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Network resilience is how enterprises survive connectivity outages

Avoid fallout from future internet connectivity outages with network resilience.

Johannesburg, 27 Mar 2024
Avoid fallout from future internet connectivity outages with network resilience.
Avoid fallout from future internet connectivity outages with network resilience.

On Thursday, 14 March, a connectivity outage drama played out on the African stage. Some companies were very unfortunate, suffering through the days-long debacle in ring-side seats, while others watched comfortably from a distance, totally unaffected by what was happening. Damage to four subsea cables off the coast of Africa had completely disrupted internet services, triggering outages and connectivity issues continent-wide, and plunging thousands of enterprises into connectivity-less chaos. While many scrambled, unable to transact or communicate, others saw no impact whatsoever, their operations continuing to run smoothly. Why? Because their networks had a high level of resilience.

Network resilience explained

Network resilience is the ability to provide and maintain an acceptable level of service in the face of faults and challenges to normal operation, such as cable breaks, hardware failures, software bugs, human error, environmental conditions or cyber attacks. Resilience is the network's ability to detect, respond to, recover from and adapt to such challenges without downtime or functionality loss.

Network resilience is crucial for business growth and scalability. David Farquharson, founder and CEO of iONLINE Connected Networks, which provides enterprise private LTE networks, likens a lack of network resilience to trying to drive a car without fuel: it simply won’t move and is a risky game to play. “Clients are looking to expand and scale their businesses, and without network resilience, their operations could come to a halt,” he says. “This impacts not only the availability of their products, but also their brand reputation and financial performance.” A resilience plan is essential to mitigate risks, he continues. “This is where our role becomes critical. By providing resilient solutions, we prepare our customers for the inevitable challenges, ensuring they can continue to operate smoothly even when faced with disruptions.”

David Farquharson, founder and CEO of iONLINE Connected Networks.
David Farquharson, founder and CEO of iONLINE Connected Networks.

Farquharson cites the recent happening with the subsea cables off the African coast as a prime example. “Thousands of companies went down when their supporting network was impacted, but iONLINE’s network didn’t. Our connectivity solution continued unhindered. Our SIMs can connect to multiple carriers. Multiple breakouts to different east coast links, as well as the west coast link across Africa, make our network highly resilient. This allowed us to maintain connectivity for our clients, even when so much of the African continent went down.”

Enterprises in South Africa that use iONLINE together with other mobile connectivity providers experienced iONLINE’s network resilience firsthand during the aforementioned outage. When devices with SIMs from other providers went offline, they noticed that devices fitted with iONLINE SIMs stayed connected and online – proof that infrastructure fitted with iONLINE SIMs remained online while others failed. This allowed teams to continue working, monitoring and tracking mission-critical connections vital for their business operations.

A similar situation was seen recently in the United States with AT&T when their network went down, Farquharson says. “In the US, our solution has resilient connectivity into AT&T, and we were able to ensure that our clients experienced zero downtime. One of our current clients is NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They could continue reporting on weather systems and patterns, also providing forecasts and warnings without interruption – crucial information that a lot of people depend on. So, depending on the type of industry you operate in, a network outage could leave you completely dead in the water.”

FlexiSIM: A resilient solution for enterprises

With its multi-network resilience, iONLINE’s FlexiSIM solution provides enterprises with local and global connectivity, ensuring the best connection at all times, regardless of location. It connects in more than 189 countries, on over 700 carriers. While traditional global SIMs break out at a single location, FlexiSIM breaks out locally in-country, decreasing latency and improving performance. It can be remotely updated with new carrier information over the air, controlling in which countries and to which carriers your SIM can connect, unlocking new coverage when you need it. FlexiSIM is a network IOT SIM with tens of thousands of unique connectivity options differentiated by country, carrier, interconnect, breakout, price and more.

Companies already benefiting from FlexiSIM include Fujifilm, AIoTSense, BrightBlue, Trellis Works, Online Direct, Amber Group and Fidelity ADT. Fidelity ADT, which positions itself as the largest security services provider to medium and large-scale enterprises in South Africa, utilises thousands of FlexiSIMs to stay connected daily to protect infrastructure such as airports; government, health and education departments; hospitality venues, casinos and shopping centres; as well as residential housing estates and their residents.

"The recent massive outage in Africa is a stark reminder of the importance of network resilience. Connectivity is so much more than a service; it's the lifeline of modern enterprises, fuelling operations, empowering innovation and connecting us globally. iONLINE is proud that, amid widespread disruptions, our clients remained not just operational but ahead of the pack, flourishing where others faltered,” concludes Farquharson.

What does effective network resilience look like?

  • It’s redundant: A resilient network has multiple pathways and systems ready to take over functions should one path or component fail.
  • It’s robust: This means integrating strong security measures and effective traffic management strategies, and optimising data handling, all of which aim to prevent or reduce the impact of attacks and failures on the network's performance.
  • It’s able to recover quickly: This is the essence of a resilient network and results from effective disaster recovery planning and practices, which minimise downtime and enable speedy service restoration.
  • It’s adaptable: A resilient network is well-placed to handle ever-changing threats and technological environments and requires regular updates and upgrades to ensure that functionality and defences are as good as can be.
  • It’s easy to monitor: Effectively monitoring the network and swiftly identifying and mitigating issues is crucial to ensuring resilience.

iONLINE FlexiSIM article:



iONLINE Connected Networks is a leading connectivity provider that delivers cutting-edge technology solutions to businesses around the world. iONLINE’s flagship product is its multi-network-resilient global IoT connectivity solution, FlexiSIM™, which connects in 189+ countries, on over 700 carriers. With offices in South Africa, the UK, the USA and Australia, iONLINE is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and ensuring that its clients remain connected in a constantly changing world. Furthermore, iONLINE is committed to promoting positive change for both society and the environment, reflecting its dedication to corporate social responsibility.

Editorial contacts

Toni Muir
Content editor iONLINE Connected Networks
(0861) 466 546