Steered vs. Non-Steered Global Multi-Network Roaming SIM Cards

Non-Steered Roaming SIMs

Today you will find many companies selling Global Multi-Network Roaming SIM Cards.  These SIM cards are often used for IoT/M2M connectivity solutions for resilience. You may ask, are global multi-network SIM cards all the same?  Do they all offer the same advantages? Are there any things to look out for when choosing your roaming solution?

What are the different types of Global Multi-Network Roaming SIM Cards available?

Global Multi-Network Roaming SIM Cards

There are two types of Global Multi-Network Roaming SIM Cards available on the market.   You can choose between steered and non-steered SIM cards.

In both versions, you can change from one mobile network to another.  However, there are big differences between these two versions.  As a result, you need to understand the differences to ensure you are getting the best solution.

We have put together a comprehensive buyers guide to roaming SIMs.  In the following article, you will find out what the differences are when it comes to non-steered and steered.

What is a Non-Steered Multi-Network Roaming SIM Card?

The first type of Global Multi-Network Roaming SIM card is non-steered.  This means they have no logic on the SIM that prefers a particular provider, unless upon request.  As a result, the SIM card doesn’t have a primary network.

The advantage of using a non-steered SIM is that no individual network has priority.  This method is very popular with IoT and M2M solutions as devices can seamlessly change between networks. 

To ensure the best performance you need to make sure that the non-steered SIM has no additional software to get in the way and delay connections.

As a result of having no PLMN lists, no JAVA code, no multi-IMSI code, IoT devices are unlikely to get confused.  This allows for free hopping between all the networks available in a particular country. 

The roaming SIM will only change networks when the mobile signal drops below a certain threshold.  As a result, your IoT device will always connect to the strongest signal available.

The benefit of using non-steered SIM is they are more flexible and effective.  And they are very beneficial of implementing Global IoT/M2M applications.

What is a Steered Multi-Network Roaming SIM Card?

A steered SIM card uses one primary network that then steers to another if the network drops.   This one primary network has preference over all other networks that may be available.

At first, you may think there is not much difference between steered and non-steered SIMs.  But, a closer examination of steered SIMs will establish if this is the right solution for you.

Steered SIMs used roaming functionality to connect to multiple networks.  But the major difference is if the primary network of the steered SIM drops, the SIM can't change to a different one.  As a result, this causes major problems for IoT devices that need resilience built in.

Another difference is that a steered sim doesn’t prioritize the strongest connection available.   For some IoT applications, this causes an issue as they need a stable connection to enable live monitoring. 

Do you need fast, reliable and secure global connectivity?

Find out more about JT IoT non-steered, open roaming SIM offering;  fast, reliable, and secure global connectivity.  And learn more about what type of SIM form factor is best suited for your business needs.

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Filed Under: IoT connectivity, non-steered SIM, Roaming SIM card, multi-network SIM cards