a fleet of trucks in real-time. Farmers monitor the moisture levels of their crop fields with the help of sensors. Energy companies test the level of product flow with advanced IoT technologies. IoT creates new efficiencies, value propositions and revenue streams for enterprises in the digital age.

Why cellular IoT?

There are many reasons why Cubic focuses on cellular IoT. It is one of the fastest growing IoT markets. It connects physical things such as sensors by using the same networks as a smartphone would. If a device always needs to be connected, cellular IoT is more effective due to its established security features and widespread availability.

Cellular IoT coverage currently covers approximately 95% of the world’s population, * making it perfect for low-range devices requiring long-distance communications, e.g. data generated at an oil rig in a remote location. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth don’t enjoy the same scale.

Issues enterprises experience when using IoT

Typically for a device to communicate with the cloud a manual action is required to onboard the device. Enterprises can encounter challenges integrating IoT devices with cloud services leading to engineering delays, and high costs racking up. The integration process can be slow and cumbersome for an Enterprise’s IT department configuring IoT devices.

What is the solution?

In the past, operating system providers such as Microsoft came up with innovative ways to overcome onboarding difficulties encountered such as Windows being required to support thousands of different hardware devices. Microsoft introduced an industry-leading model ‘Plug and Play.’ Devices could declare themselves and connect to Windows, without needing to install new software.

Now with the explosion of IoT devices worldwide attempting to transfer data to the cloud, a new model has emerged at Microsoft – IoT Plug and Play. Device capability models integrate IoT devices safely and securely with the Azure cloud. No new code needs to be written. As a key Microsoft connectivity partner, Cubic Telecom brings IoT Plug and Play to life.

Cubic’s connectivity

We have eliminated the need for human intervention and simplified the connection process. At Microsoft Inspire we demonstrated how our team built a workflow which uses zero-touch device registration, including SIM provisioning enabling IoT devices connect to the chosen network and private or public cloud. Device connectivity is configured end-to-end automatically and securely at the time it is first powered up to enable the seamless transfer of data. We call this ‘Cloud-to-Chip.’

With Cubic’s software enterprises no longer need to onboard each device manually to the preferred network and cloud.

The technology behind Cloud-to-Chip

Cloud-to-Chip integrates with any device or cloud, in any country, with a single SIM SKU. This works through our own global core network, along with agreements with over 75 mobile network operators. Cubic technology is ‘provider agnostic’ as we have agreements with all major SIM vendors, cloud providers and device makers.

At Cubic, we store X.509 certificates securely on SIM profiles, instead of accessing this directly from an application. Data is authenticated, verified and encrypted, remaining secure as it transfers to the cloud via a private cellular network rather than through the public internet. We define the SIM profile and provision it on Cubic’s PACE Network and Platform. Updates can be made to the SIM Over-The-Air.

Real-life example

The global market for smart agriculture is expected to triple by 2025, reaching $15.3 billion**. IoT has the potential to streamline agricultural efficiencies by automating production processes.

By combining Azure IoT Hub, our data analytics platform and a Cubic web portal we demoed a live use-case at Microsoft Inspire showing agricultural telemetry sensor data transferring in real-time through an IoT device instantly and seamlessly to the cloud. Soil PH and moisture levels were monitored in this case.

If you would like to save your IoT business time, effort and money speak to our team further about how such an IoT solution could work for your enterprise. Get in touch today.


*Ericsson report, 2017

**Zion Market Research report, 2018

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