Article | 18 October 2022

Connectivity at the frontline - enabling productivity beyond the office space

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Field technicians spend weeks at a time on the road; consumer retail has moved beyond the shop; business travel is no longer limited to the executive set. Even pre-pandemic, the world was going mobile, with people out of the office as much as in it.

They’re your frontline workers, face-to-face with customers and bringing your brand to the world. And they all need connectivity. Today’s worker expects the same applications and data in the field as in the office. But it’s surprising how many companies leave the choice of how to connect up to the individual.

From on-the-road workplaces to pop-up shopping outlets, staff often rely on their personal mobile phone plans and public Wifi to get their work done. They’re connecting in cafés. Mailing from malls. Going wireless at wind farms. And consumer calling plans can be patchy and insecure. (You won’t find an SLA or failover guarantee at your local phone shop.) If things go wrong, there’s no Plan B – and if you haven’t yet, it is time to address this.

Let’s go to the source: why the router is key

To provide enterprise-grade wireless connectivity (meaning reliable, secure, and guaranteed), you need a router: the “on ramp” to the internet that gives corporate infrastructure like VPNs and SD-WANs its underlay. Devices like laptops, tablets, and phones connect to the router, which connects them to the internet. It’s efficient, easy to manage, and scales up well.

Trouble is, traditional routers aren’t exactly pocket-sized. Which means when your people are out and about, they’re unlikely to have a router with them. And that means mobile workers – a team of engineers fixing a problem, or a phalanx of salespeople bringing in the deals – can’t enjoy the same standard of connectivity as their site-based colleagues. They’re often forced into using their personal phone plans, public WiFi, even piggybacking on a client’s network.

Our latest partnership changes all that.

“Field and mobile workers shouldn’t rely on public WiFis, especially consumer-grade devices, for their daily operations. But they also can’t go around with a 10kg router in their pockets. This is where Celerway adds value: we bring enterprise-grade, secure connectivity to power employees on the go.”
Audun Fosselie Hansen , CEO, Celerway

Way beyond the MiFi - business routers on the move

Celerway’s GO is a router that fits in your pocket – rather, the pockets of your travelling teams. It is compact, portable and battery-powered, handling all the Gs (that’s 3G, 4G, and 5G) and Gigabit-scale connections with ease (that’s fast, folks).

“So it’s like a MiFi”, you might think. Well, no. A so-called “MiFi” (a coinage of Mobile and WiFi) brings limited to none business capabilities. Celerway GO, on the other hand, offers VPN encryption built in to keep your communications private, space for several SIMs providing multiple connections to public LTE/5G networks, and can be remotely configured and managed. What’s more, one router can cover a whole fleet or team, like any fixed router; you don’t need to equip everybody with one. Which adds up to a portable hotspot that lets people connect straight to your corporate network as needed.

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Of course, the router is useless without the ability to use those mobile networks – and that’s where Blue Wireless comes in. With our global coverage, a single contract can cover as many countries as you need; no requirement to maintain data plans in 80+ countries.

So, that’s the technology – now let’s look at some use cases:

Outstanding in their field: roaming technicians

Engineers and other savvy staff often need to travel at short notice. Connectivity can already be challenging in urban areas when on the road, and gets even harder in places that are remote – and being far from population centres is the norm for businesses like mining, farming, and heavy manufacturing.

Assign one engineer with a mobile router for wireless WAN, and you’ve got secure, reliable connectivity for the whole team, with service guaranteed thanks to multiple backup and failover options. Making sure that however far away your technicians are, they’ll still feel right at home.

Pop-up or retail staff: removing the risks

Pop-up shops are a Big Thing. Walk through any shopping mall or downtown retail area, and you’ll see countless brands offering their wares from stands, stalls, even “experience centres” built in a day. While these setups are great for business – adding another outlet for customers to buy stuff from – it’s important to remember they’re not shops but temporary buildings. And often unwired ones.

You’ll see many pop-ups trusting their businesses to public wifi or a hastily-purchased SIM. But that carries risks. Because it relies on that connection performing, 24/7, with availability and reliability neither specified nor guaranteed. Put one GO router in the mix, and you’ve solved these problems – and empowered your frontline workers to sell more.

Travelling execs: the need for security

You might think a top executive would rarely lack connectivity: airport lounges, five-star hotels, even business class flights offer it. But that’s precisely the problem. Being always-on means relying on whatever connection is available where the executive is – with all the usual issues of setting up accounts, remembering passwords, and questionable security.

Again, Blue Wireless' frontline connectivity solves all this. An easily-carried device, connecting to multiple LTE/5G networks in countless cities worldwide, all handed by a single contract. Most importantly, it’s a secure connection. Which will keep the company’s lawyers happy.

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Working from home: the hordes of the employed

Our last case will get millions of heads nodding: the trend towards homeworking, accelerated by years of pandemic drudgery. Too many companies expect workers to use their own connections when working from home – and quality can vary when that connection may be in use by a whole family at the same time. To say nothing of security.

For key employees, it’s worth giving them a mobile solution that removes all the security issues of working with confidential business data on a domestic connection. As well as saving the employee from having to use their own resources, which is fast becoming a major issue.

These are just four use cases. There are many more. In fact, you’ve probably thought of some more already.

Conclusion: wireless for branch and beyond

We’ve proved our service at our customers’ branches – urban, remote, and even maritime. Now we plug the final gap in your wireless coverage – frontline connectivity for people on the move. Whoever they are and wherever they go. As long as there’s a supported mobile network in reach, you can keep them connected – in a secure and reliable way.

It’s why we’re so excited about our new partnership with Celerway – complementing our existing relationships with leading names like Cradlepoint and Poynting. Why not ask us for a demo (you might even want to visit our cosy experience centre) and see how it leaves risky, unreliable, store-bought data plans in the dust?

Go wireless for branch and beyond

Katherine Koh, Account Manager

LTE/5G networks are constantly enabling new use cases for business branches and users on the go.

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