What is a dual SIM modem and how does it enable wireless-to-wireless failover?
Executives and IT professionals looking to save their enterprises time and money ask us this all the time: “When would I want to use dual SIMs, and in what situations should I consider dual modems?”
Let’s take a quick look at the differences between dual-SIM and dual-modem functionality.
With two SIM cards inserted into one Cradlepoint modem, the radio still only connects to one active SIM at a time. How can this benefit your network?
Flexibility during deployment
What is a dual SIM modem? It allows you to switch carriers on the fly at a store location. Let’s say you’ve configured a router and inserted two active SIMs on two different carriers into the modem, then sent it into the field for deployment. The IT professional in charge of installation performs site surveys on SIM A and SIM B.
Based on the results, your installer will switch to the carrier that is providing the best network experience at that location. Then he or she can deactivate the other SIM, ensuring the company is only charged for one cellular data plan at a time.
Dual-modem routers or extensibility docks allow you to connect two carriers simultaneously, which provides multiple benefits.
Wireless-to-wireless failover and WAN redundancy
The ability to connect to two carriers at the same time is the only way to provide wireless-to-wireless, or cellular-to-cellular, failover — which can be beneficial in many situations and is the only option for WAN link redundancy for in-vehicle networking. The automatic switch from one carrier to the other occurs in mere seconds. Also, both modems can be active at the same time, allowing for more bandwidth.
At locations where wired-line connectivity is available, some enterprises use dual-modem functionality to further enhance their failover by utilizing three carriers at once. For example, they might use DSL and two different cellular SIMs to provide “four-nines” connectivity.
Additionally, a router with a dual-modem dock offers the flexibility to provision additional bandwidth during high-usage times.
SIM-based auto carrier selection
Dual-modem functionality is an excellent way to attain seamless, instant carrier redundancy in your network. However, in situations where dual modems is not the most cost-effective option, SIM-based auto carrier selection can prove beneficial.
Auto carrier selection allows a Cradlepoint device to detect the carrier of an installed SIM, load the correct firmware and configuration settings automatically, then connect — all without accessing the Internet, because all carrier profiles are locally stored.
The ability to simply insert an active SIM and power up, without manual modem configuration, significantly simplifies deployments. It also greatly reduces inventory complexity by removing the need for a different SKU for each carrier.