Video: How to access your WAN from a bonded 4G connection

Here's a short video outlining how to access your WAN from a 4G bonded connection.

Here's the transcript...

Hello, I'd like to talk to you today about how you can use 4G technology to connect new sites and temporary sites to your corporate network in as little as two working days.

Why would you want to do that?

Well, increasingly, especially with fibre circuits they can take months and months to deliver and importantly they can be delayed unexpectedly which can cause real problems. Of course for the same reason, if you regularly use temporary sites, perhaps construction sites, those can perhaps never be delivered in time for fibre.

So what can we do about it?

Well, one thing we can do is we can put a 4G router onto the site and we can connect that up to a cellular provider and for example, let's say that might be EE and we can route that traffic from EE through a secure tunnel to your data centre and onwards to your WAN.

What's important though is that a 4G SIM card will not give you the bandwidth that you need or the reliability that you need in order to securely connect your network.

So the key technique to use when you're connecting to your network is to bond multiple channels.

So here's what we do.

We take multiple SIMs, four in this case and we send them all up through a mobile carrier to the internet and we take them through a secure tunnel to a hub router. This hub router bonds and interleaves the data from all of the four connections that we now have into one single pipe and that gives you both additional speed but also much more reliability and a much greater consistency of traffic and we call this bonding.

Now the next thing that's really important about connecting sites reliability is that if you're in an area of high usage, an individual cell that you're connected to, in this case with EE, could be overloaded and sometimes this happens variably through the day so it's really important that you don't just use multiple SIMs, you also use multiple carriers, so let's see that in action.

Let's also have Vodafone and let's also perhaps have Three so now we can have multiple SIMs inside one router and connect them to three different carriers so let's say for the sake of argument that we have six SIMs, we can have those going to each of the three carriers here and we'll now have six SIMs and six 4G connections that all take six separate tunnels to the same hub router where they are bonded together into one high speed, high-reliability connection. So the critical thing here is multiple SIM and multiple carriers.

What are the benefits of multiple carriers?

Well first of all, if you split your SIMs over multiple carriers, you are not congesting any one of the cells to the same extent that you would be if you tried to put six SIMs onto one carrier. Secondly, if there is an outage of one carrier, you still have the other two.

So one question you may be asking is well how fast can I make this go? The first thing to bear in mind is that there is an overhead to bonding because of the protocols involved and that overhead leads to a slight reduction in the overall bandwidth available so you should expect about 90% of the available bandwidth after you've bonded them together.

The next thing to bear in mind is that if you have a bonded connection like this, you need to work out how you're going to get access to it. so first of all, you need to have a data center with the hub inside it, you can either put a hub into your own data center, or you might come across a provider that can put a hub in their data center and then reach out to either your WAN or onward to the internet. One you're set up here you may need wifi access so obviously in a small building or a new building or site cabin, it's a lot easier if you don't have to separately cable. so you can put this in and provide wifi access in for your local users. you might also choose to have local breakout onto the internet that doesn't go into the WAN but either way, you need to make sure that this is set up with multiple SIMs and multiple carriers.

The last thing I just wanted to say about this is if you really want high performance, you don't need to just be reliant on one device with six SIMs in it, you can actually stack them up together so you can have another six SIMs of 4G and you could have a further one after that. So we've had these devices in use before for an HQ connection to a data center on an occasion of moving site. We do this day in day out with hundreds of new sites per year for major construction sites where they'll have typically four, six or nine SIMs and that gives them reliable communications.

I hope you found that interesting

Thanks very much.


Thanks for watching.

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