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How to get the most out of fleet management with M2M

Although M2M technologies are used in every industry you can think of, fleet management is one of the largest adopters. The growing need for M2M solutions within the vehicle tracking industry is immense; and with this growth, competition between fleet tracking software providers is too.

As competition to provide the best fleet management service increases, the need for sustainable connectivity solutions is at an all-time high. Providers no longer want ‘budget’ solutions, they crave reliability and efficiency. That’s why there’s a huge buzz around M2M in fleet management at this current time; providers simply can’t afford to choose the wrong one.

What fleet management providers look for in M2M

The most important factor of M2M in fleet management to consider is connectivity. It’s fairly simple; if your device can’t find a connection, it isn’t going to work. If there’s not a stable connection, your vehicles won’t be able traverse data to the fleet management platform. Platform providers now spend much more time analysing tariffs and network providers to minimise the chances of their devices losing signal.

Businesses utilising fleet management also look for high-quality and detailed M2M SIM management. It’s important to have full visibility and control over your M2M SIM estate in order to avoid obstacles. The last thing a vehicle tracking business wants is to incur a hefty bill because their SIMs are overusing their data allowance.

How M2M meets these requirements

Ensuring maximum uptime

As you’re probably already aware, there are hundreds of different M2M solutions available. Multi-network data SIMs are the perfect solution to maintaining a stable connection. By allowing your SIM cards to roam from one network to another you can avoid losing signal almost entirely, however, there’s a catch.

There are two types of M2M roaming SIMs, steered and non-steered. Both solutions roam networks, but they do so in different ways. Steered SIMs aren’t what we would refer to as ‘fully-roamed’. This is because they have a primary network that they prioritise over all other networks. In order to switch to a different network the signal of the primary connection must drop below a certain threshold. Because of this, the M2M SIM won’t necessarily connect to the strongest connection available.

Non-steered roaming solutions are what we refer to as ‘fully roamed’. This solution is preferred by all industries including fleet management. It’s favoured because it isn’t tied to a specific network. This allows the SIM card to change whenever a stronger connection is available. As the SIM always prioritises the strongest network you can rest assured that you’ll rarely experience poor (or no) signal. Non-steered M2M solutions help fleet management providers ensure maximum uptime and traceability.

Managing your SIM estate

SIM management is key if you want full control of your fleet’s connectivity. Unfortunately there are plenty of limited platforms available that simply won’t offer you the functionality you require; it’s important to choose the right M2M platform if you want to get the most out of your vehicle management solution.

SIM management is essential in vehicle tracking. With M2M fleet management SIMs, you will be given full visibility of your SIM estate. This means you’ll have the ability to monitor your SIMs’ activity and data usage with ease. Depending on your M2M platform (and portal access rights) you will be able to activate and deactivate SIM cards. Some providers will even be able to set data alerts to prevent you from overusing data. A high-end SIM management platform will help you avoid experiencing any overcharges.

Aggregate your data

When it comes to M2M in vehicle management and tracking it can be beneficial to aggregate your data pool. This is due to the sheer amount of active SIMs you have. By having one large pot of data you will have the flexibility to share data across all your vehicle’s SIMs.

Here’s an example of how aggregating your data can help save you money…

Let’s say you have 5 M2M SIMs. 4 of them are using 5mb out of their predicted 10mb. The other SIM card is overusing data considerably (30mb out of a predicted 10mb).

Scenario #1: Non-aggregated data

Each SIM card is on a unique 10mb tariff. 4 of the SIM cards are staying within their limits meaning they aren’t causing any problems. The other SIM card is overusing 20mb of data. As this SIM card is using so much data you will be charged for the overuse on top of your original tariff. This can be expensive on a large scale M2M solution.

Scenario #2: Aggregated data

All 5 SIM cards share a data pool of 50mb. The total data usage for the 4 SIMs that are using a small amount of data is 20mb. The other SIM is using 30mb data. The total data usage for all the SIM cards is 50mb (the same as the aggregated tariff). Instead of you being charged for the excess data consumption of the final SIM, all 5 devices are sharing the same M2M tariff. Because 4 of them are under-using data, devices using excess data can use the unused data.

As data usage can be unpredictable when it comes to fleet management, aggregating your data will help you reduce your risk of overspending.