We are proud to announce, we have again been accredited as the only major Telecare SIM provider to have QSF accreditation.
This weekend my Mobile/Wi-Fi router started to fail. It was still attaching to the network and delivering data but the delivery was so slow even the Google front page was timing out. After a couple of power cycles made no difference, I looked for signs it had been hijacked by next door and cleared the registry. Finally, I took all the antennas off and reattached them. Still the same result; after some initial enthusiasm it very quickly dropped back to an unusable trickle. In the end I put the problem down to age. The router is over five years old, outside warranty and doesn’t owe me anything.
Having exhausted my own very limited technical knowledge I brought the subject up on our Monday morning call. It was one of our sales, Peter, who came up with the answer-
“That’s a 3G unit.” And of course, he was right. Being in the wilds of southern Scotland the router hangs off a single mast. That mast must have been upgraded in the last couple of weeks and lost its 3G capability. That left the unit falling back to what was available, squeezing what it could out of the 2G network. That it supported email was a surprise, but in retrospect as soon as anyone else woke up there just wasn’t enough depth to support even that.
For five years I have been posting pieces about the 3G switch off. About how important it is to check your hardware estate and be sure it will support 4G before those devices is stranded. To think ahead in terms of procurement and perhaps pay that little bit extra to future proof your product. The team enjoyed the irony that I myself had been caught out and were of course very supportive.
3G sunset is happening now and will gather pace through this year. If you are not thinking about 3G you could be looking at months of service issues, support tickets raised and expensive site visits before the estate is stranded entirely. Mobius are working with our customers to identify units that appear to be 3G only so that a swap out plan can be put in place. Talk to us on 01530511180 or [email protected] about your options before it becomes a crisis, or in my case no Netflix.
2023 is the year that most of 3G will be switched off in the UK. That fairly stark sentence may come as a shock to some readers but Mobius has been talking about the 3G sunset for at least five years. Why is this happening and what impact will it have?
The why is quite straight forward, 3G has been around for more than 20 years. 3G is a separate radio system from 2G or 4G, it hogs frequency and 4G does everything 3G does, but better and cheaper. The networks stopped selling 3G phones about the same time we started talking about the sunset. So, from a network point of view ‘nobody has a 3G phone anymore’ so they don’t expect any issue in withdrawal. It’s a simple way of saving cost, offering a better service with almost no inconvenience to the phone using public.
So, no real impact then? Generally, the Operators didn’t take IoT/M2M into account. There are a huge number of health, street furniture, payment devices, premises alarms and industrial controls out there that were built with 2G/3G or 3G only modems. So when 3G goes they will either fall back onto 2G or be ‘stranded’ i.e. lose their radio connection altogether.
This won’t be a big switch off. 3G estates will see a steady degradation of their estate through the year. As masts come up for maintenance the Operators will simply take the chance to switch off and remove the old 3G kit. So it will be a patchwork process as each network follows their own maintenance programme. If a 3G unit fails during the year it simply won’t be replaced. Presumably. at the end of the year there will be some sort of tidy up of the remaining 3G sites. One of the networks is thinking they might extend the process, perhaps all the way to 2024.
A good number of IoT/M2M estate owners have taken action. A lot haven’t. Mobius has upgraded all of our SIMs from 3G to 4G at our own expense (and are looking at doing the same again to 5G) as we never wanted to tell a customer they were using a ‘legacy’ SIM. But that’s only part of the story. For more information on 3G sunsetting in the UK and around the world and what you can do to minimise disruption please contact your regular contact or on [email protected] or call us on 01530 511 180
WIRELESS LOGIC ACQUIRES MOBIUS NETWORKS
Mobius’ expertise in M2M and IoT services for critical communications, and strong customer list will strengthen Wireless Logic’s position across the public sector
LONDON, UK – 19th JULY, 2022 – Wireless Logic, the leading global IoT connectivity platform provider has acquired Mobius Networks for an undisclosed sum. Mobius is a market leading mobile virtual network operator, providing data connectivity services for Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications. This agreement marks the latest step in Wireless Logic’s business expansion following the recent acquisition of Jola.
Formed in 2004 and headquartered in Leicestershire, Mobius began as Vodafone’s preferred distributor for M2M Data SIMs for local government and smart cities. This has now expanded to other global operators and a broader set of sectors including critical national infrastructure, healthcare, and retail. At the core of the Mobius offering has been high availability, high security and a focus on excellent customer service. NVM Private Equity financed the management buyout of Mobius in 2019.
Douglas Gilmour, Mobius Networks MD commented “We are delighted to be joining the Wireless Logic Group. Mobius’s unique approach to data security as well as our deep expertise in particular verticals create a great fit with the Wireless Logic and one that will generate new opportunities across the globe. The whole Mobius team is very excited at the prospect of what we can all achieve together.”
Oliver Tucker, CEO of Wireless Logic commented, “The IoT and M2M operations market is growing rapidly, and Mobius has developed a stellar reputation and strategic position to capitalise on this growth. With Mobius onboard, the Wireless Logic Group will benefit from the deep expertise within the business and a much stronger position when targeting the public sector. We are very excited by this acquisition and look forward to working closely with the talented team at Mobius.”
Andy Leach, partner at NVM Private Equity commented “Mobius has grown significantly over the past three years and is well positioned to capitalise on the exciting prospects for the IoT and M2M market. Doug and his team have built a great business which will undoubtedly prosper under the stewardship of Wireless Logic.”
IA Global Capital acted as financial advisor to Mobius Networks for the transaction.
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ABOUT MOBIUS NETWORKS
With the explosion in IoT applications, connectivity providers and platforms must be able to support hundreds of thousands of devices in a variety of environments and in multiple countries.
Mobius has made it part of its core identity to offer M2M and IoT services for critical communications, which requires a level of attention way beyond traditional voice and data communications. Mission critical ventures must ultimately be resilient and secure with a deep understanding for industry requirements. Its services address the critical communication needs of both industry and public sector using the latest in IoT and M2M technology.
For more information, please visit: https://mobiusnetworks.wpengine.com/
ABOUT WIRELESS LOGIC
Wireless Logic is a leading global IoT connectivity platform provider that simplifies and automates IoT management for any device, anywhere. With more than 8 million IoT subscriptions active in 165 countries and direct partnerships with 48 mobile networks, Wireless Logic provides reach into more than 750 networks across the globe and delivers value throughout the IoT connectivity chain.
Its purpose-built platform offers a single window to securely connect and manage assets across any network and number of deployments. For customers, this serves to simplify supply chains, accelerate time to market, lower the total cost of ownership and deliver connectivity that just works.
As an entirely customer and market-driven organisation, Wireless Logic meets its 20,000+ customers where they are to help them innovate by providing industry expertise, service support and the most flexible, resilient and secure connectivity solutions in the market. Its broad sector expertise includes industry, agriculture, healthcare, security, transport, utilities and smart cities.
Wireless Logic is backed by Montagu Private Equity, one of the world’s leading private equity-backed investors, giving Wireless Logic Group unrivalled financial strength.
For more information, visit: https://www.wirelesslogic.com/
Donald Rumsfeld’s major contribution to western civilisation appears to have been his “There are known knowns” speech:
“…there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
Self-certification struggles with this problem. You mark yourself on what is reasonable to know or do. You particularly can’t mark yourself as failing what you don’t know, since if you did know you would do something about it.
There is then only limited merit in us marking ourselves. This is true of Quality, but it is particularly so in areas such as Security where the speed of change, the escalation of the war to build and break down defences is relentless and accelerating.
This explains why Mobius put such great store by third party validation, to discover our “unknown, unknowns” and address them. We have met the Retail gold standard- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) since 2013. We were awarded the Technology Enabled Care Association Quality Standards Framework (TSA QSF) in 2017. And in 2021 we were the first Mobile Virtual MVNO to achieve Cyber Essentials Plus. All of these push us forwards, and critically, avoid complacency of only working to our knowns.
Mobius is the only MVNO to achieve any of these accreditations individually, and therefore collectively. Together they represent a long-term commitment to getting experts to set the bar for us to then achieve, not just patting ourselves on the back. Although sometimes it is nice to do that too.
“We must make the Digital Telecare switch or risk losing lives” is the stark warning from Martyn Wallace, CDO of the Digital Office Scotland on the 17th December 2020.
We have covered some of the thinking behind this before in this blog but basically the old, twisted pair telephone system is being wound up after 50 years with its final moments in 2025. But the new digital system has already been rolled out across the country in a patchwork of providers and locations. Existing analogue systems for Technology Enabled Care, Payment and Security are increasingly failing as its ‘over the top’ analogue signals are being mistranslated to digital and back again as it hops across this patchwork system.
The whole Covid situation has highlighted the importance of good communications especially when it is difficult or possibly dangerous for staff to be on site. This has given a strong impetus to make the shift from fixed line to mobile too, more flexible, easier installation and higher standards of testing and reliability.
Martyn refers to some services being withdrawn in 2023 and that remaining two years or eighteen months will quickly evaporate. This will leave the industry scrambling to install kit in order to prevent stranded users and dead equipment. The move is made more complicated in that many Health Authorities are themselves using hybrid digital/analogue and fixed line/mobile systems.
The question is: how to install a system that is digital ready, without starting to pay for the sim service you aren’t really using until the monitoring centre is SCAIP ready? Especially as standard network SIMs have an expiry date under an obligation to Ofcom that controls the number of inactive SIMs in consumer circulation. This means that if you put standard SIMs in now when you are installing kit, they won’t work in two years’ time when you need them.
Mobius exclusively works in the Internet of Things market and is the only Airtime Provider that is accredited to the TSA Quality Standards Framework. That allows us to offer SIMs specifically profiled for the health market including a system that permits installation of the SIM- including testing- and then for the SIM to be suspended indefinitely at no cost. The SIM can then be activated remotely when the rest of the Authorities system is ready to go Digital.
This saves you extra visits, swap outs and because you have already tested the unit at the point you shipped it, testing as you already know it’s working.
To read more of Martyn’s article please click here
And to find out more about how Mobius is already helping Health Authorities go Digital today and tomorrow contact Julie on 01530 511 180 or [email protected]
It was great to receive the recognition from the MVNO World Congress this week that Mobius and Three were the best IoT Enabler for 2020. https://mobiusnetworks.wpengine.com/news/44 The case study was based around building a system that would make breast and lung screening more flexible by making them mobile and delivering data in real-time. A great asset in coping with the disruption of Covid. And a perfect story for the mad time we find ourselves in.
As ever with IoT though the story starts over six years earlier. Visbion was determined that breast and lung screening could be delivered in real-time over mobile reliably and securely. By working together in overlapping teams Adey and Advantech on the hardware cooperating with Mobius and Three on the airtime with innovative design from Visbion; a solution was built that could deliver repeatable results from anywhere in the UK and later on across Europe.
The time involved in the process was highlighted in discussions at the MVNO World Congress during a ‘Dragons Den’ event (where Mobius came second to a very worthy winner https://www.betterlifemobile.com.au/ ). The question was “Could consumer facing MVNOs take advantage of the growth in IoT?” my answer would be “yes” but that is qualified by the fact that you need to be prepared to support a project for three, five, even seven years before they turn into a source of revenue.
To be successful in IoT you have to have a good attention span and a stable sales force to make sure you are there when the customer needs you and when the opportunity finally lands. But when it all comes together with the right solution at the right time, it makes it all worthwhile.
One of the things I hoped to bring to the TEC Services Association (TSA) in 2016 was my experience with UK Public Transport. Industry bodies like Urban Traffic Management and Control Development Group (UDG) helped the industry determine interoperability from the screens on the streets, the ticket machines on the buses and the Central Office integrating with traffic lights and variable message signs. There was even a standard so that competitors could agree where a bus stop was (NAPTAN).
These protocols had some big impacts- Local Authorities could buy the best of breed of each component in the expectation that when it was all put together, it would work. This was especially important for smaller Authorities who perhaps didn’t have the inhouse technical expertise. It also meant that new entrants could launch innovative new products quickly into an accepting market if they met the standard. The result was an explosion in Smart City projects that were on a larger scale than could have originally been envisioned. Everyone benefited from a larger slice of a bigger pie.
In Technology Enabled Care (TEC) that goal feels as far away as ever as Paul Shead from Enovation pointed out this week https://www.tsa-voice.org.uk/news_and_views/blog/open-for-business/. The TEC industry still seems to be dominated by the idea that by hobbling interoperability, each supplier will be able to force the customer to buy complete systems from them and thereby keep the competition at bay.
To do so misses the point of Industry 4.0 and the largest change in industrial thinking in the last 13 years. When Apple brought out their phone it was dismissed by some people from Ericsson as not a very good phone. Nokia at the time had over half the world’s mobile sales. Apple killed them both because it offered an open platform to hundreds then hundreds of thousands of developers. It stopped being a phone and started being a mobile computer with almost limitless possibilities. Nokia tried to compete but inhouse development can only do so much. They could never match the innovation, the interaction, the sheer scale of the App Development Community. Being open took Apple from a niche computer maker to arguably the most valuable company in the world.
Mobius sees that change in thinking being played out in other sectors we are involved in- from the rise of standards such as EMV in the Credit Card industry or SCOOT in UTMC- interoperability is an industry’s best chance of delivering what its customers want and thereby growing quickly. Open platforms de-risks, drives down costs and drives up adoption. In TEC, Mobius can help bridge the gap, using our Interoperability Platform we can highlight where differences occur and provide independent network analysis to smooth the integration between platforms. But we shouldn’t have to.
Throughout the technical cycle from 2G to 5G there has been a consistent mantra that ‘x’ will work better when the next generation of mobile technology is rolled out. This hope is rarely about raw throughput, that has undoubtedly improved as anybody who tried to download e-mails using GPRS and an IrDA port can testify.
The focus is on all the short comings companies are currently experiencing -getting kicked off the network, having a signal but unable to transmit data, VPNs that get torn down without explanation, packet loss and latency and of course insecurity. All of these things will be addressed when the next generation of mobile network is rolled out.
The reality though is that none of these features were due to the architecture. Most of these issues were down to the implementation and expectations of the various complex parts that make up a working IIoT or M2M system.
It was perhaps with this in mind that a major network integrator said recently (in the days when we could still travel) “Don’t wait for 5G. If your application won’t work in 4G, it won’t work in 5G.”
Making mobile reliable and secure isn’t about the next Technology Generation. It’s about good implementation and good attention to detail.
The coronavirus (Covid-19) is in the news at the moment but there is still a large sense that it is happening elsewhere and is unlikely to have an impact here. Certainly, the next few months will be the tipping point that will determine whether it fades away or has a direct impact on lives in the UK.
It will already have a bearing in terms of industry and consumer products. It is difficult to think of an industrial process that doesn’t depend in some way on China. This is particularly true when it comes to electronics. Even where design and production take place elsewhere –Taiwan, Vietnam or the UK for example, it is likely that the capacitors and resistors, the cabling or the enclosure will come from mainland China.
Currently there is talk of production starting again in headline factories like Foxconn at some point between now and the end of the month. https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/article/3050028/apple-supplier-foxconn-resumes-some-production-its-main-china-iphone but no one knows the impact that this level of disruption will have in the supply chain or how long it will take to sort out. Similarly, events such as the Mobile World Congress (MWC) are being impacted by fears about the disease. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/12/mwc-mobile-world-congress-canceled-amid-coronavirus-fears.html
So now is the time to talk to your suppliers and make sure they are putting alternative routes for supply in place. Stock, that enemy of modern JIT business may well be an asset over the next six months. Mobius has already re-evaluated its orders for 2020 and is looking at our Work from Home policies to ensure that, if the worst happens, we can help making sure our customers aren’t caught out for the want of a nail, or a SIM.Next Page »