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IoT Roaming Restrictions

Overcoming Roaming Restrictions In IoT

Global connectivity is a must for all IoT deployments. It boils down to choosing a provider who can guarantee global data connectivity. Cellular technology now checks all the boxes - it is mature, mobile, and globally accessible. The idea of roaming is the basis of global connectivity. Let’s take a look at how roaming works in the IoT space. 

Understanding Roaming In IoT

We've all enjoyed the advantages of roaming, but few of us are aware of how it works. Roaming is possible due to roaming agreements between host operators and operators in other countries. The following elements are critical to selecting the right connectivity provider for global or regional deployments.

Does the supplier MNO 

  • Have permanent roaming contracts with other operators around the world?
  • Have contracts and integrations that allow all basic connectivity services like data, SMS MO, SMS MT, Voice MO, and Voice MO as required by your use case?
  • Offers the services at commercially viable value?
  • Have contracts and support for 5G, LTE-M, NB-IoT on those roaming networks and no limitations on services like SMS on LTE-M, NB-IoT, etc.?
  • Points of Presence (POP) regionally for lower latency?

The pricing between roaming networks and host MNO is agreed based on the anticipated number of roaming subscribers, data traffic volume and the overhead expenses on the roaming network. It is often purchased from roaming networks as a minimum commitment of traffic. Be aware that in case the host MNO is not able to consistently achieve the agreed traffic levels the cost increases and it will get passed on to the enterprises like yourself, so note that your roaming prices can go up if your host MNO is not able to achieve the levels of traffic agreed on a price level. This is dependent on the type of agreements between the host MNO and roaming networks.

ConnectedYou has secured global agreements for the ease of our customers through a range of host MNOs with the ability to switch suppliers remotely. You can check out some of our products here.

Understanding Roaming Restrictions

IoT Roaming

While there are many advantages to international roaming, there are restrictions as well. Some regulators have established regulations that forbid permanent roaming in their countries and demand that data traffic from IoT devices in those countries should not leave the country. 

Additionally, there are MNOs who block permanent roaming on their networks to protect the local business, which forces the enterprises to use local SIMs and contracts from those operators. This in many ways is a disadvantage for enterprises as they are limited to single network options from local operators and to the services and quality they can offer due to lack of competition and availability of services. 

A SIM may be deemed to be "permanently roaming" depending on the locale if it has been connected to a foreign network beyond a specified period of time. Depending on countries and networks this period can vary from 45 days to 180 days. The SIM is then prohibited from joining the network and using any further data after that period of time. Well, it is supposed to be prohibited but most networks do not have the systems or capability to identify and block these SIMs.

Make sure you ask your connectivity supplier to confirm a list of networks where permanent roaming is allowed along with specific network technologies like 2G, 3G, 4G, etc.

Countries With Strict Roaming Restrictions

Countries with strict roaming restriction

The following countries have some of the strictest permanent roaming regulations:

  • Brazil - Because permanent roaming is illegal, local carriers must ensure that no such devices are linked to their networks.
  • Middle East - No formal laws, however, the connection services must be offered by a registered local operator.
  • China - Businesses need a license in order to offer communication services there, and permanent roaming is prohibited.
  • Australia - MNOs forbid utilizing roaming services for longer than six months, although there are no legal laws.
  • US & Canada - No legal regulations exist in the US and Canada, however, MNOs typically try to prevent permanent roaming by imposing stringent limitations.
  • India - In addition to basic permanent roaming restrictions, you are required to abide by local KYC (Know Your Customer) laws.
  • Turkey - It's against the law to use roaming services on the same device for more than 120 days.

Overcoming Roaming Restrictions

IoT deployments abroad require more flexibility than simply having the SIM card physically changed when the allotted roaming time is up. This is where the IoT sector benefits from ConnectedYou's services. We have roaming contracts in regions with strict roaming restrictions. We have partnered with local MNOs and MVNOs in regulated countries worldwide to give you options.

How ConnectedYou Tackles Roaming Restrictions

In conclusion, roaming is essential for IoT, and the cost is much more important. In order to achieve attractive roaming pricing for IoT enterprises, ConnectedYou works relentlessly on their behalf. For our customers, we combine and match a variety of operator services, removing the complexity of managing a number of operator relationships, contracts, invoicing, and platforms. We offer a single unified contract with multiple MNO/ MVNOs including local subscriptions for countries with regulatory restrictions and special agreements with MNOs/ MVNOs in other countries.


ConnectedYou is a one-stop-shop for IoT/M2M connectivity

Our connectivity solution is universally independent of any connectivity provider. Choose from 40+ pre-integrated connectivity suppliers based on your connectivity requirements across different regions.

We orchestrate the critical components that include - eUICC-enabled SIMs/ eSIMs, global IoT/ M2M connectivity, unified monitoring & management, and remote SIM provisioning capabilities into a single solution as a one-stop-shop. Here’s why our product is the best solution for your enterprise - 

  • The largest network of 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, LTE-M, and NB-IoT networks 
  • Connectivity for countries with permanent roaming restrictions
  • Transparent Pay-As-You-Go pricing without hidden charges or minimum commitments
  • Single contract enabling hassle-free multi-supplier sourcing without lock-ins with any connectivity provider
  • Unified platform to manage your IoT/ M2M SIM cards irrespective of the connectivity supplier
  • Capability to switch connectivity suppliers remotely without SIM replacement and  without any additional transaction costs
  • Central support desk for all connectivity issues

By offering additional local packages and regional profiles on the eSIM platform, our eSIM technology assists in removing the challenges associated with roaming. Contact us at if you're curious about the best connectivity option for your use case.

Authored by Neha Verma and Parag Mittal @ ConnectedYou

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