Based on an interview published on the IT Channel Pro website on March 3, 2023 (Dutch language)
Around two years ago, IT Channel Pro paid attention to what was then Triple-9 -now Lyfo- and their Lyfo.NET concept. Lyfo offers a solution for one of the major obstacles for users of mobile connections: connectivity loss due to a (temporary) lack of mobile operator coverage. The company Lyfo, from Buurmalsen-The Netherlands, has found a solution to that issue. Customer reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, and in the Netherlands T-Mobile has adopted the technology. A good reason to take a closer look.
At first, the Lyfo solution consisted of a universal data SIM roaming solution (the Lyfo.SIM) and a smart piece of software (Lyfo.NET). Lyfo.SIM gives access to all 4G and 5G mobile networks in Europe and beyond, which means that there could be coverage in every single location. In the Netherlands Lyfo.SIM guarantees access to the networks of KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile. Lyfo.NET will assure that you are always connected to any of these available networks.
NQI as a Pivot
The Lyfo.NET software ensures that the quality of a connection at any location is continuously monitored. Maurits: “At Lyfo we introduced the NQI. This stands for Network Quality Indicator and assigns a quality label to the connection quality. Every network in reach at a location will get an NQI assigned. The network with the highest NQI will be the one used. The software constantly analyses signal levels, latency and availability through ping and bandwidth, and based on all parameters it assigns an NQI. The scale is from 1 to 10, but at 2 it’s already more than enough for a good connection to a mobile network.”
Maurits Zandbergen is the CEO of Lyfo and is ready to share the latest about this exciting product. Maurits: “Mobile networks are specialised in mobility management for voice and data. However, if someone crosses a national border, the voice conversation or data session will be lost. The sessions are also lost when entering a blind spot in the coverage. And finally, at the far end of cellular reach, the bandwidth decreases due to a deterioration in the signal/noise ratio. It is an issue that many users face on a daily basis to which no mobile operator have a clear answer. Lyfo is a Dutch engineering company that develops creative solutions for challenges in mobile communications.” The engineers at Lyfo were able to find a solution for this very issue. The concept is called Lyfo.Net, and is offered to customers -including mobile operators- at a global scale.
A SIM from a single mobile operator does not guarantee that, as it’s exclusively connected to its own mobile network in the domestic market. Mobile networks consist of cells that should overlap. When in a location there is a weak signal, or when the signal is blocked and completely unavailable, there won’t be any connectivity without additional measures.
There is more than just the NQI, though. Mobile operators try to keep their customers on their own networks for as long as possible, and as a result it can take up to 15 minutes before the session is handed over to a different network. This is often the case when crossing borders. First the connection is even downgraded from 4G to 3G and 2G before switching to the preferred roaming partner. It’s a time consuming process that results in a long interruption of service during a border crossing. Lyfo.NET avoids this using a smart and patented solution.
Benefit for Pilotage
With the first customers, which included boat pilotage, Lyfo.NET was able to manage connectivity very well. No longer did the connection switch slowly or erratically between mobile networks, instead it held a stable connection with one mobile network and switched swiftly to another network when needed. “The NQI-based session management meant that the software within the application was handling radio management, instead of relying blindly on the modem and network parameters from the operator.”
Lyfo.Net Now Supports Speech on Own Fixed Number
Due to the fact that the first phase of Lyfo.Net was data only, the number of use cases was a bit limited. Maurits: “There are verticals where mission critical connections are crucial. First responders – police, ambulance, fire department-, hospitals and home care are areas where guaranteed data availability is vital. These verticals are also calling for stable and dependable speech services. Adding speech has demanded a high level of investment from us, because we want one universal Lyfo.NET app.”
But now it’s here. Lyfo.NET also enables stable speech services using the backup SIM of the Lyfo.TWINSIM solution. A mobile operator would offer its own SIM with voice and a backup data SIM in a Lyfo.TWINSIM setup to the customer. When the operator’s network is not available, the voice will can be routed over the backup data SIM.
The combination of the Lyfo.TWINSIM and the operator SIM results in a stable mobile network connection that answers to the needs of mission-critical users. The operator’s mobile network can satisfy the high demands that are put on it. Maurits: “Employees are 100% reachable on their mobile numbers. That makes our solution unique!”