Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Manageable mobile data for retailers

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 30-Jun-2021 14:29:29

Retailers want fast, reliable, cost-effective internet connectivity in stores for EPOS till systems, kiosks, advertising screens, WiFi etc. They often use 4G as a back-up to a fixed line primary circuit, to ensure business continuity. 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 engineers to site to establish the strongest signal costs time and money. 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. They want full control over every element of the roll out.

Jola offers a wide range of multi-network roaming SIMs, with aggregated pools, offering multiple terabytes of data across thousands of sites globally. Our multi-network SIMs are un-steered, connect to the strongest available signal and retain connectivity when multiple carrier networks fail.

Mobile Manager is our online management portal for ordering and managing estates of mobile data SIMs. Our white label portal communicates in real-time with multiple 4G networks and can be used by both MSPs and their retailers. Mobile Manager handles SIM activations, ceases, suspensions, reports, alerts and bolt-ons.

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Topics: 4G, Multi-network SIMs

4G in smart transport networks

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 09-Jun-2021 17:28:28

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, engine telemetry 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: 4G

Unlimited data

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 26-May-2021 11:39:17

Unlimited data SIM cards have been available for a while. They are great for users who don’t want to worry about how much data they are consuming each month. MSPs prefer to buy wholesale packages fit for purpose, they can control.

Jola supplies unlimited data packages, fit for purpose on 30-day, 12-month and 24-month contracts that will work on 5G, where available. They are keenly priced and designed to work in routers and M2M devices.

Jola also offers a range of intelligent 4G routers which provide high speed connectivity for M2M and IoT applications. They are all IoT gateways, with built-in intelligence. Our models are competitively priced and available to order via Mobile Manager. They are delivered to site pre-configured with a Jola SIM and are suitable for mobile broadband and large scale IoT roll outs.

In Demand

Demand for unlimited data SIMs is high, as is demand for intelligent 4G routers. MSPs partnering with Jola and selling unlimited data packages enjoy an uplift in revenue and margin.

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Topics: 4G

Why sell 4G SIMs?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 13-May-2021 08:40:34

There are two types of partners that sign up with Jola for SIMs. The first already has an opportunity and needs a supplier to help fulfil their 4G element; the second is looking to grow their business by adding profitable M2M/IoT revenue streams to their portfolio.

Experienced Partners

Partners with existing opportunities often have strong relationships with their clients. Although they may not yet offer 4G, they are trusted advisors and source the elements they need to build and roll out solutions. These partners are looking for a solution to a data problem. They need a partner to provide a cost-effective solution and help them win their bid. This may involve presales and product development to create a tailored solution. MSPs winning bids for thousands of connected devices, such as iPads for the NHS and tablets for local schools, often include SIMs and associated security measures to help win the deal.

New Partners

New partners selling 4G data for the first time want to understand the products, pricing and, more importantly, the opportunity. Partners with a large connectivity base often start by offering 4G backup solutions and temporary Ethernet solutions. Many can already see how the product would meet the needs of their audience and package it accordingly. During lockdown, many sold homeworking solutions involving 4G routers and unlimited SIM cards and then moved to keyworker solutions for pop-up hospitals and testing and vaccination centres.

In retail and construction, specialists started to add 4G connectivity to their IP-CCTV and IP-PTT radios on short-term contracts for site offices. In transport, specialists sourced 4G connectivity partners for their cashless ticketing systems, on-board WiFi, IP-CCTV and tracking solutions.

Successful partners conducted case studies and produced reference sites to help them build a pipeline of similar opportunities.

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Topics: 4G

Reliable 4G Connectivity for Smart Transport Solutions

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 31-Mar-2021 17:34:58

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 an increase in demand for smart transport networks around the world, creating 4G and 5G data opportunities, which 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.

Many experienced providers offer end-to-end solutions to the transport industry, involving connected devices. Trams, buses and trains are tracked, and arrival times are accurately estimated and advertised, factoring in potential delays. These devices need 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 for 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. They have no way of tracking data usage, and if devices use more than their allocated monthly allowance, they get high data overage charges. They also need a secure channel for transmitting financial data.

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Topics: 4G

Reliable 4G Connectivity for Point-of-Sale Devices

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 31-Mar-2021 12:22:58

In today’s restaurants, PoS devices do so much more than taking orders. They can also connect with inventory management systems, back-end pricing systems, loyalty programmes and so much more. Before handheld devices, servers had to write down orders and take them back to a centralised terminal or stand behind them to fulfil orders.

PoS systems allow servers to spend more time with customers to improve their experience. They allow servers to promote new menus and link loyalty accounts to keep customers coming back for more.

Challenges

One of the challenges MSPs face when installing PoS systems is Internet connectivity. Where 4G signal is strong, it is often used, as it is quick and easy to set up. Multinetwork SIMs offer simplicity for chains in multiple locations.

Jola’s Solution

Jola eSIMs offer multinetwork roaming data across all four major mobile networks, and our routers arrive preconfigured. Estates can be managed in Mobile Manager.

Mobile Manager

Mobile Manager is our online management portal for ordering and managing estates of mobile SIMs. Our white-label portal communicates in real-time with multiple 4G networks and can be used by both resellers and their end users. Mobile Manager handles SIM activations, ceases, suspensions, reports, alerts and bolt-ons.

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Topics: 4G

What is 4G LTE-advanced?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 03-Mar-2021 15:12:38

4G LTE offers typical download speeds of around 20Mbps and theoretical limits of 150Mbps.  A 500MB file will download in under 4 minutes. 4G LTE offers upload speeds of around 8Mbps and theoretical limits of 50Mbps.

4G LTE-Advanced is a faster version of 4G LTE with typical download speeds of 42Mbps and theoretical limits of 300Mbps. 4G LTE-Advanced offers upload speeds of 30Mbps and can theoretically reach 150Mbps.

4G LTE-Advanced is also known as 4G+, LTE-A and 4.5G. Videos will load on 4G LTE Advanced without a discernible pause and a 500MB file will download in under 2 minutes. It is faster than many home broadband connections!

EE launched this service in London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, with partial coverage in a number of other UK cities, under the name 4G+. Vodafone rolled it out in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff, Nottingham, Bristol and numerous other locations. Three launched a 4G+ service, with coverage in major cities such as London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

5G is the fastest mobile network technology available and download speeds are averaging around 130-250Mbps, but networks claim peak speeds of 1Gbps or more are already possible. Using those average speeds, a 500MB file would be downloaded in under 30 seconds. There’s less data on upload speeds, but it’s likely to average at most around half the download speed.

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Topics: 4G

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

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

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

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