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Blogs

On the move: why digital enterprises need transparent mobility

In part one of this blog post, I discussed how the digital economy requires greater visibility from the mobile industry. In this blog post, I will continue by looking at how this impacts the concept of cross-border mobility.

Many devices will be in permanent roaming mode, while others will switch between domestic connectivity and an international roaming connection. For example, a connected car may have all its connectivity set up for one particular country, but when it crosses an international border, the whole system switches to a roaming setup.

In a roaming world, enterprises are looking at MNOs to offer data plan flexibility, including low data usage plans and shared data plans. While low data usage plans are ideally suited for devices where usage is highly predictable, shared plans offer a usage allowance that can be shared across multiple devices.

To keep tabs on usage both nationally and internationally, enterprises also need failsafe monitoring. Visibility through alerts or online portals lets companies set and amend usage thresholds. If a device is just about to reach its usage threshold, those head office managers will know they’re ahead of the game and can take immediate action. Alerts help to keep usage down and also prevent potential fraud.

Cost-effective connectivity

Beyond monitoring usage, companies may also want to set up user policies, including who can use a device and how they can use it, as well as when and where they use it.

Tim Sherwood, Tata Communications
Tim Sherwood, Tata Communications

Tata Communications MOVE can help enterprises manage these needs of visibility and control, while enabling them to switch between roaming and domestic connectivity seamlessly. Tata Communications MOVE works on the principles of virtualised and programmable MNaaS (mobile network as a service), which ensures network independent global connectivity. Its API based integration supports enterprise applications and portals to give complete visibility and control. This results in a flexible way of operating, and a means of enforcing usage policies.

Technologies such as eSIM and network function virtualisation (NFV) can enable enterprises with more control on borderless device connectivity as enterprises and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) gain the ability to dynamically select the network operators they wish to get connected to. While eSIM offers a virtual control mechanism, a hub is required to be created to normalise the differences in its specifications.

This gradual shift in the power dynamics between enterprises on the global communications demand side and MNOs on the global communications supply side can evolve further, with enterprises seeking to establish themselves as MVNOs, thus gaining even more control over their own communications tariffs policies and costs.

The web is worldwide – mobility should be too

It is important to think truly globally. When we use the worldwide web, it’s exactly as the name suggests – worldwide. The same concept now needs to apply to mobility and IoT as they work towards offering end-to-end connection between multiple devices or humans and devices.

A confluence of technological developments is contributing towards this vision. NFV and virtual SIM, along with cloud-based technologies are paving the way for a virtualised, platform-based approach to connectivity and control. These technologies will help establish the consistency, giving more control to enterprises on their own connected devices. More visibility and control of the usage will encourage enterprises to adopt IoT solutions, enabling the global mobile economy to thrive.

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