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4G WAN Overview

How does it work?

For best performance, you use multiple SIMs

  • Within a multi-SIM 4G router at your remote site

From multiple carriers

  • This delivers maximum performance in demanding (eg congested) environments
  • And provides additional resilience and diversity

To the internet or your corporate network

  • For connection to a corporate network, you set up a secure tunnel to a hub router
  • With onward connection to your WAN

 

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If your priority is to achieve the most stable, reliable, lossless connection, you would bond multiple 4G connections together into a single, reliable connection that links into your corporate network or the internet.

The solution would then start with a hub router being installed in your Data Centre (or your Managed Service Provider’s (MSP’s) Data Centre, should you wish to use a hosted service). The hub allows multiple 4G connections to be bonded into a single, reliable, high performance connection with the lowest possible latency.

After that, a business grade multi-SIM 4G router is installed at each of your remote sites. If you’re using 4G WAN as a continuity solution, you’ll house these routers on-site for hot and cold standby, or off-site and ready for dispatch should you opt for an off-site standby setup.

Once both elements are set up, you set up a secure tunnel to your Data Centre, with onward connection to your WAN or the internet.

It is good practice to use multiple SIM cards from different mobile carriers.  This mitigates the risk of any one carrier having a poor signal or a congested cell.

If you don’t have time to install a hub, or perhaps if you don’t have latency-sensitive applications, you may choose to load balance the multiple SIMs instead of bonding them. Here, the router makes intelligent decisions about which channel to use for each conversation, based on intelligent algorithms such as lowest-latency.

It is not necessary to source the SIMs yourself.  In fact, it can be preferable to source them through a service provider, who can avoid the pain of managing SIMs and performance.   Some service providers will be able to provide a single bill for all the hardware, the SIMs and usage, which will make things far easier to manage. 

In theory it should be possible to deliver high speed, reliable connectivity within days using this technology.  This can be really valuable in the face of a connectivity disaster, where you need to connect sites temporarily, for example.  Some service providers will offer turnaround within these timescales (although you should check when the clock is started, and whether they can rent you a shared hub to get the fastest installation).

Commonly required options

The most common requirements we find people have when implementing 4G WAN are:

  • Wireless LAN access
  • Guest internet access
  • Internet breakout for corporate traffic (split tunnelling)