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What is an APN?

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What is an APN?

An APN (Access Point Name) is a gateway that enables your IoT device to connect to the public or private internet via a mobile network. In order for a connection to be established, an APN must be configured into your device so that it can be presented to the network carrier. If you are setting up a device with a brand new IoT SIM card, your connectivity provider will usually send you a configuration message detailing your APN credentials.

What do the numbers in an MSISDN number mean?

An APN usually consists of two pieces of information, a network identifier and an operator identifier. The network identifier outlines the external network that your device will connect to, and the operator identifier outlines the mobile country code (MCC) and the mobile network code (MNC) for the specific mobile network operator it will use.

Here is how an APN is usually structured:
networkidentifier.mnc(mnc).mcc(mcc).gprs

Here is an example of a real-world APN:
internet.mnc012.mcc345.gprs

However, not all APNs follow this format, some are much more simple.

For example:
internet.t-mobile

Access point names are structured like this to provide mobile network operators with all the information they need to:

  • Determine which methods of security should be used.
  • Determine which network the device needs to connect to.
  • Assign the correct IP address to the device.

What are the different types of APN?

An APN (Access Point Name) is a gateway that enables your IoT device to connect to the public or private internet via a mobile network. In order for a connection to be established, an APN must be configured into your device so that it can be presented to the network carrier. If you are setting up a device with a brand new IoT SIM card, your connectivity provider will usually send you a configuration message detailing your APN credentials.

Sometimes referred to as corporate APNs, private APNs are usually configured so that data can be traversed directly between a device and a company’s private network. With this setup, there is no reason for data to travel over the public internet, making your IoT deployments much more secure.

In some cases a static IP address may be required in order for your IoT deployments to operate effectively. In many of these cases it wouldn’t be wise to compromise on security. That’s where a static IP private APN solution comes in.

Public access point names facilitate the connection between a device and the public internet. When a device connects to the internet, the mobile network operator will usually assign it with a public IP address from a pool of available IPs.

If required, a public APN solution can also be combined with a static IP address. This allows your device to access the public internet via a single IP address which never changes, regardless of how many times a connection is made.

Why use a private APN?

When you’re running a business, you need reliable connectivity that doesn’t compromise your security. Private APNs ensure that your data stays within your private network and out of reach of cybercriminals looking to intercept valuable information. Private access point names are especially useful if you have a number of devices deployed around the globe. A multi-network roaming M2M SIM combined with private APN access enables your IoT devices to access your company network safely and securely from anywhere there’s a connection.

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2023-01-03T13:00:04+00:00