Panasonic’s new global connectivity offering ditches the roaming charges

New YorkPanasonic has been working towards a global connectivity service that can provide a predictably priced, roaming free network for its mobile computing solutions for the last five years, and now it has one.

At a launch event in New York City this week, Panasonic revealed its P.180 connectivity service. This solution is designed to deliver global scalability with local connectivity with a focus specifically placed on being priced predictably and on removing roaming fees.

“We’ve been looking at having a global network component as part of the platform for the last five years, and the key was that it has to be seamless regardless of the region, it needs to connect automatically, and it needs to be global,” Vicky Obenshain, vice president of wireless strategy of Panasonic North America’s system communications division, told CDN.

To make this possible, Panasonic has partnered with Ireland-based Cubic Telecom for its eSIM technology and global connectivity platform. This platform spans about 180 countries and 25 mobile operator partnerships that amount to 60 full integrated networks around the world. Simply put, this partnership allows Panasonic to eliminate roaming fees and keep pricing predictable.

“With our partnership with [Cubic], P.180 can offer 152 carriers on one SIM card. If you are leaving Ontario and want to land in Barcelona, you want to be immediately connected and not be roaming,” Obenshain explained.

The idea of what an eSIM can do is simple: the moment a device travels outside of its local network, it immediately transfers to whatever that new local network is, and it is treated as a local device rather than a roaming one. So if you are with Rogers in Canada and travel to the U.S., instead of roaming on AT&T’s network, you would be treated as a local user on the network with the same plan and benefits of that plan from your local network back home.

“Seamless and global connectivity are the two most important pieces. We are starting to see that borders, especially between Canada and the U.S., are becoming less and less important,” added Brian Rowley, vice president of marketing and product management. “We have reached a point where there is less tolerance in not being connected. They want to be connected and they don’t care how. They just want to know that if they need connectivity they can get it regardless of where they are.”

The P.180 connectivity service allows for Tier 1 connectivity under the Panasonic Connected Solutions service umbrella. The service includes a custom service management portal to manage users, make data plan changes, and add devices, and it can also can offer analytics and custom reports.

P.180 is designed for the latest round of Panasonic rugged laptops, tablets, 2-in-1s, and handhelds – the Toughbook 54, Toughbook 33, and Toughpad N1. Currently the solution is optional, and moving forward every Panasonic device will ship with this capability.

For example, if a company purchases 1,000 Panasonic Toughbook 54s, the serial identifiers of each SIM is ported automatically to the P.180 portal where the only task an IT director must do is activate it from the portal. Once activated, the eSIM will automatically authenticate with the local network via P.180.

Panasonic will be directly selling the P.180 solution for now, which is not dissimilar to how the company has always worked with its carrier partners. Panasonic resellers currently are not negotiating with carriers, but at a future rate the company may choose to go to partners to target SMB and mid-market areas.

The P.180 connectivity service will become available to customers in fourth quarter of 2017.

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Alex Radu
Alex Radu
is a staff writer for Computer Dealer News. When not writing about the tech industry, you can find him reading, watching TV/movies, or watching the Lakers rebuild with one eye open.

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