u-blox Extends “Bring Your Own SIM” Approach to Providing MQTT Communication for Low-Power IoT Sensor Networks

By Taryn Engmark

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

November 11, 2021


u-blox Extends “Bring Your Own SIM” Approach to Providing MQTT Communication for Low-Power IoT Sensor Networks

u-blox introduced a service that allows Internet of Things (IoT) sensor network developers to combine any cellular connectivity with all the benefits of MQTT communication. The u-blox MQTT Flex service lets any SIM-based connectivity leverage MQTT-SN communication at predictable cost with on-demand scalability.

MQTT Flex is built on top of the foundation of a high-performance MQTT broker and powerful Data Flow Manager, making it simple to communicate data between IoT devices and the enterprise. The service is optimized for asset tracking, sensor networks, and monitoring applications, especially those that need little bandwidth and must operate at low power.

u-blox offers a global connectivity solution for any type of IoT device through its MQTT Anywhere service and IoT SIM card, enabling global roaming on 2G, 3G, and LTE networks. MQTT Flex expands the addressable market by allowing users to bring their existing cellular connectivity together with u-blox’s IoT Communication-as-a-Service.

The u-blox MQTT Flex service offers a “Bring Your Own SIM” strategy that enables users to use MQTT communication without the operational, logistical, or cost impact of changing their mobile network operator. MQTT Flex also allows compliance to IoT project requirements where government or local municipalities might mandate the use of a local network operator. 

In some geographies, such as Turkey, Brazil, and Australia, network operators do not allow permanent roaming, which precludes the use of the MQTT Anywhere global roaming IoT SIM. MQTT Flex overcomes the challenge of permanent roaming restrictions by retaining the home network connectivity. 

The MQTT Flex service also enables MQTT-SN communications over NB-IoT, specifically in regions where global roaming agreements for the low-power, low data-rate radio technology have yet to be agreed. The features of NB-IoT, including extended cellular coverage, may be useful for connecting to systems deep within buildings or below ground such as utility meters.

All u-blox services are delivered via the Thingstream IoT service delivery platform. This interface provides a self-serve environment from which users have autonomy to manage IoT device fleets and billing, monitor events, and have complete API control of functionality.

For more information, visit u-blox.