IoT, Partners

Is Cellular IoT Connectivity Really a Better Data Solution for your Customers?

Cellular IoT connectivity is the technology that connects physical objects to the internet using cellular mobile networks like Vodafone, O2 or EE, just as a regular SIM card does. An IoT SIM however is not a mobile broadband SIM, a regular mobile broadband SIM card only provides connectivity and does not include the additional functionality offered by IoT connectivity providers. IoT SIM cards can help improve and make it easier to scale your business by attracting more customers, reducing costs, and beating the competition. This blog will highlight some of the core benefits an IoT SIM card can offer and why this is a better data solution for your customers.

What Does an IoT SIM Card Offer?

Flexibility of Contracts, Costs and Coverage:

Regular Mobile Broadband SIMs have often proven difficult to manage at scale and deploy over many regions at a reasonable cost, IoT SIMs however provide much more flexibility and open possibilities such as:

  • Flexible Commercial Structures – Contract terms that accommodate your specific business needs and let you stay in control over your usage volume and billing date for example.
  • Local Multi-Network Access – A single IoT SIM can prioritise the strongest signal available by automatically switching between networks seamlessly on a global scale. No more switching SIMs for international roaming.
  • Flexibility Over Managing Your SIM Estate – Pause, resume and cancel a SIM or edit its associated terms remotely.

A New Level of Management & Control

Many IoT devices don’t provide screens that offer user interface settings, data usage or their network status and so most operators offer a type of SIM Management Portal instead. This can offer your business and customers real-time insights into the data volume used, connected networks, costs associated with devices and the ability to control and manage these options anywhere and at any time.

Access & Security:

Regular Mobile Broadband SIM cards assign dynamic IP addresses to a device, and this changes each time it may establish a connection making it very difficult to gain remote access to the SIM. IoT SIMs on the other hand can use private static IP addresses in combination with a VPN, public static IP addresses, and private APNs meaning a device can be accessed remotely wherever the location, once deployed. Log into your device to manage, change and execute commands while it’s out in the field. The majority of IoT SIMs are ruggedised, preventing the risk of failure in critical IoT solutions and with every device being kept separate, the data being transmitted is protected, with private APNs controlling network access and secure VPNs in place, your IoT devices will be safe against unauthorised access.

How Does This Benefit a Business?

IoT solutions can help businesses become more successful by:

Advancing Equipment Maintenance

  • IoT sensors in the manufacturing industry can help determine which equipment requires maintenance and what type of care it needs.
  • Machinery with built-in sensors can notify staff about breakdowns and delivery schedules, working to reduce risks and predict future issues.
  • The IoT SIMs implemented in such equipment could help save thousands of pounds in maintenance costs.

Making Employees More Productive

  • IoT smart sensors implemented in offices and manufacturing areas can collect employee data regarding performance, employee engagement and other activities.
  • This data can used by managers to effectively manage staff and distribute their time and effort more successfully to aid the working environment and efficiently use the working hours available.

Enhancing Security

  • IoT SIMs integrated into equipment means machinery can respond much quicker to any security risk as its reaction time is much faster than that of a human operator.
  • In addition to this, security systems learn from previous risks and become even more efficient in predicting and spotting a threat to the system.

Expanding Your Global Capability

  • With a new level of seamless coverage, use a single SIM for global IoT connectivity and gain access to new connectivity partnerships on a global scale.
  • Create or expand projects internationally to open new opportunities and maximise revenue, all while keeping your costs down through a single IoT solution.

Improving The Customer Experience

  • Implementing IoT data analytics can allow you to analyse data usage to gain a better understanding of customers’ behaviour, helping you to predict their future needs or actions.
  • This can aid marketing in terms of effective targeted advertising or promotional campaigns using the data gathered.

What Can Cellhire IoT Connectivity Solutions Provide You?

  • IoT proposition that meets the demands of critical IoT solutions
  • Global Network Capability – Single Network, Multi-Network, International & Roaming.
  • SIM Management Portal – Network agnostic, reporting, automation & control white label capabilities.
  • Security – Secure and resilient networks with resilient DVPN providing private & public static IP
  • Flexible Commercials – Flexible commercial structure designed for IoT use cases including Pooled, Individual, Bundles & Cellhire Flex to deliver increased margin opportunities
  • IoT Grade SIM – Ruggedised IoT SIM, preventing the risk of failure in critical IoT solutions
  • Dedicated Support – Sales & Technical Support Teams

IoT Connectivity solutions can help your business become more efficient and scalable by attracting more customers, reducing your costs and winning further competition in the industry. The additional functionality and flexibility provided by an IoT SIM card can future-proof your business enabling it to flourish, while businesses that neglect to implement innovative connectivity face a risk of losing customers and profits. Don’t wait around, enquire about becoming an Cellhire IoT Connectivity Solutions Partner today.

Email: resellers@cellhire.com
Call: +44 (0)1904 610610
Visit: https://www.cellhire.co.uk/partners

IoT, Partners

What are the Advantages of Cellular IoT Connectivity?

IoT requires consistent connectivity to construct networks and share data. Cellular IoT is one connectivity option, which operates in the licensed spectrum. This means it can only be used when assigned exclusively to operators for independent usage, ensuring reliability through a relatively consistent infrastructure. Cellular connectivity solutions are generally provided by larger operators who have access to licensed spectrum, as this comes at a higher cost. However, the global cellular standards means that IoT hardware is more easily obtained, the devices operational lifetime is generally much longer, and it’s virtually guaranteed by the network operators to be more reliable than other connectivity options. So, what are the core advantages of cellular IoT connectivity?

Global Coverage

The most reliable and logical connection option is cellular connectivity, with cellular towers already in place across the world and network gateways supporting remote deployments, cellular IoT connectivity can provide nearly ubiquitous global coverage. The extensive coverage already in place allows the management of devices being deployed in different areas of the world, which is key for IoT projects where accessing the data is essential. In most cases, you’ll be able to deploy as many devices to wherever they are needed and start operating straight away. Cellular roaming poses another option if you’re moving between regions or providing a solution in an unknown area, your provider will be able to facilitate seamless connectivity through a multi-network SIM. As 5G becomes more accessible across the world, cellular becomes a great solution for larger scale IoT deployments and will improve the overall speed and responsiveness of cellular connectivity.

Usability

Cellular is a top favourite among IoT connectivity solutions down to the increasing demand for extensive network coverage areas and low power consuming devices. The simplicity of deployment is a core advantage of cellular connectivity, deploy your device, activate your SIM to connect to your chosen network and you are all set. This SIM based connectivity disregards the need to set up to time consuming and complicated hardwired networks. With multi IoT device support, you can support millions of IoT devices through one use case. Cellular IoT connections are made up of several subcategories, meaning you can select the one that matches your data transmission needs and avoid paying for the most expensive solution. If your device doesn’t require constant connectivity and immediate reaction time, then you can choose a more affordable and suitable option for you. Emerging low power networks will help deliver the connectivity for the proliferation of devices & sensors and other cellular technologies like eSIM are quickly gaining popularity in the market, providing a flexible way to remotely connect devices throughout their lifetime, cost effectively, without needing a physical SIM card.

Reliability

As cellular operates in the licensed spectrum, the performance and reliability of communication is guaranteed. Most IoT SIM cards provided for IoT devices can switch between network operators, unlike consumer SIMs, automatically connecting to the strongest signal available to ensure consistent connectivity and minimised downtime. Technicians can remotely track interlinked devices, they are able to connect, disconnect and troubleshoot wherever they may be located, rather than manually fixing the systems. This minimises operational inefficiencies and reduces field service costs significantly. Cellular IoT connectivity also has a much greater battery life, cellular sensors transmit great volumes of data on a global scale, without losing considerable battery power by switching off the receiving section of the cellular module for a fraction of a second. 5G IoT SIM cards even have the ability to remove fixed line through its QoS.

Security

Security is another great advantage cellular connectivity holds over other solutions. As cellular networks use SIM cards for authentication, it proves difficult to hoax the identify of a device. With every device being kept separate, the data being transmitted is protected, with private APNs controlling network access and secure VPNs in place, your IoT devices will be safe against unauthorised access. Combining this level of security with a properly managed connectivity service will give you visibility and control that other connectivity options cannot give.

If you want to find out more about how cellular IoT connectivity could support your projects, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us on our details below:

Visit: https://www.cellhire.co.uk/iot
Email: resellers@cellhire.com
Call: +44 (0)1904 610610

Hints & Tips, IoT, Partners

A Guide to M2M & IoT Essential Terms & Definitions

M2M/IoT is the hot topic of the industry, but it involves many acronyms and abbreviations, making it difficult to stay in the loop. This guide explores some of the essential key terms and definitions around M2M & IoT.

What is IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) involves data transferred over a network without human intervention or personal data usage.

The official definition describes IoT as the network of physical objects that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.

IoT connections typically use smaller volumes of data under 1GB. It often requires a more technical configuration such as Fixed IP and/or Private APNs & VPNs for secure device communications and control. Connectivity may be restricted to a private network or be granted open internet access.

Use-case devices include meters, kiosks, digital signage, taxi connectivity, airport kiosks, electricity meters, mobile CCTV, tracking devices, wind turbines and other loT connected devices.

What is M2M?

M2M – Machine to Machine is the direct communication between devices using any type of communications channel without manual intervention by humans.

M2M is made up of data connectivity solutions that often do not require a Fixed IP, instead it uses a generic APN for open-internet access. Typically, M2M uses large volumes of data, from 1GB per month to 10TB on a single SIM.

The range of applications would include use in Mobile Broadband Routers, MiFi Routers, Peplink SIM bonding devices and mobile broadcast cameras. Use cases include instant site connectivity, broadband contingency, mobile broadcast connectivity and wireless mobile broadband for marine/transport.

What is an IP Address?

IP Addresses are a device’s unique identity on a network, enabling a device to access network resources, and in turn allow other devices to access the device.
An IP address serves two main functions, network interface identification and location addressing.
IP stands for Internet Protocol, think of it like a device’s phone number. You need one both to make calls out, and to receive them, just like you need an IP to share files with another user, browse the Internet, or make a video call. An example of an IPv4 IP address is 192.0.1.1

What is a Dynamic IP Address?

Dynamic IP Addresses are assigned automatically based on preconfigured settings in the network and dedicated DHCP servers (dynamic host configuration protocols), which manage a pool of IP addresses available for use. Dynamic IP addresses are not fixed to a device and can change.

What is a Static IP Address?

Static IPs are fixed – They don’t change.

What is a Fixed IP Address?

Fixed IP Addresses remain static and don’t change over time. Their use allows for opening two-way communication between the IoT device and the customer organisation’s servers.

What is a Public Fixed IP Address?

Public Fixed IP provides a static and a public IP address. It is unique on a global scale and allows for connections to an IoT device from any other host connected to the Internet. In this case, a standard Public APN is used.

What is a Private Fixed IP Address? 

Private Fixed IP provides a static and a private IP address. Such an address is valid only within a particular customer organisation’s network (which is an example of a private network). In this case, a customer-defined Private APN must be used.

What is an APN?

APN – Access Point Name is the name of a gateway and point of entry onto the Internet (IP network) from a mobile network.

Public APN – (Default network APN)

Private APN – (Corporate APN) is used to access a specific network. The traffic flows securely and directly from the IoT device via the mobile network to the customer’s private network, where it terminates. This traffic does not travel across the open-Internet.

What is a VPN?

VPN – Virtual Private Network is a layer of security for Internet access from an IoT device. It allows for the data exchange to remain confidential via encryption and decryption mechanisms. It is crucial when a device remains connected to the Internet via a public network, including Public APN.

What is LAN?

LAN – Local Area Network is a network of computers or devices that share common communications lines or wireless links to a server in a limited area, for example a residence or university campus. Computers and mobile devices use a LAN connection to share resources such as a printer or network storage.

What is WAN?

WAN – Wide Area Network is a broadband network that provides communication over a large geographic area. It requires high bandwidth and low latency. A network of bank cash dispensers or a company network with several offices all geographically distant, would be an example of WAN.

What is API?

API – Application Programming Interface is the technical interface that allows different applications to work with one another. API’s enhance user experiences by fostering connections between technologies.

What is LPWAN?

LPWAN – Low-Power Wide-Area Networks enables low power consumption and long-range wireless connectivity. It connects low-bandwidth devices with low bit rates over long ranges, allowing IoT devices to operate reliably for up to 10 years on a single battery charge.

What is Edge Computing?

Edge Computing improves response times and saves bandwidth by the computational processing of sensor data, bringing it closer to the logical edge of the network and individual sources of data. Instead of sending data to data cloud centres, edge computing ensures real time processing without latency.

Join the Cellhire Partner Programme.
Visit: http://www.cellhire.co.uk/partners
Email: resellers@cellhire.com
Call: +44 (0)1904 610610

Hints & Tips, Partners

Six Reasons To Partner With Cellhire

Have you thought about adding mobile to your portfolio to maximise revenue or looking for a new mobile partnership, to enhance your current offering?

Cellhire gives you the tools, support, flexibility as well as great commercials to help you succeed. 

  1. Direct Service Provider of Vodafone, O2 and EE

Cellhire has an extensive range of network tariffs and solutions. Aggressive commercials on flexible contract terms give you the best opportunity to win and retain business. 

2. Bespoke Tariff Capabilities 

Don’t be limited by standard network tariffs and solutions. Give your customers what they need and differentiate from other resellers or dealers with bespoke tariff options. 

3. SIM Management Portal 

With API integration into the networks, our portal puts you in control. Real-time access to manage your connections and SIM estate including, SIM activations, bars, SIM swaps and alerts – fast, accurate; anytime, anywhere. 

4. International SIMs

Need a local international SIM that works for customers in the US, France, Ireland or further afield? With our international SIM portfolio, it’s covered. Local Solutions for customers who travel regularly or have offices abroad. 

5. Value Added Products 

Cellhire is a global mobility expert and more than just a SIM provider. Grow your revenue streams with additional products and services including IoT/M2M, Mobile Connectivity, Roaming SIMs, eSIM (MVNO) and Satellite. 

6. Industry Leading Billing and Provisioning Engine

Atlas is an expert, in-house automated billing and provisioning engine created by Cellhire. It is a multi-tiered, cloud-based system capable of rating calls multiple times per day and providing frequent CDRs with minimal delay. Atlas is ISO 27001 certified.

Want to find out more about becoming a partner?
Contact us on:
t: +44 (0)1904 610610
e: resellers@cellhire.com
w: www.cellhire.co.uk/partners

Hints & Tips, Partners

5G in 2022, Are You Ready?

5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks has been around for a few years already. At the end of last year, 2021, 79 nations have either commercialised 5G or are conducting 5G trials. The UK, however, is one of the most developed markets in Europe in terms of 5G rollout, but what does this mean exactly? This blog will further explore the state of 5G in the UK, how it’s changing the likes of data usage and how this brings new opportunities to businesses across the UK, before looking at 5G comparisons across the globe. 

Currently, in the UK, the four main mobile operators have already launched 5G, EE was the first to do so, launching its 5G services back in May 2019. Currently, EE’s 5G network is available in over 160 towns and cities, Vodafone 127, O2 194 and Three over 100. Smaller MVNOs such as Voxi and Giffgaff have recently started offering 5G plans, although the location of availability is dependent on the host MNO. Speed tests carried out in 2020 found that the UK’s 5G speeds were nearly four times faster than 4G. However, due to the limited availability of spectrum, it was not quite as advanced as Ofcom, the UK regulator had set out. Therefore, in 2021, Ofcom held a 5G spectrum auction, with frequencies available leading to an 18% increase in the region’s mobile capacity. With the expansion of the 5G spectrum, mobile broadband has improved and boosted 5G deployment, and with it, 5G speeds. If you’re still unsure on how fast 5G is, 5G offers access to theoretical speeds of 100 Gigabits a second, it takes 300 to 400 milliseconds to blink, so if you blink, you will miss it! As technology progresses this year there will be a greater demand from businesses and consumers to migrate to 5G capable hardware such as smartphone and routers.

The fast adoption rate, speed, and low latency of 5G is driving data usage. In 2020 alone, UK 5G users consumed 2.5x more mobile data than 4G users driven by video, gaming, and higher resolutions all on mobile. In an age of increasingly advanced smartphones, businesses and consumers will only continue to increase the amount of data they consume on mobile devices. 5G users are becoming more prone to using their data connections for tethering, as connections are often multiple-times faster and more reliable than fixed-line broadband. With 5G holding such a high device capacity, it becomes a great option for business; it is estimated that 5G deployments can support 1,000,000 connected devices per 0.38 square miles (243 acres), in comparison, 4G can only support 2,000. 

With 5G, business networks can undertake simultaneous data transfers, flexible working and allow feasible remote working, especially in current COVID times. The lower latency offered by 5G can improve the functionality and security of devices by its ability to boost encryption and by reaching real-time access, meaning complex tasks will be performed quicker with fewer interruptions. With the PSTN Switch off in 2025 looming, businesses need to remain competitive and ambitious by equipping IoT and 5G devices promptly. In terms of the economic benefits, O2 state that the UK could benefit from time and productivity savings of £6 billion per annum, suggesting that the investment of 5G devices is indeed worthwhile. Such a surge in mobile data usage on the new spectrum presents a new opportunity for operators to monetise the billions of pounds being invested into 5G, securing assets from the uncongested spectrum. Construction and Agriculture industries could see benefits almost 10x higher than the costs associated with 5G upgrades, through increased efficiency, improved safety, compliance, and enhanced devices. For example, field conditions can be more accurately monitored through an improved network of 5G data-collecting sensors. 

As 5G is still new to the world of business in the UK, most networks providers are keen to grow their 5G mobile data networks and are happy to provide companies with the network support they need, as well as a comprehensive range of solutions for their business customers. With the deployment of 5G also comes the need for 5G education, teams cannot make the most out of the new technology and perceived benefits. 5G education will help businesses understand how the network’s benefits can support business goals and drive growth; it will become an essential skill for a thriving and successful business. 

The UK’s 5G deployment is a close contender behind the US, accounting for a 57% share of 5G connections, however, America is seeing a slower rollout across the country. This year is expected to see two-thirds of the country’s population covered with a 5G service. The slower rollout in the US is said to be down to; the availability of space in the spectrum, the deployment of new network equipment that isn’t manufactured in the US, meaning purchases take longer, and the lack of apps driving the usage of 5G. Although most large mobile operators in the US, such as AT&T and Verizon are offering 5G, the location of availability is limited to urban areas and main traffic routes but is expanding across the country. European countries are expanding their 5G service at a completely different pace due to these areas being densely populated, in Germany alone Vodafone’s 5G network reached 30 million people at the end of 2021. Europe has quickly gotten onboard with 5G deployment compared to the US; however, they cannot simply be compared in terms of their share of 5G connections due to the different sized populations and rollout of cellular network towers across the countries.

It is clear to see that 5G’s rollout across the globe is not in one constant development but fragmented by country because of sizing and population density. The UK’s 5G deployment is developing constantly and becoming a more viable option for consumers and businesses across the country. With constant advancements in technology and the PSTN Switch Off looming, 5G mobile data and IoT devices are becoming the future of communication. 

As an award-winning partner of the three leading UK networks (Vodafone, O2 & EE), Cellhire provides unbiased advice and a large choice of connectivity options to really maximise success. Cellhire helps grow and create new revenue opportunities for channel partners.
Have you thought of adding mobile to maximise revenue? 
Visit: https://www.cellhire.co.uk/partners

Hints & Tips, Partners, UK News

PSTN Switch Off 2025 – What Opportunities are Arising?

The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) allows for traditional fixed line telephony over copper telephone lines using analogue signalling. In addition to traditional voice services, many specialised services that use the PSTN will need to make the move to digital solutions before the December 2025 PSTN/ISDN switch off and September 2023 “Stop-Sell” deadlines. It’s estimated that over 2 million local UK businesses will be impacted, creating a surge in opportunities with the move to completely digital. This blog will highlight the different opportunities that have arisen, how different digital solutions compare and how known connectivity issues can be solved with new advancements. 

Many businesses believe the decision is strictly between switching to Hosted Voice (VoIP) or mobile, however, it’s not just a question of which solution to switch to, it’s finding the correct match to how a business operates. For larger businesses, VoIP could be considered a more practical solution, allowing multiple devices to be integrated, whether landline or mobile, and can reduce the downtime caused by repairs or issues with the copper wires. Many, however, have concerns over the overall cost, security, reliability, and QoS of a VoIP solution versus the perceived benefits. For many businesses such a heavy investment may not be needed.

The shift to mobile in recent years has seen ‘Mobilepreneurs’ on the rise, with over 31,000 new smartphone-based businesses predicted in the next 3 years, according to O2 Business. With micro-businesses making up 96% of all businesses in the UK, the rise in reliance on mobile voice and data services could lower the cost of tariffs even further as mobile becomes a more widespread option for small businesses across the country. With the addition of mobile applications that mimic traditional PBX functionality, businesses of all sizes could see a cost-benefit of switching to a ‘mobile only’ communications strategy.

With these fundamental changes, what opportunities arise? VoIP is still a choice for solutions where voice is needed such as lifts comms and door systems, however, there are key opportunities in specialised services, by utilising 4G/5G mobile data connectivity instead. Primary services running on ADSL can be replaced with a stronger data connection. Street furniture, such as traffic lights, causes stress, time and demand heavy costs when digging up roads for fibre. Instead, there is a massive opportunity to switch to M2M IoT mobile data connectivity through multi-network SIMs in place of the old L2TP to eliminate unnecessary cost, time, roadworks and disruption. Examples are already out there, with businesses using intelligent mobile data to support major government public body’s to move street furniture endpoints away from the PSTN and to monetize these, often receiving millions in revenue. The UK security system industry is thriving with new opportunities waiting for change, it’s largely made up of IoT devices that rely on the PSTN and is worth £1.5bn alone. Using M2M IoT mobile data can not only aid the transition but provide better benefits and control for businesses across the country, while delivering greater financial opportunities for providers. Construction, healthcare and even the alarm industry are all in need of new connections due to the switch off and are some of the biggest industries across the UK, with 1 million alarms alone waiting to be migrated from the PSTN. The advantage of mobile means customers can be connected right away, avoiding fibre installation delays, and preventing the anxiousness of the 2025 switch off and 2023 “stop-sell” deadline looming upon us. 

With access to multiple mobile networks, M2M IoT SIMs can prioritise the strongest signal during network outages and can switch automatically, preventing maintenance issues or loss of connection. Despite 95% of the UK having access to fibre broadband, it’s not always the right solution, especially for businesses who need to connect sites right away, or those wanting to avoid long contract commitments. Legacy issues surrounding signal strength and QoS in remote locations are solved, as multi-network M2M IoT SIMs will connect to the strongest signal available and are network agnostic. Meaning if a cellular network problem occurs, it will simply automatically swap to the next strongest alternative network. Concerns on data caps and the amount of control over the data usage can be squashed, the level of customisation and the management tools available with M2M IoT SIMs will leave businesses and providers with more control and flexibility than before. 

To conclude, it’s not a question of which Hosted Voice (VoIP) or Mobile solution looks better or is more affordable, it’s about how the solution will match with a business’s operations and what benefits it will bring. The vast opportunities brought about by the switch off, not only for voice solutions but for all other specialist services, provides great financial openings and benefits waiting to be grasped. M2M IoT Mobile Connectivity is a massive opportunity for the Channel. Partner with Cellhire and discover new solutions to grow your M2M IoT revenue. Start getting involved today.

Visit: https://www.cellhire.co.uk/partners#contact-form

Email: resellers@cellhire.com

Call: +44 (0)1904 610610