Do More, Wire Less: LTE Successes in Transportation

LTE Transportation Networks

Amazing things can happen when we aren’t worried about connectivity. Whether we are at home or on the go, reliable connections have a positive impact on our lives: we can stay in touch with family, work more efficiently, and enjoy more flexibility. The same goes for the enterprise. When organizations are less concerned about their ability to connect their people, places and things, they are free to focus on more important elements that will drive their business forward.

As enterprises are becoming more mobile and finding a greater need for flexibility, LTE is proving to be ideal for every type of business—from retail and restaurants to healthcare and public safety. LTE-based networks uniquely address specific enterprise challenges that cannot be addressed with traditional wired networks, like MPLS. These traditional networks often require lengthy configuration times and security reviews, and adding additional bandwidth is expensive. LTE is reliable, secure, cost-effective, and offers immediate connectivity from day one, where running wired lines could take weeks or even months to complete.

The benefits of LTE are especially evident for in-vehicle and distributed branch networks, including police cars, ambulances, mass-transit and micro branch offices where mobility is critical to daily operations. Below are some of the most interesting real-world examples of how Cradlepoint is empowering enterprises to leverage LTE in a variety of transportation applications to do more and wire less:

Education

Connectivity has become a critical tool for schools and libraries to enhance and personalize the learning experience. Some might even say that an Internet connection has replaced what books and pencils were 20 years ago. However, education organizations are often challenged to balance technology needs with time and budget constraints—especially in impoverished regions of the country, where there are still five million households with school-aged children that are not connected to the Internet.

The Coachella Valley Unified School District is bridging this digital divide with “WiFi on Wheels” across the second poorest school district in the U.S. Cradlepoint helped the district create a cost-effective, always-on learning environment as it put LTE-enabled WiFi routers on its 100 buses. The buses connect students during their commutes and then the buses are parked around the district in the most rural or disadvantaged areas to provide Internet access to students’ homes. As a result, the graduation rate has jumped from 70 to 80% since 2011, and the Coachella Valley Unified School District is better preparing its students to thrive in a competitive, connected workforce.

Healthcare

Mobility is one of the biggest opportunities in a healthcare marketplace that has grown more competitive due to changes in public policy and savvier patients looking for the best wellness service offerings. Healthcare providers are meeting patients where they want, with the services they need the most, and in the communities that previously did not have access to preventative medicine. This approach requires extended care options and reliable connectivity beyond the boundaries of traditional healthcare facilities.

For example, St. David’s Mobile Dental Program operates a fleet of nine mobile dental clinics that one year serviced 65 Title 1 elementary schools, providing free dental screenings to over 28,000 children. It’s crucial that the mobile clinics have reliable, fast, and uninterrupted network connectivity. Otherwise, it is challenging to monitor the clinic’s data usage and secure patient information. Cradlepoint enables the non-profit to easily deploy and manage its in-vehicle network with LTE solutions that provide high-availability for critical connectivity during remote dental care treatment and visits. The mobile clinics spend less time worrying about network connectivity and can remain focused on providing excellent patient care at no cost to thousands of children across the community.

Public Safety

The ability of public safety organizations to accomplish their missions heavily depends on reliable connectivity that is mobile, ruggedized, and secure. Connections also must be flexible to enable improved productivity and easier management of fleets and remote workers. However, many police departments are challenged with legacy in-vehicle connectivity solutions that are aging, clunky, and dependent on aircards that plug into the back of laptops inside the cruisers.

In one particular instance, a police department in the Northwest U.S. needed a better approach to connect its fleet of police cars, provide more services without hiring more officers or IT staff, and accomplish all of this without making budget-busting investments in new technology. Cradlepoint helped the police department deploy LTE solutions that make it easier to quickly and cost-effectively scale deployments and manage the network in real time. Officers are supported with always-on connectivity so they can focus less on technology performance and commuting to and from headquarters to submit reports in person, and spend more time out in the field keeping their community safe. In fact, Cradlepoint saved the department 160 man-hours and overtime costs it used to spend each time a firmware update was needed. Now it takes one IT team member about five minutes to update the entire fleet of cruisers, and the resulting cost savings can be rolled into other department programs.

As you can see, LTE is providing seamless connections for enterprises across the vertical spectrum and enabling them to do some amazing things. In addition to the in-vehicle applications I have shared with you here, Cradlepoint is also helping businesses do more and wire less for primary connectivity, failover, and the Internet of Things (IoT). We’ll be sharing more of those stories with you, but until then, you can find all the latest LTE success stories here.