Smartphones and tablets have changed the way we live our lives, becoming integrated into our social lives to connect us to family and friends. They too have increasingly become the tools that make us more productive at work, driving a mobile workforce to remain connected anywhere, at any time. Our mobile devices do this through the Internet; convenient and affordable when local, problematic when travelers get off the plane in another country.
Craig Lowe, execMobile founder, says getting connected when travelling often involves a range of different solutions that often aren’t desirable or efficient.
It is why execMobile has developed its PocketWifi solution which allows people to carry the Internet with them to 128 countries globally and connect multiple devices to it, whilst reducing roaming data costs by up to 98 percent.
“Research is telling us we are becoming more and more reliant on mobile devices. As of December 2012, 13% of all Internet traffic originated from mobile devices and by the second quarter for 2013, the total global install base of smartphones and tablets is predicted to exceed those of PCs (KPCB, Internet Trends Report, 2013).
“On a user behavior level, what we’re seeing is that maps, photos, web surfing and email are the top priorities in smartphone usage. It becomes part of the way people live their lives and when business travelers land in another country, they’ll naturally want to use their devices the way they do at home.
“Think about taking a flight locally – as soon as the plane lands everyone takes out their smartphone. However, internationally business travelers can’t use their devices like they intended to without incurring significant cost. In fact, 38 percent of corporate travelers switch off their smartphones for fear of large data bills,” Lowe says.
While there are several ways to try and get connected in another country including buying a local SIM and looking for WiFi hotspots, for business travelers, convenience and getting online quickly from multiple devices while maintaining the ability to receive calls is key.
Business travelers want to maximize time spent in taxis or on tubes and they want to be able to work from wherever they are at. At the same time they need safe, secure solution as many corporates are clamping down on public Wi-Fi use because of security concerns.
execMobile’s PocketWifi device circumvents these problems because it creates a secure hotspot, “the users own cloud of connectivity”, protected by a password, to which the business traveler can connect multiple devices to.
Lowe says business travelers on BlackBerry may find their BIS and BES services are not available with a foreign SIM. However, by connecting the BlackBerry wirelessly to the PocketWifi, all BlackBerry services will continue to work, which is important given that 80 percent of South African corporates run BlackBerry services.
execMobile offers users Giga or Global PocketWifi solutions. The Giga service offer better coverage and rates across 128 countries but require a bundle to be loaded prior to use. The Global service offers “arrive connected” convenience in 74 countries with zero administration. Multiple corporate users are managed by execMobile and all services are billed at month end for any usage in the month. There are no fixed monthly costs for the service.