Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

What got to a billion users first?

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 23-Feb-2021 18:35:11

The Internet? Smartphones? Social media? Credit cards? No.

After only 4 years 4G had over 1bn users and 5G is set to do it in 3.5 years, making it the fastest adopted technology ever. The Internet took 14 years and credit cards 74 years.

Although most of the growth in mobile data has come in the consumer world, business is catching up fast. 

From what was already a high base, Jola saw M2M and Mobile Broadband connections treble last year, and usage quadruple. At the same time speeds increased exponentially (4G-Advanced can reach 300Mb/s) and cost per GB plummeted. 

In 2012 you could buy 23 Big Macs for the price of 1GB of data and today, based on average EU prices, it’s zero. Furthermore, in the UK mobile data prices are half that of the EU average when compared to the CPI augmentation.



In 2020 Jola signed a record 246 new partners who in turn found some huge deals in their customer bases. Many on long term contracts, and others for temporary COVID-related applications.

Most importantly it made MSPs realise that mobile data/M2M/IoT can be easy to sell, provision, support and bill, and with the right channel supplier there is enough differentiation to beat the MNOs at a decent recurring margin.

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Topics: 4G

Do you have the right 4G router?

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 23-Feb-2021 18:22:49

As if we don’t confuse people enough with our industry acronyms, we are now using the same name for two completely different things.



You may know that a Cat5 cable supports speeds up to 100Mb/s, Cat5e up to 1000Mb/s and Cat6 up to 10Gb/s, but does this mean that a Cat6 LTE 4G router supports speeds up to 10Gb/s? No.

The LTE Cat6 is part of the LTE-Advanced standard for routers and supports downstream speeds up to 300Mb/s. Cat4 LTE supports theoretical speeds up to 150Mb/s but our real-world experience is more like 100Mb/s. Confused yet?

Many people understand that 4G speeds have increased significantly recently with the introduction of the LTE-Advanced Standard, and can’t work out why their 4G router only ever speedtests below 100Mb/s.

This is because most people have Cat4 routers and don’t know they need a Cat6 LTE router to run faster.

Cat6 LTE routers are usually around twice the price of Cat4 routers so if you paid c£100 or less for your LTE router it is probably Cat4.

There are plenty of Cat6 LTE routers out there but before you buy one, consider that the new 5G Standard also supports Cat6 LTE. 

5G routers are expensive but will come down in price rapidly with volume, so you may want to wait a few months and go straight to 5G.

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Topics: Intelligent 4G Routers

4G in Distribution

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 23-Feb-2021 16:24:03

4G in Distribution

A shift towards online shopping has driven demand for fulfilment and distribution centres. These new spaces require reliable connectivity. Where no existing fibre is available, MSPs are turning to 4G.

MSPs are quoting online retailers for bespoke 4G connectivity packages, that exactly meet their requirements. They are offering solutions which can be pre-configured and delivered to multiple locations to meet tight deadlines.

MSPs are turning to Jola for their multi-network roaming eSIMs controlled in Mobile Manager. Jola has deployed a UK-based, resilient MVNO mobile core network, with global connectivity to over 450 networks and local connectivity with all four UK mobile networks.

MSPs partnering with Jola are offering truly un-steered, multi-network solutions, that can be re-programmed ‘over the air’ so that the customer always gets the best technical and commercial solution, whatever happens in the market. Data is managed within Mobile Manager, an online management portal for ordering and managing estates of SIMs globally.

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Topics: 4G, eSIM

Measuring customer experience

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Feb-2021 14:11:51

Recurring revenue businesses rely on customer acquisition and retention. It is tempting to focus all efforts on recruitment, but churning customers is a real concern for growing businesses.

Understanding and monitoring customer experience, can help to identify early warning signs, put in measures and reduce churn. By improving the customer experience, you can increase customer retention and revenue per customer, whilst also enhancing brand perceptions in the marketplace. By getting this process right, you create ‘fans’ of your business, ‘advocates’ who freely recommend your services to others and buy frequently from you.

In order to measure customer experience, you must first identify relevant KPIs. What are the measures in your business of customer satisfaction? Many companies use NPS (Net Promoter Score) which gives an overall satisfaction score. You ask the question: How likely are you to recommend us? You use an answer scale of one to ten. You may also want to ask more granular questions to understand satisfaction across each customer touch point.

Next think about what influences the satisfaction score. This can often be obtained through a comments box on your survey, or by calling a cross-section of clients to ask specific questions about their experience. Having the right products, at the right price, on the right management portals, is key, combined with excellent service and accurately and timely billing.

By surveying customers regularly and gathering feedback, you can identify any shortcomings and work with customers to improve them. Going the extra mile to fix a problem can save a churning customer, but when handled well, also turn them into an advocate.

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Topics: jola

Balancing work and home school

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Feb-2021 14:03:45

In the last couple of weeks, the amount of schoolwork being set by teachers has increased, yet working parents still have their own jobs to complete. In addition, we have the added responsibility of allaying growing levels of anxiety, now clearly visible in our children. Throw in slow broadband, limited 4G devices and deaths in the family, we find ourselves in an impossible situation.

Behind closed doors, the children we once knew as happy and confident, are now showing signs of stress, anxiety and in some cases depression. Everything they relied on has gone online and activities they used to enjoy, taken away.

We keep calm and carry on. We still have our regular video calls to do, staff to mentor and deadlines to hit. We hope we have developed ways to retain professionalism at work, whilst encouraging coping mechanisms for our kids at home. We share some of our best tips below.

Planning

It is near impossible to do two jobs at the same time and do them both to the best of your ability. By planning your day, you can split your focus on each job and give it all your attention. By printing worksheets and colouring sheets, you can set your child up on their task, whilst you get going with your emails. Alternatively ask your school for weekly work packs. One lesson down, you can give the child a break and get on with your first video call of the day.

Praise

Children learn by doing. When you stop to critique their work, this may not go down well. A better way to do it is to praise them for what they have done and build on it by saying, "You could also add…" I have seen teachers do this and I now understand why this approach is more effective. The children are encouraged and empowered to learn more.

People

Plan calls, video calls, quizzes, family gaming and text chats to allow your children to communicate and play with friends and family. Grandparents are often calming influences who encourage learning life skills. It is also something that can be planned to keep them occupied, whilst you attend an online meeting.

Instilling a passion to help others, empowers children to feel more in control. Your child’s school may be collecting food for local families, dropping off learning packs and in some cases 4G devices. Getting involved can give back your child some control over the situation, having a positive effect on their emotions and ability to learn.

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Topics: 4G

Why 4G? Why Now?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 03-Feb-2021 13:08:16

Resellers are nimble, flexible and resourceful. Above all they know how to sell and just need their suppliers to help them find opportunities for appropriate and differentiated products.

When we went into lockdown the tap was virtually turned off on traditional connectivity and telephony. Some sectors closed down completely and resellers serving those sectors either hibernated or looked to pivot into products and sectors that were still buying, such as 4G data into healthcare, transport, energy and retail.

Healthcare

Doctors surgeries and pop-up hospitals are looking for telecommunications and IT support. Nurses and carers travelling to see patients at home need reliable SIM cards in personal alarms and smart devices to complete their reports. Paramedics need reliable 4G connectivity in tablets to update their patient records on the move. Police need reliable SIM cards in push-to-talk radio and body-worn cameras. Reliable internet connectivity is required for smart lighting and smart parking solutions. 

Buses and Coaches

The bus and coach industry is looking to make savings, in addition to creating a safe environment for their drivers and passengers. With the COVID virus transmitted on hard surfaces, as well as being airborne, many companies are looking to reduce cash transactions on-board. New ticketing machines process cashless transactions and contain 4G SIM cards. Many companies also want to include free WiFi as part of their passenger experience and want to avoid expenses overages.

Smart Meters

Country-wide schemes, such as the Government’s Smart Metering initiative, have helped drive demand for smart meters in the energy sector, as it helps businesses to track their energy usage and provide more accurate bills. It also helps utility companies to plan resources and improve customer experience. 

Retail

Supermarkets and petrol stations are creating private networks to carry financial transactions over IP, from multiple POS systems, often favouring SD-WAN networks with 4G back-up. Depending on their size and the complexity of their requirement, they typically choose a trusted supplier, with experience rolling out and managing solutions in their sector.

Demand for digital signage is increasing, with many supermarkets investing in digital advertising solutions in their stores. Digital advertising boards require 24/7, reliable connectivity that can be rapidly deployed. Typically, the advertising screens belong to a third party who are unable to use a fixed broadband connection. MSPs are looking for mobile broadband solutions they can control and manage across multiple sites.

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Topics: 4G

Intelligent 4G Connectivity – Routers Compared

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 27-Jan-2021 13:19:10

Jola offers a range of affordable, robust M2M and IoT routers, available to order in Mobile Manager, which will arrive directly at your customers’ sites. The proprietary Jola App, included with all routers, auto-configures the APN and WiFi settings and allows full control over all router settings. Customer configuration is available for suitable projects. The premium models also feature Smart Roaming Technology. Intelligent 4G routers are only to be re-sold with JolaMobile SIMs.

R1510

The R1510 router is a Dual Ethernet port (LAN + WAN) 3G/4G router with advanced software functions at a very competitive price point.

KEY FEATURES

  • Highly stable 2G/3G/4G cellular connections
  • Ethernet, WiFi and 4G internet connection options with auto-failover
  • Fully programmable Linux environment with excellent SDK documentation
  • ‘Smart Reboot’ for enhanced roaming SIM management
  • Full SMS control for diagnosis and recovery from data network problems
  • Very small footprint for space-constrained applications
  • Wall-mount and DIN-rail mounting options available

R1520

The R1520 router is a versatile 4G router with 5 Ethernet pots and GPS. It has an E-mark certification, making it suitable for in-vehicle use. Other hardware features include optionally isolated digital inputs and outputs as well as a 10-bit analogue input, capable of interfacing directly with sensors and a range of 0 to 24Vdc or 0 to 20mA.

The R1520(G) model has the same features and specification as the R1520(V) but is supplied with a global PSU and is certified for use in a long and growing list of counties outside of Europe.

KEY FEATURES

  • Cost-effective & high performance 3G/4G router
  • Rugged design with 9 to 36Vdc power
  • E-mark certification for in vehicle use
  • Optically isolated digital IO
  • 10-bit Analogue interface for direct sensor connections
  • Supports Dual SIMs & WiFi/Ethernet as WAN
  • Cellular keep-alive and fast failover
  • Extensive range of software “apps” for enhanced functionality
  • IPsec/OpenVPN/GRE/L2TP/PPTP/DMVPN supported
  • Extensive global certifications
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Topics: Intelligent 4G Routers

How to put together a great webinar

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 27-Jan-2021 11:53:12

The pandemic has changed the way we work and helped us to focus on the best way to interact with our audiences. In the past we favoured face-to-face meetings and have been forced to move to a virtual environment.

It was a great opportunity to consider our content and how it gets delivered. What makes a great webinar and how do you put one together?


Audience

The first thing to consider is your audience. What are their requirements? What would make them give up an hour of their time and spend it on a webinar with you? Once you have worked out your agenda, drafted the content and arranged your speaker, you can start to think about your software.

To get high engagement and great feedback from participants, you need a piece of software that allows interaction. Chat boxes and poll questions are good interactive features.

With the software installed, you can start to plan your invitations. Catch attention, draw the audience in and have a strong call to action to ensure a good response rate. Using your sales team to invite key prospects and promote webinars is useful to get the audience you require.

Create engaging content

Think through your content and make sure it matches your advertised agenda. Use graphics, where possible, and avoid overloading your slides with text and reading from them. Use case studies your audience can relate to and address real problems. Keep your content concise and relevant. Then practice, practice… practice! Make sure your speaker is comfortable with the content and if required has additional resource on hand to answer detailed questions live.

It is worth researching your participants before each webinar and asking a few qualifying poll questions before you start. This way you can make sure your content is relevant. Set up early to test the sound, chat boxes and poll questions. Test your software demonstrations and make sure you have your passwords handy. Switch off phones, notifications and encourage feedback after every webinar. This way you can improve materials for the next one.

Measure your success

How many participants do you want on each webinar? Set this as a target and measure attendees against it. Set targets for engagement and make sure you follow up every question and request for further information. Give out your contact details and encourage participants to invite colleagues to join you for the next session. Don’t be too keen to email out recordings. If you can view a video, do you really need to attend a live event?

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Topics: marketing

4G in Buses and Coaches

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 20-Jan-2021 16:46:40

Do you serve customers in public or private transportation? Who do they buy their 4G data from? Could they be buying it from you instead?

Like many companies right now, the bus and coach industry are looking to make savings, in addition to creating a safe environment for their drivers and passengers. With the COVID virus transmitted on hard surfaces, as well as being airborne, many companies are looking to reduce cash transactions on-board. New ticketing machines process cashless transactions and contain 4G SIM cards. Many companies also want to include free WiFi as part of their passenger experience, however want to avoid expenses overages.

Jola works with MSPs to help reduce the cost of 4G data SIM estates, in ticketing machines and routers. We work with MSPs to novate SIMs where possible, to avoid the need to swap out SIMs manually. We also provide MSPs and, where required, their end users with access to Mobile Manager, to control their entire data SIM estate in one easy portal.

Jola is an award-winning, channel-only supplier of business communications, specialising in mobile data SIMs. We are a global eSIM MVNO, providing innovative IoT and mobile data solutions to MSPs, ISPs, IT Support companies and Telecommunications Resellers.

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Topics: 4G

4G in Taxis

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 20-Jan-2021 16:32:29

Do you serve taxi companies in public or private transportation? Who do they buy their 4G data from? Could they be buying it from you instead?

Taxis use 4G devices to plan their routes, record their fares and process card payments. They need their 4G to be reliable and to work anywhere.

Jola eSIMs are multi-network roaming SIMs that roam across 450 networks worldwide, including Vodafone, O2, Three and EE in the UK. By proposing Jola eSIMs, partners can provide taxi companies with reliable 4G connectivity anywhere in the UK. Mobile Manager gives MSPs the ability to manage estates of 4G data SIMs in one easy-to-use portal. Jola can provide a content filtering service to prevent drivers removing SIM cards, inserting them into iPads, tablets and phones for personal use in-between pick-ups.

Jola is an award-winning, channel-only supplier of business communications, specialising in mobile data SIMs. We are a global eSIM MVNO, providing innovative IoT and mobile data solutions to MSPs, ISPs, IT Support companies and Telecommunications Resellers.

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Topics: 4G

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