Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Smart City Kiosks

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Mar-2021 11:27:53

As UK cities investigate upgrading their phone boxes, self-service kiosks are a compelling option. They provide services such as WiFi, VoIP calling, as well as public notifications and security alerts. Self-service kiosks can also be found in train stations and bus stations, providing commuters with up-to-date travel information. Digital adverts played on the screens often fund their deployment and maintenance.

Kiosks with embedded sensors can also monitor environmental data, such as air pollution and noise pollution. Integrated cameras can capture data to help optimise the flow of traffic and track licence plates.

MSPs rolling out solutions such as these face connectivity challenges. 4G presents a solution as it is fast, reliable and quick and easy to set-up. Connected kiosks often require gateways and routers in addition to 4G. Managing multiple connected kiosks in different locations can be costly and complex to manage. Site surveys are often required to establish the strongest 4G signal in each location.

Jola partners offer a unique solution with their Intelligent 4G routers. Our routers are smart and negate the need for a gateway. Jola SIMs are all managed within one easy portal. MSPs can easily manage and monitor data usage across sites. Our eSIMs offer multi-network roaming data across all four major mobile networks and our routers arrive pre-configured.

Suitable for mobile broadband and large scale IoT roll outs, our routers run a unique operating system allowing Apps to be installed alongside the core routing software. There is a range of off-the-shelf Apps that add additional capabilities. To help accelerate IoT projects, Jola can develop Apps on a consultancy basis.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

Connected Kiosks in Hotels

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Mar-2021 11:04:11

Self-service kiosks in hotels allow guests to check themselves in and out. They are really useful at peak times to reduce waiting times and improve customer experience. Automating processes help reduce costs for the hotel, who no-longer need to pay employees a premium to work unsociable hours on the front desk. Kiosks are also used to promote up-grades and extras, generating additional revenues.

MSPs installing self-service kiosks in multiple locations need to consider electricity points, the availability of connectivity as well as managing an increasingly complex IT network at each location.

Connected kiosks often require gateways and routers in addition to 4G. Managing multiple connected kiosks in different locations can be costly and complex to manage. Site surveys are often required to establish the strongest 4G signal in each location.

Jola partners offer a unique solution with their Intelligent 4G routers. Our routers are smart and negate the need for a gateway. Jola SIMs are all managed within one easy portal. MSPs can easily manage and monitor data usage across sites. Our eSIMs offer multi-network roaming data across all four major mobile networks and our routers arrive pre-configured.

Suitable for mobile broadband and large scale IoT roll outs, our routers run a unique operating system allowing Apps to be installed alongside the core routing software. There is a range of off-the-shelf Apps that add additional capabilities. To help accelerate IoT projects, Jola can develop Apps on a consultancy basis.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

Intelligent Connectivity - the key to resellers' IoT success.

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 18-Nov-2020 08:50:09

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.

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Topics: 4G, IoT, M2M

How is Jola helping MSPs specialising in retail?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 12-Dec-2019 14:38:56

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.

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Topics: M2M, MSPs

How is Jola helping Solution Providers in the transport industry?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 03-Dec-2019 17:11:29

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.

Challenges

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.

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Topics: mobile data, M2M, Multi-network SIMs

How are Jola helping MSPs who specialise in logistics?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 03-Dec-2019 16:59:33

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.

Fleet Management

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.

Transit Management

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.

Challenges

Typically, MSPs have partnered with the mobile carriers directly for SIMs, however many have struggled with a lack of flexibility and control.

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Topics: IoT, M2M, MSPs

How can the channel benefit from M2M?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 09-Oct-2019 17:57:10

 

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.

Transport

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.

Utilities

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.

Health

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.

Security

Commercial security is getting smarter. CCTV and alarms can be monitored securely and footage can be stored remotely.

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Topics: M2M

Paying too much for Roaming SIMs?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 04-Sep-2019 11:11:36

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.

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Topics: JolaMobile, IoT, M2M

M2M/IoT in the Channel

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 12-Aug-2019 15:11:51

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

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.

Private 4G

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.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

Going up against the mobile carriers

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 17-Jul-2019 11:29:28

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.

Contract terms

Often the carriers demand longer contract terms. More flexible contract terms can sometimes be the difference to clinch the deal.

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Topics: 4G, mobile data, M2M

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