For most organizations, internet access is an essential tool for their business. At the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a sudden rush to support remote working and the provision of WiFi for employees regardless of location became a top priority. In this case study, we’ll examine how one Pelion customer was able to quickly move to cover this gap in the remote WiFi market, thanks to the low latency cellular coverage provided by Pelion SIMs.
This Pelion customer has been at the forefront of connectivity technology for over 25 years. In the search for an IoT solution that could deliver improved agility and up-time for their customers, their CEO led the company to become an early provider of innovative multi-WAN connectivity solutions in the UK and abroad. They offer a flexible combination of multiple simultaneous WAN technologies such as satellite and LTE, to ensure ultra-reliable and portable, remote connectivity that is easy to configure and deploy. However, they quickly encountered challenges with the overwhelming management workload for their SIM cards, turning to Pelion for the solution.
“When working with customers in the remote WiFi market, reliable connectivity is their main priority. The Pelion solution offers the ultimate in resilience.”CEO
- High speed data transit: Remote WiFi requires reliable low-latency connectivity for rapid deployment. Specialized hardware was developed, which uses multi-WAN technology to deliver the ideal solution for internet access. In the UK market, they were the first to introduce this technology which provides resilience using multiple simultaneous cellular data networks with SIMs from several providers.
- Flexibly covers any use case: Providing internet access for remote broadcasting was the first IoT solution offered by the company. As they created new and updated hardware, they saw uptake rolling out across different channels, expanding from simple remote WiFi to blue light services, military, security and other markets in need of guaranteed remote connectivity.
- Robust, secure and reliable: With their hardware aggregating different networks to ensure uptime and performance, they effectively replaced the expensive, unreliable and clunky satellite connectivity that was commonly used by their customers. Mobile, battery-powered connectivity allows an end user to be connect at any given moment, from anywhere, secured with military-grade encryption.
As a pioneer in multi-WAN connectivity solutions, the case study subject became the foremost trusted provider of multi-WAN technology in the UK. Before they approached Pelion, they were using Pay As You Go top up SIMs to provide connectivity for their hardware units. The workload of managing these SIMs was unsustainable: a customer would place an order for a remote WiFi deployment the next day and the order fulfilment would require locating a unit, obtaining multiple SIMs, contacting the MNO to top up, configuring the unit and shipping it. On occasion it could take up to two hours to top up 4 different SIMs, a very time-consuming process which essentially became a full-time job for 2 employees.
“Pelion solved our admin nightmare.”Operations Manager
Pelion provides reliable network coverage, with an M2M SIM that does not require pre-pay top ups. Flexible billing was critical – as connectivity needs fluctuate from month to month, with a surge of data usage during an uptick in remote working or seasonally as site WiFi is deployed at construction sites. Pelion offered huge time savings, as the bulk of network operator management is handled entirely within one convenient, easy to use platform.
“Having to top up PAYG SIMs was the most frustrating activity. Now we receive simplified billing for any network, any data and any device.”CEO
Benefits of Pelion
Ultra-fast, high data remote connectivity
The slow remote internet of the past is simply not an option anymore for most businesses looking to deploy workers outside the office or offer WiFi to passengers. Low latency and high bandwidth are a must, with use cases like video streaming, broadcasting, or other data-heavy activities becoming more and more common for remote WiFi.
Luckily, by utilising pre-existing cellular networks, connected devices can transmit data quickly and reliably, regardless of location. Routing our connectivity over the best 4G LTE networks, Pelion offers the ultimate in reliability for high data usage, packaged into one flexible plan. By combining our partnership with the top operators and our private APN infrastructure, high speed data transit comes as standard.
“If you require a connectivity provider with 100% uptime, then you should look no further than Pelion. Whether it’s blue light services, live video or radio broadcasts, we have never had a network outage with Pelion.”Operations Manager
Transparency in data usage, billing and troubleshooting
Pelion offers multiple network options in one platform, with no need to top up SIM cards. It also provides increased transparency for Pelion customers, as well as their end users. We provide the capability to see all the SIMs in deployment, if they’re active, when they last transmitted data, as well as how much data they use. These are all valuable insights that go beyond the typical data supplied by other operators.
End users can also request access to the portal to view their SIMs and relevant data. Some customers may even prefer to troubleshoot any issues themselves. The platform allows them to view their SIMs and do their own diagnostic checks. This enables Pelion customers to offer greater flexibility to their users; the client can choose to be more hands on in their troubleshooting, thanks to the easy-to-use Pelion platform and the toolset it offers.
Resilient, flexible connectivity
Remote WiFi is an absolute must, so resilient connectivity is critical. Major service interruption issues that strike at the wrong time can cause significant downtime, loss of revenue or even a critical emergency. Network infrastructure must be solid and up-time guaranteed; if a SIM doesn’t work at the right time, then the end user is left frustrated and disconnected, or potentially in danger, such as during very remote construction work.
The case study customer has enabled connectivity from anywhere, with WiFi streaming for passengers from a taxi driving across London, a train traveling at 120mph, or even in the middle of a field during a festival. Pelion’s reliable SIM connectivity solution, combined with their specialist hardware, has enabled this customer to offer truly reliable mobile remote connectivity in a widening range of markets that include blue light services and military and security operations.
“For me, with my engineering background, it’s key to always have a backup, a spare, a standby option just in case. Our customers have the same approach. Diversifying connectivity to ensure reliability is a necessity.“CEO
The Pelion customer has big ambitions for their future plans, as their business has expanded and diversified over time. Now looking to other potential revenue streams, they continue to embrace cutting-edge technology, with their eyes on the possibilities provided by the hugely increased bandwidth and lower latency of 5G. They’re interested in adapting their hardware to work over eSIM as well, which would allow them to deploy more easily during their global expansion.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, they found that although the usual contracts for summer festivals and site WiFi were postponed, remote working became a new market for them to explore. For many organizations, critical business is still being done virtually and reliable connectivity is a must for meetings over virtual platforms. By offering easily configured, resilient connectivity, they have ventured into the home working market. Small Proofs of Concept (POCs) from the beginning of the pandemic have now accelerated, with the potential for 1000s of devices to be deployed. They’ve identified many different use cases coming out of the crisis, including virtual concerts, virtual dinners with VIPs or even remote sport, where the connectivity must be completely secure, reliable and easy to deploy.
“Pelion helps solve enormous pain points and allow us to focus on the solutions we’re delivering for our customers.”CEO