Iotatel Inc. Provides Reliable Network Connectivity Solution for Forestry Camps in Canada
Iotatel Inc. is a Canada-based start-up that provides a network connectivity solution for forestry camps in remote locations using Cradlepoint’s COR IBR900 ruggedized LTE router for quick, reliable, cloud-managed deployments.
Based in Vancouver Island, Canada, Iotatel Inc. is a remote telecommunications company backed by FPInnovations, the largest forest research company in the world. Iotatel’s primary goal is to provide remote logging facilities with reliable, highly available networking connectivity.
Iotatel was founded by a University of Victoria engineering graduate who has a knowledge and appreciation of remote environments as well as experience with wireless communications, computer networks, and emerging technologies. Low overhead and high mobility allows Iotatel to respond quickly and efficiently to customer needs. Iotatel has developed highly integrated systems that make use of cellular modems, tree-mounted antennas, off-grid power sources, and non-line-of-sight microwave radios to tackle the mostchallenging environments and deliver a high level of service.
Iotatel works with forestry and logging camps that are at log sort facilities. The facilities are almost always in semi-remote locations or areas where wired internet connections including ADSL, cable, fiber, and more are unavailable or cost-prohibitive. The facilities are large outdoor properties and are filled with log piles, logging machines, and usually several small outbuildings that all require secure and reliable network connectivity. Iotatel needed a 4G LTE routing solution it could trust to provide reliable connectivity and be able to handle inclement weather and a hazardous work environment.
Prior to implementing the Cradlepoint solution, the facilities were using small USB-based cellular modems and low-powered access points. This did not provide adequate bandwidth or capacity for a regular staff of 10-20 employees’ client devices, nor did it provide the network coverage required throughout the yard. They were experiencing significant packet loss and network drop-out.
For these remote logging facilities, Iotatel chose a comprehensive solution including Cradlepoint’s COR IBR900 routers and NetCloud Manager, with the option to add dual-modem Extensibility Docks in the future. The IBR900 acts as the Internet gateway, then the network is built using point-to-point microwave links and WiFi access points to provide coverage across the facility.
The Cradlepoint solution has improved network performance for these remote sites by a factor of 10 times or more.
REMOTE CLOUD MANAGEMENT
With Iotatel’s customers spread all over the region, remote network management is critical. Cradlepoint’s NetCloud platform enables a single-pane-of-glass view for remote management and network operations.
“These facilities are remote, so going out there to configure or troubleshoot is not efficient. We use NetCloud for monitoring the devices, checking in remotely, looking at client data usage, and to make any adjustments as necessary,” said Nick Birch, Iotatel founder and CEO.
Cradlepoint’s Extensibility Dock gives organizations the ability to add a second modem, FirstNet modem, or custom sensor or radio module.
“The option to add an Extensibility Dock in the future for augmented bandwidth as operations grow was an important feature for us when choosing the COR IBR900. The Extensibility Dock would allow for a second SIM card to double the bandwidth and capacity,” said Birch.
Cradlepoint’s best-in-class support ensure customers stay always connected and customer networks run smoothly and efficiently.
“One minor problem we had was solved in a matter of minutes. We are quite happy that Cradlepoint offered remote management services for 24x7 support,” said Birch.