Enterprise Mobility: A New Age is Coming – Part I

Enterprise Mobility Today

Is texting via SMS becoming a thing of the past?

It seems that calling with our phones or messaging using SMS/MMS on our smartphones is becoming more and more of a rarity. Probably because in today’s world, we have access to a number of alternative mobile devices and applications that allow us to communicate with colleagues, family, and friends. These include devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops/2-In-1s and applications like WhatsApp, Viber, iMessage, or Jabber.

In order to use many of these devices and applications, staying connected is critical. At home or at work, WiFi is usually how we stay connected, while we rely on cellular connectivity whenever we travel outside these locations. However, in recent years, mobile WiFi (MiFi) dongles and stand-alone multi-device connectivity MiFi Hotspots have become available for connecting laptops, tablets and other devices to the mobile data network. We’ve also seen a rise in advances such as MiFi Hotspots built right into the latest 4G smartphones, laptops with SIM slots built in, and 4G enabled tablets.

Shifts to new Devices

Not surprisingly, with these advances, more and more “connected” devices are beginning to hit the market. These devices are making use of newly offered embedded cellular modules and embedded SIM (eSIM) technology to offer advanced mobile connectivity features while using less real estate on the device. As a result, we are seeing an increase in not just smartphones and tablets, but also in connected wearables hitting the market. Even more important is the fact that with eSIM technology, these wearables can access mobile data directly without having to be tethered to your smartphone!
According to P&S Market Research, the smartwatch market is expected to reach $43.8 billion by 2023, with the standalone (untethered) category projected to experience the highest growth during the forecast period. Smartwatches like the Samsung Gear S2, Huawei Watch 2 and the Apple Watch Series 3 are among the new connected smartwatches on the market that utilize eSIM technology for 4G/3G mobile data connectivity.
Similarly, some of the latest 2-In-1s, like the ASUS Transformer Mini T102HA and the Microsoft Surface Pro 2-in-1 with LTE Advanced, provide “anywhere” connectivity by including 4G/3G access with eSIM technology built-in. According to Microsoft, the Surface Pro 2-in-1 delivers 4G LTE connectivity around the world with support of 20 LTE bands.

Other shifts toward new devices include more niche wearable technology like smart glasses. Although they remain tethered for safety reasons, smart glasses like the Vuzix Blade and Intel Vaunt are seeing greater and greater use in the Enterprise environment in Augmented Reality (AR) applications.

Shifts to new Technologies

In addition to new devices, new technologies are emerging to enhance the usability of these devices. Going back to AR devices, one important example of shifts in technology is the gesture-based AR controls by companies like ManoMotion, Crunchfish and uSens. “We firmly believe that virtual reality and AR is the next form of the computer, the next generation of smart devices,” Dr. Yue Fei, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Bay Area human-computer interaction specialist uSens, told Digital Trends.

Although voice assistants are not entirely new, assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are getting more and more skills and are being continuously improved with artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques.

Even the default technology for voice calling and messaging applications are getting a facelift on Android smartphones. Android and Samsung Messages are planned to be in wide use by the summer of 2019 and is based on a standards based open voice and messaging service developed specifically for the mobile device industry.

Enterprise Mobility vs. Consumer Mobility

So what does this mean for the enterprise versus consumer markets?

Mobility devices and functionality for the Enterprise and Consumer markets do overlap to some degree based on the size of the organization and the communication applications they use. For example, very small businesses can have much in common with the consumer market if they do not specifically seek out a specialized Enterprise Mobility Provider (ranging from AT&T to Wavelink). However for larger enterprises, there are some distinct differences: specific business applications, team collaboration applications and web conferencing applications. Larger enterprises often require higher performance devices which support global connectivity (e.g. tablets, 2-in-1s and smartphones) much more than your typical consumer. Because of this, newer, higher-priced technologies are often introduced to enterprises first, before making their way to the Consumer market. As new technologies emerge, we will therefore see more enterprise specific devices that accelerate business productivity and intelligence (e.g. enterprise specific wearables and AI functions). Of course, when it comes to the commercial side of things, enterprises obviously want a single contract, a single bill, pooled data across their devices and a single provider for their global mobile service needs, regardless of their size.

We at iBasis envision employees of the next generation enterprise will perform business tasks using these emerging devices and technologies. iBasis Global Access for Things is helping a number of companies enable the next generation of enterprise mobility with a single source for mobile data access, globally. Stay tuned for part II of this series to see how we envision this future. Come join us for the journey!

Making 2017 a Profitable Year!

It’s with great pleasure that I welcome you to the first 2017 edition of iBasis mobile newsletter. Since joining iBasis six months ago I have been amazed by the tremendous opportunities and momentum I have observed in our industry: iBasis welcomed 20 new mobile customers in 2016, and this positive trend has continued into 2017.

We are strongly committed to help you deliver the best quality of experience, with the flexibility and smart customization required for you to harvest the new growth opportunities in this exciting and challenging environment.

We are focusing all our efforts to help you prepare with the right IPX architecture, analytics support and models to leverage the current roaming opportunities and the emerging growth in the exploding global IOT sector.

We expect 2017 to be a pivotal year, especially as the new EU regulation will be fully implemented and any premiums for international calls will phase out. Roam like Home plans are impacting all regions, challenging all of us to keep up with data and video traffic demands while also reducing costs. Over the past year, with acceleration during the last quarter 2016, we have ensured that the iBasis IPX network, enhanced with our InVision advanced analytics tools, is adequately prepared to serve your growing international traffic with predictable cost and consistent quality.

We know that you can experience significant variation in bandwidth needs, with extreme peaks in summer. Traditional interconnect and pricing won’t work anymore. So, we designed models that are cost-efficient, predictable, flexible, scalable and high-quality for both data and signaling: these customized models can match cost against pressurized revenues. Plus, with our service management team, we put in place the right organization to be responsive and flexible in order to enable you to make 2017 profitable while delivering the best roamer experience.

With LTE becoming the preferred network in use both in terms of subscribers and in terms of traffic, we know that Voice over LTE will follow. We are experiencing rising demand for VoLTE interconnects and expect this to expand in 2017. Many new mobile operators, mainly in Asia and in Africa without legacy 2G/3G networks, absolutely need Voice over LTE to satisfy their customers, and we are working with many of you on interconnect implementation projects. Our multiservice IPX is fully enabled not only to smoothly deploy VoLTE interconnects but also to ensure VoLTE roaming roll-out in both LBO and S8HR scenarios.

The roaming market is in a state of rapid evolution and disruption with the emergence of new IOT/M2M companies providing new kinds of connectivity for a very diverse range of devices and applications. It represents an exciting opportunity in terms of new pockets of traffic and revenues. I hope to meet many of you in the upcoming months, and I look forward to discussing further how we can help make 2017 a more profitable year for you.