We hear a lot these days about remote working and many of us have become accustomed to working from home. But there has always been a large number of people who don’t work in a traditional office and have minimum contact with colleagues.
These lone workers can be found across a range of industries, from factory site staff who maintain equipment, to van drivers, security staff, and engineers deployed to a remote location. Often, they’ll still need to keep in touch with colleagues for a variety of essential communications needs, such as real-time online updates to schedules, requests for help and information, location updates, or the requirement to log completed work.
The different types of remote operatives have a wide variety of communication needs. Maintenance staff may need online access to manuals, machine specifications or even Augmented Reality assisted repair instructions. A delivery driver may need to log completed deliveries to a database and also have access to satnav services.
In another instance, an engineer visiting a remote utility site such as a pumping station, transformer, or wind farm, may want to send video of any damage to allow it to be assessed at the head office. Or consider that taxi drivers will always need access to a reliable online payment solution.
And for safety reasons, many of these workers will require constant connectivity to ensure they always have help at hand.
Cellular offers the benefits that remote workers need
With coverage virtually everywhere, it’s no surprise that cellular networks are the connectivity method of choice for devices purpose-built for remote workers. From connected security cameras to wearable safety gear, the highest priority for these devices is continuous, reliable coverage.
By easily connecting to cellular networks using a Subscriber Identity Module, or SIM, remote workers can ensure their devices stay online and transmitting important data. This means that, whatever the needs or location of a remote worker, they will always have the connectivity they need. IoT devices with SIMs can connect moveable assets to the network to track workers’ vehicles, or to enable maintenance crews to read measurement values from utility equipment remotely. Cellular networks offer coverage in every place that IoT device might be used, with small cells allowing smart devices to be connected in areas such basements and car parks.
As well as coverage, cellular connectivity ensures a consistent and reliable service. Since data is transmitted over well-established networks that have been tried and tested, SIM-based devices benefit from supreme reliability. If one cell encounters a problem, or is seeing a very high traffic density, other cells can take over and keep connected. This means that remote workers are virtually guaranteed ‘always on’ connectivity.
This constant availability ensures that remote workers can be kept safer – some companies might use a ‘man-down’ app that provides alerts via a wearable device if a worker falls or stops moving. Using cellular connectivity provides the consistent, reliable communication that workers need to make full use of these types of safety apps.
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