Benefits of Cellular Connectivity Include Reliability and Cost
As with any concept, service, or trend, there are a lot of myths about 4G LTE networking. While many companies are "cutting the wire" — attracted by the seemingly limitless flexibility of wireless connectivity — others are considering a number of factors.
Here are some answers regarding five common myths about 4G LTE networking:
Myth 1. Coverage
One misconception is that 4G LTE is only available in major metropolitan areas. In reality, 4G LTE is available virtually everywhere. One look at a cellular carrier’s coverage map provides a clear picture of how prevalent 4G LTE is in the U.S. — from rural Idaho to Manhattan. It’s still important to do an “RF” (radio frequency) site survey where the device will be placed, since buildings can often lessen the reach of signals “in the back room.”
Myth 2. Cost
Many people have been surprised by overage charges after using data-intensive applications like streaming video on their personal phone. That said, it’s different with cellular-based wireless connectivity for the distributed enterprise. Most enterprise applications, like credit card and inventory transactions, are not data-intensive, and even many that are (like video surveillance) can be made quite efficient through the use of Edge processing, so only changes are transmitted.
Moreover, many wired connections like MPLS circuits can be 10-20 times the cost of even generous cellular plans. The vast majority of the customers I talk to have said they’ve actually saved money by moving to 4G LTE.
Additional savings are available through Cradlepoint’s NetCloud Manager, which enables network managers to reduce truck rolls, monitor data usage and network uptime, and optimize WAN traffic.
Myth 3. Reliability
Some people question the reliability of 4G LTE — especially compared to wired line connectivity via DSL, cable, or T1 — but what do people turn to when hurricanes, ice storms, or other natural disasters strike? Cellular networks are arguably the most reliable networks available. If you have a truly mission-critical application that just can’t be down, Cradlepoint’s unique multi-WAN support allows for “four-nines” (99.99%) uptime by incorporating failover to multiple networks.
Myth 4. Security
“Isn’t it much easier to hack into and steal from a wireless network than a wired network?” Actually, no. In fact, 4G LTE uses 128-bit AES for airlink encryption and enables private networking, which separates your data from public traffic and provides a direct connection back to your internal network.
Beyond carrier encryption, Cradlepoint’s 4G LTE routing solutions offer threat management and a variety of cloud-based security applications for exceptional protection.
Myth 5. Personal Use vs. Branch Office
Many people are under the impression that a fixed 4G LTE network for the distributed enterprise operates just like 4G for a personal cell phone — with the signal dropping in and out intermittently. In reality, 4G LTE at a fixed branch office is much more consistent.
Unlike the phone you carry around, the 4G LTE routing solution in your office doesn’t move. Once you put that device in just the right spot — with stable signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and optimal placement in relation to a cell tower — connections are typically extremely consistent.
"Cutting the wire" is not the best strategy for every situation. However, for the majority of enterprises that need to provide hundreds or thousands of branch locations with up to “four-nines” network connectivity, 4G LTE provides the availability, affordability, reliability, and security necessary to run your distributed business.
To learn more about Cradlepoint’s 4G LTE routing solutions, click here.