Many in the enterprise world are moving toward implementing 4G networking solutions to run critical applications. That's a wise move that can increase uptime and save money – if the 4G solution is truly enterprise-ready. What are some of the key considerations when integrating 4G into a business's network infrastructure?
It starts with the right solution.
Take your average, well-built wired router. It's very good at what it does: wired WAN. It's worthless at Wireless WAN. If you then take that wired router and add a port for a Wireless WAN connection, it's still not optimized for Wireless WAN. You don't all of a sudden have a Cradlepoint … any more than strapping a rocket to a car produces a stealth bomber.
There's not necessarily anything wrong with the car itself. It's just that … it's a car.
While the differences between Cradlepoint and wired routers with a cellular port added on may not be as externally visible as they are between a stealth bomber and a car, Cradlepoint solutions couldn't be more different under the hood. Wired router companies simply do not understand 3G/4G like Cradlepoint does. Cradlepoint routers are built from the ground up to work with mobile broadband technologies like 4G LTE; every centimeter of the hardware and every line of code has been carefully crafted to maximize cellular reliability and performance. For years we've worked alongside mobile carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint to ensure that our products are carrier-certified and sync perfectly with theirs. We've been in their labs – like the Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center – from the beginning as they developed new technologies. Because of our long-standing, deep relationships with the carriers, we're consistently ahead of the game when it comes to rolling out new wireless WAN technologies:
- We were the first in the industry to create a battery-powered, portable cellular/Wi-Fi hotspot
- We were the first in the industry to support WiMAX in our routers
- We were the first in the industry to support LTE in our routers (when Verizon released LTE on Dec. 5, 2010, we had it working with our routers by Dec. 20)
- We were the first through Verizon's ODI certification for embedded LTE
- We were the first in the industry to support LTE solutions for AT&T and Sprint
The bottom line is reliability. Other companies that haven't been developing side-by-side with the carriers for years may be able to get LTE to work by adding in a USB port, but nowhere near as reliably as Cradlepoint does. We've solved problems that they've never even thought about.
Integrated Enterprise Solutions vs. Consumer USB Modems
If 24/7 reliability matters to you, then a Cradlepoint integrated 3G/4G router is your clear choice. While we've worked for years to understand and address the quirks of hundreds of external modems, they are simply not made to function as business-grade devices. USB modems are built with the expectation that they will be unplugged several times a day to refresh them. Their firmware is not written with day-in/day-out, 24x7 connectivity in mind.
Because of our knowledge and years of experience at Cradlepoint, we can make those USB modems have much higher reliability than normal. But there's no question that our integrated products will consistently outperform those USB modems, even USB modems that are attached to a Cradlepoint router. Why?
- High Reliability: At the firmware level, our integrated modems are built for business-grade uses: 24/7, high traffic, critical needs.
- High Performance: We support hundreds of external modems, and some won't work as well as others. If you want the best available, choose ours.
- Control: A USB modem might push new firmware to the device that changes its functionality and causes problems. While we quickly release new firmware to fix these kinds of problems, you don't have to worry about this at all with an integrated modem.
- Security: A visible USB modem is at risk for theft.
- Flexibility: It's easy to attach external modem antennas for better signal with integrated modems – not USB modems.