Coverage is not equal. Due to coverage gaps, mobile enterprise and SME services that depend on data connections cannot be guaranteed to work across all mobile domains. What is needed is a solution that delivers the best of both worlds – with reliable access by any radio carrier, including basic GSM as well as across all-data 4G and VoLTE sites. Careful planning is required to align aspirations with the market that can be addressed and to deliver an optimised solution.
Mobile data continues to grow and consumption patterns suggest both an insatiable demand for data connectivity and also that it’s ubiquitously available. While the demand is certainly true, it’s not true that it’s ubiquitous. We’d like to think that it is, but the simple fact is that, even in the most developed economies, there are plenty of gaps in which the only access is via 2G (GSM) signal at best.
Such gaps can be found in both rural areas as well as the middle of cities – in London, for example, coverage can fluctuate widely between 2G and 4G within a few range of a few hundred metres, while in more remote regions, such as Dorset, there can often be no mobile data access at all.
All of this means that service providers need to give careful consideration to coverage issues when deploying a national service. They need to make sure it can work where they need it to – which means either concentrating on selected areas or taking advantage of basic radio access to enable the service. In the context of Mobile Unified Communications, this is of huge importance. There are many UC offers, but that vast majority of these depend on data connectivity, with the result that they cannot function properly in areas that only offer 3G or 2G access. It also means that they will cease to work when conditions change, which they frequently do.
Such data-based solutions typically use SIP communication to deliver calls to mobile handset and are usually an extension of a fixed-first platform. Since users are increasingly showing a preference for a single device, most likely a mobile, mobility is an important consideration. Data-only solutions do not provide a reliable, ubiquitous service that matches the mobile footprint. Service providers therefore have clear options.
First, they can offer a SIP-based service, on the understanding that it cannot be guaranteed nationally but it can be used to launch or make trial offers. Second, a pathway to mobile is essential, if they want to maximise their addressable market and to really capitalise on opportunities.
For Gintel, this is fundamental. Our solution is fully mobile optimised, which means it offers continuous, seamless performance over any kind of mobile radio access – from 2G to 4G and VoLTE – while at the same time, the SIP options mean that it can deliver the best of both worlds. Where data is available, SIP can be used, where it is not, it will default to the radio access carrier available, which ensures consistent, reliable performance.
So, if you’re thinking about mobile UC solutions, you should think about coverage and what this means for your target customer base. If you want to offer a truly mobile solution, you simply must plan for the coverage you wish to achieve. To understand how to deliver a comprehensive, seamless mobile enterprise service, why not talk to Gintel? We’ll show you how and help you develop the right go-to-market approach to meet your needs.