IoT/M2M is the hottest growth sector in ICT. c7bn devices will be 20bn-30bn globally by 2030.
How can the Channel ride the IoT wave, without committing to a high risk ‘build it and they will come’ strategy?
Common to every IoT project is M2M – connectivity. This is the biggest opportunity, but presently the domain of MNOs offering single network SIMs and a BYOD solution.
Intelligent Connectivity breaks this dominance.
In an IoT project the endpoints need sensors, managed by a gateway, attached to a 4G/5G router. Significant processing power is also required to collect data and allow remote management. Every deployment is different so there must be the capability to write custom apps onto these devices.
eSIM releases the MNOs stranglehold on the M2M market. Analysts predict there will be more than 2bn eSIMs deployed in IoT projects within 5 years.
Since Jola launched their combined IoT Router/PC/Gateway in March 2020 we have had thousands of orders. MSPs are shipping our devices worldwide, pre-loaded with a 450-network eSIM that downloads a config as soon as it’s plugged in.
We recently rolled out 600 units in weeks for a faultless digital signage project.
IoT/M2M is the hottest growth sector in ICT. c7bn devices will be 20bn-30bn globally by 2030.
Retailers are not always sure which network is best in each location, when the 4G back-up will be needed and how much data they will use. Sending survey engineers to site to establish the strongest signal is a timely and expensive exercise. In addition, they regularly receive high data overage bills, which can be tens of thousands of pounds a month. When a service fails, they often won’t know if it’s the network or the device and are forced to send an engineer to site.
Managed Service Providers are experienced at designing, rolling out and managing solutions however have struggled with the 4G element, managing multiple in-country suppliers, with multiple manual ordering processes and a lack of visibility across the SIM estate. They have had no direct control over SIM assets and no way to aggregate data usage across countries.
According to a recent report by Transport Focus, passengers listed value for money, punctuality, Wi-Fi connectivity and safety, as their main priorities. These factors are driving a rise in demand for smart transport networks around the world, creating 4G data opportunities solution providers are well-placed to provide.
Smart transport networks offer significant benefits to passengers, operators and local authorities, enabling urban services to become more efficient, effective and safe. Cities from London to Singapore are already building them. Madrid is leading the way, with a central control room that receives and integrates data from 40 urban control rooms. They cover over 100 bus routes, 300 railway lines and 200,000 cameras, delivering end-to-end surveillance and security solutions.
There are many experienced providers offering end-to-end solutions to the transport industry, involving 4G routers and cameras. Trams, buses and trains are tracked, and arrival times accurately estimated and advertised, factoring in potential delays. These devices need 4G data SIMs, often with a fixed IP or delivered via a secure Private APN. On average there are seven SIMs per bus, for logging into the cameras to download relevant footage, Wi-Fi, secure card payments, passenger trackers, applications tracking hours worked, petrol levels and miles travelled.
Service providers face a few challenges with 4G. Some networks are stronger than others in specific locations requiring relationships with multiple network providers. Secondly, they have no way of tracking data usage and if devices use more than their allocated monthly allowance, they get high data overage charges. Thirdly, they need a secure channel for transmitting financial data.
MSPs servicing the logistics industry are providing IoT solutions, which include devices containing 4G SIMs, to improve efficiency and safety records in the industry as a whole.
Monitoring devices are used to provide management teams with real-time data on fuel consumption and regulatory compliance. Critical information is displayed in dashboards for management teams to monitor in real-time and analyse KPIs.
Devices track the exact location of a vehicle and accurately estimate arrival times. Tracking information is gathered in a central system and can be sent to relevant parties.
Smart Inventory Management
Smart inventory management systems analyse real-time data across warehouse distribution centres. By implementing sensors to track stock levels, stock management has been improved leading to more efficient distribution.
Typically, MSPs have partnered with the mobile carriers directly for SIMs, however many have struggled with a lack of flexibility and control.
Demand for Machine to Machine (M2M) SIMs is growing. Channel partners are building a pipeline of big deals in key vertical markets, generating high-margin recurring revenue.
The driving experience is being revolutionised. Apps and services are giving drivers everything from in-vehicle Wi-Fi and incredible entertainment, all the way through to faster, more insightful diagnostics and maintenance.
Businesses are managing their energy flows through smart energy grids and smart meters, allowing for more accurate bills. There is a focus on improving energy efficiency and resolving outages more effectively, with remote site monitoring.
Smart devices offer important patient benefits, like connected ambulances. Ambulance crews have access to high-bandwidth internet capabilities, and tablets holding patient records. This means that information can be sent to hospitals in real-time.
Commercial security is getting smarter. CCTV and alarms can be monitored securely and footage can be stored remotely.
It’s challenging to set a price for roaming SIMs. Resellers need to know which countries the SIMs will roam to and how much monthly data they will need. Some countries are more expensive than others to roam in, for example UAE and Andorra. Sales people can’t always be sure how much data will be used in each country and how often SIMs will roam in more expensive countries. They run the risk of choosing a package that includes countries which SIMs will never roam in, pushing up the price.
To solve this problem Jola has launched an M2M Roaming Tariff Tool. It was designed for Jola partners to make it quicker and easier to find the right SIM tariff. Tariff Tool provides resellers with a range of options on a variety of data allowances across hundreds of countries and networks.
M2M/IoT covers a broad spectrum: from low-usage data SIMs in monitoring devices, to high usage data SIMs in 4G routers.
For many resellers, low usage, low management IoT opportunities are problematic because they require specialist devices, support and management software. Higher usage mobile data opportunities can be more complex, however can also be very lucrative, easier to win and easier to support. These opportunities include solutions such as mobile broadband and Private 4G.
Mobile broadband is an element of most tenders these days, either for remote workers, as a back-up, or as a primary solution where fixed line is unsuitable. Resellers submitting compelling bids ensure their suppliers offer; all the MNOs; online asset control; and a suite of products to enable them to build bespoke solutions.
For customers wanting additional security on 4G devices, fixed IP SIMs are available, but can be very expensive. Private APNs are available from the carriers but do not give the reseller control over their assets. Jola is the first channel mobile supplier to launch self-serve, Private APNs. The products address security concerns by avoiding the public internet and offering a secure, remote access platform that lets resellers seamlessly extend their existing IT security controls to their end users’ mobile workforce, wherever they are.
Resellers selling voice and data SIMs to businesses often find themselves up against the carriers directly. How do they compete?
Compare and contrast
They gather as much information as they can on the competition. If they have a good relationship with the customer, they may obtain details about the exact deal they are up against. By analysing the customer’s bill, existing requirements and competitive offer, they pitch a customised deal with an edge.
Offer a mix of networks
Some customers have a network preference, but some networks are stronger than others in particular areas. Users also have a preference. Offering a mix of networks rather than the single network offering from the carrier, can be powerful.
Often the carriers demand longer contract terms. More flexible contract terms can sometimes be the difference to clinch the deal.
Are you winning clients who need private networks in multiple locations, with 4G back-up? Could you benefit from direct control over SIM assets and the ability to aggregate data across sites?
Jola provides a range of data-only SIM packages including multi-network roaming SIMs with pooled data options. MSPs only need to contract with one supplier. They have access to an automated management portal and complete visibility and control over their entire SIM estate.
Jola partners don’t need to survey each site to establish the best signal. Our multi-network SIMs connect to the strongest available signal in the EU. Having all the networks isolates issues to the device rather than the network.
MSPs are able to order new SIMs and pools, add SIMs to pools, set up alerts and monitor the pool. If any site fails, they have a data pool to draw from and a buffer. They can even set up and manage private APNs.
We partner with some of the world’s largest MSPs, managing private networks for blue chip companies globally. We are a more attractive alternative to partnering with multiple in-country mobile network operators.
Bus and coach companies are installing dashcams in vehicles to improve safety. 4G streaming devices are mounted on dashboards. They capture 12 seconds of video and audio when incidents take place. Systems record events which cause a higher than normal G-force automatically, as well as recording footage on demand.
The objective for many companies is to identify risky behaviours, to prevent accidents and improve safety. Companies installing dashcams have reported a 23% reduction in preventable collisions.
Typically, MSPs and specialists serving this market with M2M and IoT solutions, have partnered with the mobile networks directly for SIMs, however many have struggled with a lack of flexibility and control.
Jola is proposing an alternative to dealing with mobile networks directly. We offer a range of competitively-priced mobile data SIMs, including unique products you can’t buy from the mobile networks directly.
Our 1GB SIMs are cost-effective and meet common requirements, alternatively multi-network roaming SIMs are available. Using Mobile Manager, partners are able to order new SIMs and pools from a single supplier, add SIMs to pools, set up alerts and monitor the pool to monitor data usage.