Wireless WANs bring increased agility, better time to service, and extended reach for distributed enterprise environments. When considering your next 4G LTE or 5G Wireless WAN purchase for branches, remote offices, vehicles, and/or IoT, there are five critical hardware and remote management features that enable a high performing, reliable, and easy-to-scale Wireless WAN.
Integral to Cradlepoint’s Cellular Intelligence initiative, these five factors represent a collection of sophisticated cellular capabilities that can be transformative, elevating basic transport into a complete business-grade Wireless WAN (WWAN) solution — one that capably provides the excepted performance and reliability.
1. How are cellular connections established and maintained?
Enabling persistent and dependable cellular connectivity can be challenging across highly variable RF environments. A reliable LTE or 5G Wireless WAN includes routers and adapters, or endpoints, that concurrently eliminate noise and optimize signal quality; a feature set that is difficult to achieve without years of development. Additionally, antenna design and placement significantly impact signal quality, and cellular modems need configurable settings to ensure fit into the broadest range of deployment scenarios.
Cradlepoint routers feature built-in SLA tools that validate end-to-end connection viability and modems that actively monitor connections, proactively scanning for potential issues (ex. TCP-retries) and facilitating seamless failover prior to affecting customer applications.
2. How granular are cellular insights?
LTE and 5G Wireless WAN management requires in-depth visibility of the cellular environment. Though many solutions feature centralized management tools, most just scratch the surface, falling short of the capabilities needed for comprehensive deployment, management, and troubleshooting across a dispersed network.
Consider the degree of detail available from dashboards. While high-level views about cellular health are useful, more granular insights are often necessary, including visibility into the carrier, service, band, and router. Are there dashboards that provide access to in-depth diagnostics, alerts, and log data, or real-time views of signal strength for individual routers? Whether troubleshooting connectivity in a fleet vehicle, conducting 5G speed tests, or locating optimal adapter placement in a remote office, easy access to this information can greatly improve efficiency.
3. Are SIM management services included?
Administration of Wireless WAN routers and adapters is typically separate from Connectivity Management Platforms (CMP), which provide SIM management. Efficiencies can be realized when both are combined into a unified platform, preventing administrators from having to cycle back and forth during deployment. Routers can be set up, SIMs can be activated, and data plans can be validated all through a single management interface. If a connectivity problem is related to a network, SIM activation, or data plan issue, a unified and remote management solution facilitates a faster resolution.
4. Can traffic be optimized across multiple carriers and WAN types
Many entry-level Wireless WAN solutions lack application awareness or advanced traffic management capabilities. If you are leveraging many types of WAN connections — including wired, cellular, and Wi-Fi as WAN — having a cellular-optimized SD-WAN solution that actively evaluates signal strength, data usage, and expected performance across all active WAN connections, will equate to a much higher quality of experience for individual applications.
5. Is the management system synchronized to the network?
Often there is a trade-off in the cellular world between how often endpoints are asked to send data to the management system and how much remote monitoring and management traffic is consumed from the customer’s data plan. To get around this, many vendors have infrequent polling intervals ranging from 15 to 30 minutes. Although this helps with data plans, it leads to a management platform that is out of sync with the underlying network.
Cradlepoint has a proprietary cloud-based router management protocol that is both highly secure and 10x more efficient than chatty management protocols like SNMP. This innovation allows for a vast array of telemetry data to be gathered from Cradlepoint routers and adapters and displayed in NetCloud Manager — without having significant impact on data plans.
Cradlepoint enables organizations to deploy business-grade LTE and 5G Wireless WAN networks that offer superior performance, reliability, and scale.