Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Soracom rolls out Napter to connect IoT devices

Steve Rogerson
July 24, 2019

Japanese smart connectivity company Soracom has announced general availability of its Napter service for remote access to IoT devices.
Napter allows a secure remote device without any need for additional device configuration, agent installation or preparation of a server environment. Developers can initiate remote sessions on demand using the Soracom user console, API or CLI and communicate with devices using common remote access protocols such as SSH, RDP, VNC or HTTP/HTTPS.
Typically, accessing IoT devices without compromising security requires establishment of a server environment and activation of private networking and bidirectional LAN services such as Soracom Canal and Soracom Gate. While it is also possible to access devices by providing them with a fixed public IP address, this approach exposes IoT devices and networks to remote attacks.
Napter solves both these problems by providing secure device access as needed, when needed, without creating a fixed IP address or establishing a full-time server environment.
“We’ve always put IoT security first,” said Soracom CTO and co-founder Kenta Yasukawa. “That’s why we focus on keeping IoT traffic off the public internet entirely, with virtual peering, private subnets and even hardwire connection where needed. Napster offers many of the same benefits to smaller deployments and earlier stages of development.”
George Chrysanthakopoulos, founder of dCentralized Systems, agreed. He said: “DCentralized has ground utility robot prototypes deployed across Washington and Oregon. Before we worked with Soracom, if one went dark we had to get in a car, drive five hours and SSH into the unit to triage. With Napter we can SSH into our edge devices from anywhere and quickly resolve issues without any complex network configuration and infra from us. As a bonus, their technical support has been outstanding.”
Soracom provides smart IoT connectivity, offering cloud-native wireless service designed for the needs of connected devices. Founded in 2015, it now serves over 15,000 customers across all industries, from agriculture, energy, construction and transportation to consumer electronics, manufacturing, real estate and healthcare.
• Soracom has announced performance enhancements to its worldwide platform for cellular IoT connectivity along with reductions in the cost of cellular data worldwide.
Soracom first introduced its global IoT connectivity service, Soracom Air, in November 2016. Soracom Air has since grown to serve over 15,000 customers and connect more than one million devices in 122 countries, representing a 50-50 split between traditional mobile SIMs and advanced, board-mounted eSIMs.
As of July 2019, the cost of data service will be reduced in 83 of the 130 countries where Soracom IoT connectivity is offered. For 21 European countries, including Germany, France and the UK, the per-megabyte cost of data for IoT devices will now be as low as $0.02/MB.
In many markets, this reduction may represent as much as 75% savings over previous service cost. In Japan, where multicarrier connectivity is now available through NTT Docomo and KDDI, users who connect only through KDDI can save 90%, reducing cost from $0.20/MB to $0.02/MB.
“We are always looking for opportunities to bring best-in-class value to innovators building the next generation of connected experiences,” said Alexis Susset, Soracom technology director. “Like the cloud, IoT has become a truly international endeavour, and we are happy to continue to break down barriers to successful IoT development in Europe and around the world.”
In keeping with that philosophy, Soracom has also improved network performance for all users with the addition of local break out points in the USA and Japan. These access points will optimise network routing and reduce network latency for devices in North America and Asia. Soracom has also increased the speed of its fastest available service from 2 to 8Mbpit/s.
“Soracom was created to deliver connectivity that actually helps every IoT developer get projects into field and deployed at scale successfully,” said Yasukawa. “While not every IoT use case requires maximum data speed, with our new local breakout and upgraded speed classes we’re glad to be ready for those that do.”