Ajit Thomas Co-Founder of Cavli Wireless on how to Break the Geographic Barriers in IoT Connectivity Applications

Interview

ByRajni Setia 0

Ajit Thomas Co-Founder of Cavli Wireless

Nowadays, the biggest challenge faced by the industries and businesses across the world is the barriers of connectivity across geographies. IoT is a revolutionary technology that is playing a key role in delivering the power of uninterrupted global connectivity. Cavli Wireless Inc. is a global leader in cellular Internet of Things (IoT) solutions started back in 2017 and within no time, it made the mark with its innovative and best IoT solutions.

Cavli is an India-based company with its sales operations in the United States, Europe (Spain, Germany) & Middle East (Turkey, Oman). Ajit Thomas who is the co-founder and CMO of Cavli Wireless, Inc. is a marketing & operations professional with experience across telecom, media, and technology domains. After stints in Engineering Sales and Marketing Management, he co-founded and helped build a media-marketing company that is now a self-sustaining ecosystem. Circuit Digest Team got the opportunity to talk to Ajit and to ask him about the company, the current and future scenario, and how customers are benefitted by their IoT-based solutions.

Q. Cavli Wireless provides IoT Hardware and Connectivity Solutions to enable Global IoT Connectivity. Tell us about your approach and products. 

At Cavli Wireless, we offer IoT product makers or enterprises an end-to-end cellular IoT enabler that will help them build, connect, and scale their IoT solutions to any geography under three months in the most secure, seamless, and scalable manner. The product suite that navigates smart IoT modules, eSIM solutions, and Cloud solutions offer absolute control over smart devices wherever they are and whatever applications they are powering. Cavli is on a collective pursuit to break the barriers of connectivity across geographies to enable every object and thing in the physical world to be connected and managed from anywhere. 

Cavli Wireless is one of the first players in the industry to launch connectivity modules integrated with eSIM that are preloaded with global IoT data, which can be managed by the platform, Cavli Hubble. This platform gives remote backdoor access to IoT modules and eSIMs, thereby giving businesses the confidence to scale seamlessly. There is a layer of intelligence and analytics for connectivity management for IoT solutions that are currently not on offer in the global cellular IoT deployment market.

Cavli Wireless is connected to over 60+ telecom operators around the world to provision IoT connectivity with the click of a button, and we are getting connected to more partners as we speak. We design and manufacture IoT modules; we have developed our own connectivity management cloud platform that can manage IoT modules and eSIMs, thus making our suite of solutions truly end to end for any product/enterprise looking to deploy a cellular-based IoT solution. 

Q. What, according to you, are the major challenges when scaling up an IoT device globally? How does Cavli wireless help with that? 

There are a lot of considerations and details that anyone building an IoT device solution must keep in mind before scaling globally. The IoT landscape is quite fragmented with multiple vendors and choosing the right partners is an uphill task. Cavli provides the customers with an enterprise-grade end-to-end solution that includes all three primary building blocks of an IoT device viz. the hardware, the connectivity, and the cloud platform. With Cavli, you get IoT Modules with integrated eSIMs, which is an essential/primary component in your device, along with Cavli Hubble which is the robust eSIM and module management platform that allows an IoT solution player to manage everything under one roof for devices at scale. Product development companies can mitigate the entry barriers to a full-fledged deployment just by having us as their preferred partner for IoT connectivity enablement.

Q. Hubble SIM and eSIM seem promising to enable global connectivity easily. How does it work, and on what networks can it operate?  

Cavli Smart Modules are integrated with eSIMs by which global OEMs building IoT products can easily launch their products to any geography. The Hubble SIM and eSIMs work just like any other SIM card but with the added benefit of connecting to multiple networks rather than being limited to a single operator in one country. The Hubble SIMs and eSIMs from Cavli are preloaded with global data connectivity that works across 180+ countries with over 60+ supported telecom operators. This gives Cavli the capability to service use cases/applications that need to stay connected to the cellular network across geographies. 

Hubble eSIM

With the global telecom operator partners' network coverage, customers have the added advantage that they can choose which telecom operators they want to connect to from the Hubble Platform. This gives the customers immense flexibility and trust with our platform, which is what we aim to provide.

Q. How does Cavli eSIM adapt to local network providers? As a designer, what should I ensure? Is it limited to be used only with Cavli Modules?  

Cavli has partnered with several (60+) telecom operators from around the world spanning across 180+ countries for local LTE/LPWAN connectivity. These partnerships ensure coverage across the globe. The Hubble platform intelligently switches the connected carriers on the eSIM depending on location, range, and connectivity network technologies, which ensures seamless connectivity. Hubble eSIMs are available for standalone use only during the sampling/prototyping stage beyond which our business model facilitates eSIM as part of the complete package, i.e. the eSIM integrated Cavli IoT module. This is because the full capability of the solution is best showcased when a customer decides to onboard entirely on the Cavli product suite to enable connectivity both at the hardware end and also at the network access and cloud management end. 

Cavli eSIM

From the perspective of a product designer, the Cavli Hubble SIM/eSIM uses the industry-standard DFN6 & DFN8 form-factor, but as our primary business model is based on eSIM integrated IoT modules, a product designer does not have the hassle of integrating eSIM technology separately into the device. 

Q. Cavli also provides a Device Management Platform called Cavli Hubble. Tell us about it. 

Cavli Hubble from Cavli Wireless is our proprietary IoT connectivity as a Service (CaaS) cloud platform for global cellular data subscription management, module, and modem management, enabling businesses and industries to build and deploy easily scalable global IoT devices with ease. The cloud platform also enables over-the-air firmware (FOTA) updates that quickly sends new features to remote devices with a click of a button.

Q. Tell us about your recently launched product, Hubble99. How will it benefit the users? 

Hubble99 is one of the most ambitious IoT adoptions plans to be made available globally. For an irresistible bundled price of $0.99/month/device, IoT solution players get the eSIM integrated connectivity hardware of their choice of technology, pre-loaded IoT data pack, and the robust Connectivity-Device management cloud platform, all together as one single package. Hubble99 marks the true entry of IoT into the subscription economy age. The plan has a host of other allied features/benefits like lifetime warranty on the connectivity hardware and access to local IoT networks in over 150+ countries. 

With Hubble99, IoT product/solution makers can enjoy lifetime warranty of IoT modules as long as the data plan is active, get access to local IoT networks in over 180+ countries, have 24/7 dedicated customer support and application support. Besides, with Cavli Hubble, the customers can easily gain remote access for firmware and application management, save capital investments on IoT projects by 50% in year one, and 30% in three years and get ‘ready to deploy’ scalable version of their IoT product in 3 months.

Q. What is the impact of 5G and NB-IoT in IoT devices? How fast do you sense the adoption?  

With connectivity as the foundation for smart devices, 5G will play a major role in the IoT as a whole. NB-IoT will be the de facto choice for all 'Smart' connected things due to its low-power consumption and throughput. With the 5G boom, smart devices are expected to get cheaper and more accessible to all, and NB-IoT over 5G is expected to take the baton from NB IoT over LTE when 5G network penetration improves. With an estimate of over 25 billion devices getting connected to the internet by 2025, there is no doubt that the adoption rate of these new technologies will be faster with the unique low-power consuming applications expected to ride on Narrow Band technology 5G chipsets.

Q. Cavli is launching a 5G Test Network in Cochin, India. How do you see India as a market, and what are your plans here? 

We were set to launch the 5G test network in Q3 2020, but due to the COVID-19 scenario, we have slightly delayed the investment to the mid of 2021 to ensure that we get to attract the best startups who are innovating in the ‘Smart solutions’ space when the business machinery in the country becomes fully operational again.

When realized, the 5G test network platform will enable startups and companies in the IoT segment in and outside India to prepare their products and prototypes to be ready for the latest technologies. The 5G test network will be available in 5G SA and NSA modes (supporting sub-6Ghz bands), along with LTE NB-IoT and CAT-M for the LPWAN side of the IoT. Access to this test network will be free of cost, and availing this in the Indian ecosystem is expected to fast-track different use cases. This would allow companies to launch their products globally anywhere completely pre-tested and compliant. As 5G will bring many new test requirements and challenges by the use of SDN/NFV and cloud services, the technology can also be used for creating new test solutions that address these markets.

Q. From 2G to NB-IoT, Cavli has a range of wireless modules and evaluation kits. Currently, what is your main focus on hardware? Tell us about your P-series and C-series Modules. 

Cavli has an array of IoT modules that support cellular LPWAN IoT Technologies such as NB-IoT, LTE-M, and also 4G LTE technologies like CAT-1 and CAT 4 for use cases that require high bandwidth. We have an equal focus on NB-IoT and LTE-M modules as these two technologies lay the foundation for connected devices such as smart meters, smart cities, etc. 

NB-IoT and LTE-M Modules

The connectivity modules are termed as C-Series IoT Modules, and we distinguish them from our competitors with eSIM integration, pre-loaded with global LTE/LPWAN connectivity subscriptions. We provide a wide range of options in terms of footprint, power consumption, and network capabilities, which makes Cavli Smart Modules an apt choice for any IoT application. P-Series IoT modules from Cavli is a smart computing module that has C-Series IoT modules in-built with a processing core that enables the customers to have a complete 'Compute Module'. This minimizes the added R&D costs and time required to usually launch a product at scale. All the P-Series IoT modules come with an integrated eSIM, and thus, all the fundamental aspects of an IoT device have been combined into it, which includes both connectivity and computational power. 

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