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4G WAN Overview

What problems does it solve?

Because it can provide high speed, reliable connectivity extremely quickly, 4G WAN is extremely versatile and can help businesses that are:

  • Operating in locations with no existing infrastructure, such as those in the construction industry
  • Moving office, merging networks, or making planned changes to their infrastructure
  • Seeking a continuity solution to protect them in disaster situations
  • Looking for a backup solution that is diversely routed (ie. that won’t be destroyed by the same road digger that takes out the main circuit)
  • Using popup stands at events such as festivals, conferences and exhibitions
  • Looking for in-vehicle connectivity that can turn their fleet into mobile offices

Here are some of the main scenarios:

Delayed circuits

When ordering fixed network connectivity, you are at the mercy of lead times – which are often lengthy. When a site is opening at short notice, the lead time to get a circuit provisioned, installed and made live can impact the site opening date. This is made worse if circuits are unexpectedly delayed because of wayleave, traffic disruption or unexpected construction that needs to be undertaken and paid for.

By implementing 4G WAN, you can bypass these delays because the technology does not require any fixed connectivity at a new site. You get your site fully connected in a matter of days. This means that you can set up a reliable, high-speed connection into your network with no operational impact while a fixed line circuit is being installed.

Temporary locations

If you operate in temporary locations or frequently relocate sites, you’ll be met with the same issues and delays mentioned above. This is especially true if you operate construction sites, trade at festivals or exhibit at shows and events.

Some companies will only be at a given location for a matter of days, making fixed line connectivity illogical, while others will be on-site for months or possibly years and must face the lead times associated with getting fixed line connectivity up and running. In both cases, IT Managers need to provide connectivity to the site, but cannot have this impacting project deadlines. This leads to administrative challenges that occur not once, but again and again.

In both these scenarios, 4G WAN can remove these challenges and help you maintain reliable, high speed connectivity for temporary and movable sites, while simplifying administration.

Unreachable or cost prohibitive locations

If you have a remote site, or one with especially challenging circuit construction requirements, the cost of installing a fixed circuit can be prohibitive. This is often the case for remote site monitoring, security, entry systems, roadside sites and CCTV.

4G WAN can provide the connectivity needed without the need for heavy investment in construction costs.

Backup circuits and Disaster Recovery

With applications increasingly utilising the cloud, having a business continuity solution to keep users connected during a disaster is imperative. Some IT departments combat this by installing backup fixed connections, but these services don’t protect against an outage of the provider’s network, or fire and flood disrupting both primary and secondary fixed circuits..

4G WAN provides a high-performance solution to backup circuits, especially when you want to connect over a different route to improve resilience, and over a different network in case of provider outage. The technology can provide:

  • On-site cold standby for rapid, low-cost failover in the event of a main circuit outage
  • On-site hot standby for instant failover
  • Off-site standby, delivering a preconfigured router at short notice
Mobile deployments

Connecting a fleet of vehicles to your network allows the transfer of vital information between them and your business. You do this by deploying 4G WAN ‘in vehicle’, effectively turning your fleet into mobile offices. You can then connect these vehicles to your network, just as you would a standard ‘bricks and mortar’ office.

This enables your mobile workforce to enjoy connectivity to video and CCTV streaming, and GPS telematics through wireless hotspots. As well as automobile, 4G WAN is suitable for deployment into rail, emergency vehicles, bus and marine installations.

Key questions you should be asking yourself

  • Do you ever need new sites to be set up more quickly than fixed network circuits can be delivered?
  • How important is it to get these sites connected before they go live?
  • Are new sites ever delayed by wayleave, traffic management, or do Excess Construction Charges (ECCs) impact your decision?
  • How are you providing resilience and diverse site connectivity currently?
  • Do you use mobile sites such as vehicles or boats? How do you connect these to your corporate network?
  • What’s the cost to your business of slow, unreliable connectivity?