European Bank Real Estate Arm

4G replacement for failed MPLS network

A European bank Real Estate company experienced a critical network failure, disabling all connectivity between its London HQ and six UK sites. Not only did this represent a 90% loss of data services for its users, it also meant the company would have to wait up to 90 days for a replacement network to be delivered.

An SAS bonded 4G WAN solution was installed and working within five days of initial contact, restoring all site connectivity and providing an effective interim solution while new permanent circuits were sourced.

The client is the commercial property arm of a major European banking group. The UK business is headquartered in London and has regional offices servicing the rest of the UK. It is one of the leading international real estate providers; it offers its clients a comprehensive range of services that span the entire real estate life-cycle: property development, transaction, consulting, valuation, property management, investment management and debt advisory. The company has local expertise on a global scale through its presence in over 30 countries, 150 offices and 3,000 employees.

Key points

  • 5-day 4G WAN - from first contact to installation
  • 35% Cost Saving - thanks to pooled data plan
  • 100% Service Recovery - enabling business as usual


Real Estate company urgently needed a temporary network while it waited for new MPLS circuits to be installed

After a serious network failure disabled all site connectivity to the company’s centralised data services, and rendered the its existing MPLS infrastructure redundant, head of IT, Peter, found the business in urgent need of an interim solution.

“The biggest challenge is the ability to conduct business without systems,” said Peter. “It wasn’t an absolute cessation but if you can imagine 90% loss of IT services and the inefficiencies that brings, you can see that it was a significant hindrance to the business.”

Peter spoke directly to his network carrier to see what it could offer in the way of temporary connectivity since he knew the larger project to replace the company’s MPLS, could take as long as three months to deliver. He also spoke to two third party vendors, including SAS.

Lead time for circuit delivery was the difficulty for most network vendors

“SAS was the only company that could turn a solution around in a few days,” said Peter.“The first office had 4G four days after I spoke to SAS – and I think there was a weekend in there as well. This was two to three times faster than anyone else we spoke to.”

Peter had worked with SAS in the past so he knew the company could deliver a quality service.

“All of the companies we approached offer a good quality of service so speed became the key differentiator between SAS and the others.”


SAS had a bonded 4G solution installed and operational across all of the UK sites within five days

In total, six regional sites and around 200 staff were affected by the network failure. At five of the sites, SAS installed its standard six-bonded-sim solution, incorporating two to three wireless access points and a single router. A slightly more complex configuration was used for the larger midlands branch.

“It took five days from the first point of contact to installation of the 4G network,” said Peter. “During the intervening period staff used their work mobiles for Internet connectivity.”

A pooled data plan ensured 4G network costs were kept to a minimum

To support the temporary 4G network, it was agreed that the company would purchase a decentralised data plan, based on the number of people at each location.

“After the first month, SAS suggested we change to a pooled data allowance,” said Peter.

“Having a centralised pool of data allows each to site to draw only the amount of data it needs; in the end, this suggestion saved us about 35% of the data cost we would have incurred.”


SAS’s 4G network ensured BAU and delivers long term value as a backup solution  

In the end, 4G served as the company’s only method of network connectivity for just over two months, while permanent replacement circuits were on order.

“Obviously, the performance was not as good as before,” said Peter. “4G compared to a fixed line is not the same but everyone knew it was a temporary solution. However, it was close enough to operate in a near-normal fashion and support the delivery of Citrix-based applications.”

Of course 4G was only ever intended to be an interim data solution but, together with SAS, Peter has since found a way of leveraging their investment in the technology a bit further.

“Yes, we’ve now replaced all our physical circuits with a new MPLS,” said Peter. “But we’ve decided to keep the 4G network as well and use it as a secondary solution.”

Peter recommends SAS for quality of service delivery and client contact skills

Having an SAS 4G solution meant that Peter was able to fully utilise all of his IT systems very quickly following a critical network failure.

Commenting on his experience with SAS, Peter said: “The way SAS manages the implementation and delivery of service is the single biggest reason I’d recommend the company. Throughout this project, there was constant communication with me and the delivery of each communications solution was near perfect, first time.”


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