IoT Enabler Thinks and Acts 'Global Hyperlocal' - EE Times Asia

2022-11-14 14:49:56 By : Ms. Tracy Cui

Home » Electric Vehicles (EV) » IoT Enabler Thinks and Acts ‘Global Hyperlocal’

An e-scooter company partners with an IoT enabler to ensure connectivity for eSIMS.

As an e-scooter company, Wingz faced a relatively new fleet-management issue in 2021: Quickly deciphering where drivers of their free-range scooters were parking or abandoning them—so they could be found, inspected, and put back in service ASAP.

Wingz’s leaders were lacking basic information and tools to control and monitor the SIMs in its scooters in part because the Baku, Azerbaijan-based company was working with one Azerbaijani mobile network operator (MNO) that did not provide high cellular coverage within the company’s service area.

Quality of service was in jeopardy—and that issue would only grow if the company followed its roadmap to expand into new countries, which would mean onboarding multiple MNO relationships and more configurations.

If only the folks leading Wingz could find a simple, clear connectivity solution that would facilitate speedy and sophisticated monitoring of and control over their fleets around the world, according to floLIVE CEO Nir Shalom.

FloLIVE is a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity solutions and products that landed Wingz’s business and, by doing so, turned that “if” into “when.” FloLIVE, with dual HQs in London and in Tel Aviv, partnered with Wingz in July 2021.

Wingz designs and assembles its e-scooters in Azerbaijan, manufactures them in China, and sells them in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and more. A globetrotter if ever there was one—making it a prime prospect for floLIVE.

“In order to centrally manage all of its e-scooters around the world and provide good support and service, they needed the ‘localized global coverage’ we offer,” Shalom told EE Times. “We built the first global hyperlocal network, which means that we have points of presence [local nodes] for our networks in over a dozen countries, including the U.S., Europe, China, South Africa, Turkey, and Brazil. These act like local networks for IoT devices to connect to.”

For companies that sell products that require constant connection to the internet—e-scooters, smart electricity, water and gas meters, smart irrigation equipment, fleet-management dashcams, tracking devices for trucks, pallets, and parcels, and wearable healthcare devices—floLIVE offers the vision of combining global cellular connectivity with local points of presence around the world via mobile private networks and an electric SIM (eSIM) solution, he added.

In Wingz’s case, having a solution that works anywhere in the world and affords control through a single, self-management portal means it can guarantee nearly uninterrupted service and save operational costs, Shlomi Palankin, the founder of Wingz’s parent company, Sakuraz, told EE Times.

Wingz is using floLIVE’s system for troubleshooting to quickly determine whether a problem that surfaces is on the network or on its e-scooter IoT system, he added.

Three weeks ago, a network Wingz’s scooters were using in Azerbaijan went dead for eight hours. “All our fleet stopped working” at the start of the outage, Palankin said, “so we directly connected with the floLIVE team, and in five minutes they moved all the SIMS to another network.”

FloLIVE makes it possible for such a switch between vendors to happen automatically. But Wingz didn’t allow that feature because the vendor that experienced the outage is preferred, in terms of pricing, Palankin noted.

Taking a road less traveled

With floLIVE’s multi-IMSI (international mobile subscriber identity) approach, if there is a simple gap in cellular coverage, the SIMs autonomously switch to another operator. FloLIVE’s IMSI library of mobile operators is accessed all from one SIM card, said Shalom—who worked for 12 years at AT&T, serving as general manager of AT&T in Israel the last four.

He acknowledged that cellular by nature is likely to still present coverage issues, adding, “Because of that, floLIVE will very soon offer satellite-based connectivity alongside the cellular based connectivity.”

FloLIVE’s approach is far from the norm. Historically, companies like Wingz had two fundamental options, according to Shalom:

Self-evident hassles involved in both of those options available to IoT companies led Shalom to leave his post at AT&T and join floLIVE in early 2020.

He saw, and sees, that “the world is moving toward what is called ‘localization of the network’, meaning to get more and more local profiles, potentially with eUICC,” referring to Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card—a SIM component that can be present in any SIM form factor to enable the eSIM service. “Definitely, eSIM and eUICC are part of what we are building, as well,” He added.

FloLIVE currently possesses four main technological building blocks, according to Shalom. Those building blocks include:

FloLIVE is betting on the trend of device manufactures seeking to “climb up the value chain,” Shalom said.

“Because of the competition, because it’s very difficult to compete only on the device itself, on the hardware, these vendors are looking for additional value to provide to their customers,” he added. “They are adding many services on top of the product. In some cases, they will even subsidize the product itself, just for the recurring revenue of the managed services.”

That’s good for floLIVE, which enables managed services offered by IoT hardware makers.

“They must have reliable and high-performance global connectivity,” Shalom said. “This is why they come to us for the connectivity. If the product is not connected, they cannot offer any managed service on top.”

A case in point is a European water meter maker that is connecting water meters to the network.

“This is a customer that, up until two years ago, was connecting only the water meter itself,” he said. “It’s a one-time sale of a water meter and that’s it. They decided to climb up the value chain, and instead of selling water meters, they are now selling services” like threshold alerts, real-time dashboards, and analytics that help predict usage and needed maintenance. “And to do that, they needed to get all their water meters connected to the network.”

FloLIVE is working in 12 countries with the meter maker.

“We are connecting their meters to the network,” Shalom said. “We help them collect the information, and now all these municipalities that are working with them can have a real-time view of their water pipes across the region. They are managed in a very modern way.”

This article was originally published on EE Times.

Brett Brune is editor in chief of He previously edited and reported business news at The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He also previously served as editor-in-chief of as well as Smart Manufacturing magazine.

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