5G business roaming means simplicity, flexibility and speed

When considering options for seamless global connectivity, roaming sim cards offer a simple solution and stable high-speed options. So why are many businesses not investigating them first?

Pierre-Gilles Dehaye, Venn CEO, looks at the evolution of 5G technology.


3G and 4G – stepping stones to now

Roaming sim cards isn’t new; many businesses used them as the technology evolved from 3G to 4G. The difference between then and now in their speed and suitability for business use may explain some of the current lack of interest.

When 3G was rolled out, telecom companies struggled to meet user's expectations. 3G struggled to keep up with the increasing speeds and latency available from fixed lines and Wi-Fi, creating a sense of relative disappointment.

This feeling impacted 4G launches, creating distrust at the enterprise level. The previous disappointment and insufficient coverage tarnished the kick-off in the business network world.

After 4G LTE, LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) came along, enhancing the experience and adding welcome bandwidth. It has played a large part in reconciling the enterprise world with wireless deployments, paving the way for the acceptance and anticipation of 5G.

5G business roaming means simplicity, flexibility and speed

Preconceptions from 3G and early 4G roaming are no longer relevant to the business setting. Enterprise and IoT networks can have an extensive geographically distributed infrastructure optimised for a seamless network experience.

By truly enabling roaming, e-sims offer flexibility and possibilities at a scale that are not available on national networks. Although latency can be slightly higher, in the order of 60-70ms, it is stable and predictable worldwide.

Switching between sims can take minutes in routers with multiple sim cards, whereas a roaming network switch takes only a few seconds. This gain is significant for any application requiring high availability.

The overwhelming advantage is simplicity: accessing all networks in the country unmatched by any local operator. It is now common for emergency services to rely on these roaming network coverage maps to overcome "white zones" and ensure efficiency in the most remote locations.

In the future, 5G will force international roaming providers to multiply their PoPs, their points of presence. This will further decrease latency, increase throughput and increase the overall resilience of the architecture.

Economies of scale when purchasing commercial volumes are significant. Gathering all traffic from fewer suppliers – but not networks, there is a nuance - allows better chain control, simplifies deployment and ensures efficiency.

Each business case is different, but generally, the roaming sim card only loses out when facing considerable volumes purchased in scenarios requiring several national providers.

Telecom markets are riddled with offers with widely divergent structures, making the combinations needed commercially complicated. A roaming offer smooths out this complexity in favour of offers that allow better large-scale scaling.

Trusting your network with matured technologies

There are still some issues and room to improve. The current simplicity of configuration, with a single Access Point Name (APN) required for data connection and varying for each operator, also proves to be a major risk of incidents and disconnections. The eSIM, a virtualised card downloaded to devices, can simplify this but will not solve all the problems of configuration, visibility and administrative management.

But Venn's experience in this area, built over the last 10 years working with it, is that the technologies have now matured, and the user experience has been transformed and massively improved. Our experts understand and can assist enterprises in selecting and managing their e-sim solutions to take advantage of the best technology.

When considering enterprise options for simple and fast global connectivity, roaming cards should be at the top of your feasibility study list. The operational simplicity alone has a clear added value.

High-end WAN supplier partnerships

We’ve established commercial relationships with dozens of network operators and data suppliers around the world, including key macro-level players that play a part in creating global roaming agreements. And because we’ve nurtured these relationships over the years, our customers can take advantage of all the widespread coverage and competitive rates they have to offer.

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