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iONLINE deploys network switching SIM with MTN

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 07 Mar 2023

iONLINE Connected Networks, a South African provider of enterprise private LTE networks, has launched what it claims is the country’s first locally-developed intelligent network switching SIM, with MTN SA as the local partner.

In a statement, the firm says this technology allows iONLINE's FlexiSIM to be remotely updated, no matter where it connects, and enables iONLINE to switch mobile network operators (MNOs) over the air.

This gives users control over their SIM card 24/7, with the ability to switch carriers as needed, it explains, adding the network resilience across MTN, Vodacom and Telkom ensures users can maintain connectivity even in areas of poor coverage.

SA’s telecoms operators have over the years been ramping up eSIM services, although industry players say despite progress in the availability of eSIM devices, uptake of eSIM services remains sluggish.

According to iONLINE, its technology is especially relevant in SA, where load-shedding is increasingly prevalent and affects businesses regardless of size or industry, particularly when towers go offline, leaving devices with no network coverage.

Dave Farquharson, founder and CEO of iONLINE, says: “Unstable connectivity can have serious consequences for the economy. It creates inconvenience and frustration, and results in missed opportunities, lost customers and decreased revenue.

“It impedes growth, progress and innovation, hindering business success. In short, unreliable connectivity is as detrimental as unreliable power. It can be the deciding factor between a flourishing business and a failing one.”

iONLINE and MTN worked together to build a virtualised MTN SIM known as a profile, which can be downloaded to the FlexiSIM remotely over the air using the eUICC (embedded universal integrated circuit card) – a component of the SIM that allows iONLINE to switch MNOs over the air.

The firm notes the ability to remotely update the SIM using iONLINE’s global network also makes it possible to reconfigure the SIM to connect to various roaming and local carriers at local rates around the world.

Dave Farquharson, founder and CEO of iONLINE.
Dave Farquharson, founder and CEO of iONLINE.

“The FlexiSIM will change the game for businesses that need to stay connected across the globe. And we are incredibly proud to be the first company in South Africa to launch this technology with a local carrier profile.

“Picture your team on the cusp of launching a ground-breaking new product, solution or technology that could potentially save lives, or closing a game-changing deal that could elevate your business to new heights.

“All the effort, passion and dedication invested in this crucial moment can be shattered in an instant because of a dropped connection or power outage. The frustration of something like this is unimaginable. Unfortunately, these unforeseeable events do occur,” Farquharson notes.

The firm adds that FlexiSIM’s emphasis on privacy and security ensures concerns about data breaches or leaks are eliminated, while the ability to remotely update the SIM without complex configurations or transitions means it can accommodate businesses of any size.