rSIM: 43% of businesses suffer critical IoT connectivity loss every week

04 March 2024

Global businesses are suffering major financial and human costs from critical IoT connectivity failures with almost two thirds losing sales and customers as a direct result, according to a new report from rSIM.

The rapid growth of cellular-based IoT devices is set to explode as 5G networks roll out worldwide, with 7 billion expected to be online by 2033. However, this is increasing pressure on network providers and businesses are struggling to cope with the current lack of resilience, with two-thirds stating it has become more business-critical in recent years.

The survey found that reliable connectivity is essential for operations in 87% of companies. In fact, connectivity was stated as the number one issue currently faced by businesses in every region, deemed more problematic even than securing and retaining business or staff.

Almost all the businesses in the survey revealed they suffer from some form of connectivity loss every month, with 16% experiencing a network incident every day and 43% at least once a week. The total outage time during a month clocked up to an hour for 60% of the respondents, with more than a third (37%) experiencing even more time offline, and a quarter (25%) saying that they have been hacked due to connectivity issues.

Almost 1 in 2 (43%) of those surveyed also said that connectivity problems have caused “life affecting changes” to either staff or the users of their products.

The biggest concern is with the connectivity of IoT devices, which businesses and individuals increasingly rely on for day-to-day tasks. More than 80% of these are deemed either mission, business, or life critical, yet over half of the companies surveyed (58%) revealed they have suffered connectivity problems with their IoT devices (e.g. payment machines and remote patient monitoring devices).

“The results of the survey did not come as a surprise. Our business lives and breathes connectivity and we understand the pain points that companies experience when they are without it,” said Richard Cunliffe, director, rSIM. “The incredible growth of IoT devices that we have experienced is putting huge demands on network resilience, and future expansion will be simply impossible with the current levels of reliability provided. The results of the survey back up that view, and the call to arms to do something about it is a challenge we have been delighted to take on. People currently accept that mobile connectivity is just not reliable. That is the norm. And that is why the term ‘critical connectivity’ has come up. In the past, the requirement for always on, real-time data from devices has not always existed; there was a time where businesses could live with bad connectivity. But the more connected the world becomes, the less we can live with the outages we see day to day, and the more critical connectivity becomes to daily life. New solutions are never usually developed until the pain points become bigger and need fixing.”