Last summer I went on holiday to the USA. The summer period is a time of relaxation, away from the business. However, that does not mean that I am completely disconnected. And nor is my family. A small revolt occurs when we do not have an internet connection. But in the USA, there is a caveat when going online! In Europe, roaming charges have been largely abandoned and I roam from my existing subscription without incurring charges. With a per MB charge of EUR 2.50 in the USA, this easily adds up to a very unwelcome bill if you are not careful when using your mobile devices. But we need the internet like we need oxygen and water. It is a necessity for modern life. Is that a good thing? Yes and no. No, because you run a change that you do not unwind from the daily grind, constantly checking your mail and answering calls. Yes, because it also allows you to live your life, navigate through a city and so on.
One of my colleagues suggested that I should look at the device from We.Stream. This is essentially a Wi-Fi hotspot that allows a max of 5 devices to connect to it and uses a virtual simcard (over 4G) to connect to the internet in a total of 145 countries. The benefit for me is that it will actually work in the US as well as other countries outside of the EU (the EU I’ve got covered using my own telco subscription) and that I can go online without great fears of using public Wi-Fi. It allows me to use unlimited (reduced speed when over the bundle) when data bundles without breaking the bank, so also in a setting where I travel for work it has benefits. The device is the size of about two iPhones 5S and has the possibility to also insert a sim for instance in my case Europe so I can switch between sims depending on location.
Goose with the golden eggs
It is nice to give credits where credits are due. Telco’s would never have abandoned roaming charges if it had not been for the European Commission mandating it. It is just not in their interest because roaming charges were (but in some cases still are) extremely high. One provider charged EUR 25 excluding VAT per MB for roaming in the US. Imagine that, 1 GB of data will buy you a midsize car like Nissan Qashqai! But even less extreme examples will create a situation where you are unpleasantly surprised when you use the internet using a mobile device / 4G.
In situations like this, companies like We.Stream will jump in and create a solution solving the problem. Because we are not giving up on our demand for internet. To put it more strongly, I expect that we will demand even more internet speeds and coverage because speeds (5G) are increasing enabling more access to video content and so on. But there are still places where we actually can be totally disconnected, as I found out when traveling through the US. And those places are … places without 3G/4G coverage! When you use a mobile network, access is as good as the coverage of that area. One of the unique features of the We.Stream is the fact that it relies on multiple mobile networks per country, and it switches automatically to the one with the best signal at your location. However, when there is no coverage at all from any provider, an internet connection is just not possible. No problem for metropolitan areas but the national parks / rural areas are a challenge.
The need to be online
For me personally there is a need to be online. Perhaps not so much to micro manage my company but more to be aware of the things happening. Also, to read up on what is happening in the world and of course to be able to for instance use my mobile phone to order a coffee at Starbucks, buy tickets to an amusement park or some other form of mobile commerce.
Mobile commerce that … uses of course API’s. Because as we recognize that internet / Wi-Fi is a necessity we use services on mobile devices that will make our lives nicer. APIs are the way to make your services available to a growing group of ‘always on’ users dying to make a connection and interact with you. So, you better have a good API Manager in place to manage, monitor and perhaps even monetize API usage. IF you are interested what the criteria for a top-notch API Manager are, read our whitepaper!