This special interest group covers mobile technologies and approaches that are helping utilities do business today. 


eSIMs Bring Benefits to Mobile Workforces

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Julian Jackson's picture
Staff Writer, Energy Central, BrightGreen PR

Julian Jackson is a writer whose interests encompass business and technology, cryptocurrencies, energy and the environment, as well as photography and film. His portfolio is here:...

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  • Dec 9, 2021

Mobile working has shot through the roof during the pandemic, with 62 per cent of workers aged between 22 and 65 working remotely some of the time. Many functions in the utilities sector don't actually need offices much: line repairers, engineers, metering technicians, and various others. Organizations have adapted to the challenges, but of course there are numerous issues to surmount.


BYOD – Help or Menace?

There are advantages to using a personal comms “Bring Your Own Device” platform for work as well as ordinary life – it's familiar, it saves the company money in providing one. It's more convenient to have one device, rather than two, for both  work functions and family emergencies.

However personal phones and tablets are likely to be less secure than company-provided ones. Even if they have been checked and authorized by the ICT department, users can still download insecure apps, malware and viruses. Remote workers can be utilizing public WiFi which may well have all sorts of cybersecurity issues.

This matters for ordinary businesses, but utilities are not ordinary businesses, they are a critical part of the national infrastructure and as we have seen with the pandemic and other recent disasters, central to the economy. So anything that improves security and efficiency is to be welcomed.


eSIMs are a New Technology Replacement for SIM Cards

A recent development in the technology world is to have eSIMs instead of physical sim cards in a mobile device. Apple’s introduction of eSIMs in their iPhones pushed the widespread adoption of this solution.

An eSIM is a SIM on a chip that is fixed directly onto the circuit board of the connected or mobile device. Once a device is eSIM enabled, the end user is able to select multiple mobile networks without physically changing the SIM card. The eSIM therefore does away with the need to insert a physical SIM card into the device.

It looks like SIM cards will eventually go the way of the VHS videotape, becoming obsolete as newer phones will have no card slot but just an eSIM built in.


What are the Benefits for Utilities?

The eSIM securely stores the all kinds of mobile subscription details. They use encrypted 4G and 5G to link up with anything from smartphones, smartwatches, fitness bands, connected PCs, tablets, and even vehicles and IoT objects. The user can seamlessly move from network to network, find hot spots or travel to different countries without needing to do anything complex. It's like having a “connection app” instead of having to take the back off a device and fiddle with inserting a different physical SIM card.

Companies can have multiple, flexible profiles with each device. With eSIM technology, they are now able to get connectivity services from different telecomms operators at the same time. They can take advantage of the best service available, in terms of cost and coverage.

Embedded SIM cards can also save time for IT managers. The administration of different employee roles is easily facilitated. The company can set up different profiles, with separate subscription plans, according to individual needs and requirements. Then upgrade these plans where necessary. Data allowance is easy to change remotely for users. Companies can now download, activate, swap or remove profiles as required, quickly and on-demand. Most importantly, cybersecurity is enhanced. Many malware actors will be frustrated as easy access to the device will not be possible, as they don't use public WiFi. A stolen device can be rendered inoperable immediately.

eSIM technology is seeing increasing domination of the marketplace. Today approximately 200 mobile carriers in more than 80 countries offer eSIM services. This will grow as more users replace old phones and business operators find the ease, convenience, extra security and cost reductions of eSIMs beneficial to their business.


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