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4G Flexibility: The Gumby Failover Network

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s probably not news to you that the 4G network can be leveraged as a reliable network connection. (Even if you have been living under a rock, you probably have coverage so it’s still nothing new.)

So if everybody knows about it, why waste time writing the millionth blog about it?

Well, we started writing it hoping there was a prize for the millionth post, but much to our dismay, it’s not the case. But since we’re already on the subject, let’s talk about something that isn’t discussed as often, and that’s the overall versatility of 4G failover solutions from a network perspective.

“I have a hot spot, I have internet everywhere—I get it.”

Hear us out.

First of all, your phone can now do what your hotspot does. The versatility of 4G isn’t just tied to its ubiquity from a coverage standpoint, it can also play many different roles in terms of your overall network.

So let’s retire the hotspot with the pager and flip-phone and look at a few of the applications.

One of the most obvious applications that you might be familiar with is using 4G in rural areas as a primary internet connection. By utilizing enterprise-grade routers that are 4G capable (Cradlepoint anybody?), you can secure a reliable internet connection in areas with few other options that will blow your rural T1 out of the water.

And since these areas aren’t over-utilized by cell phone users, you also don’t have to worry about issues caused by network congestion, making this a highly reliable connection capable of speeds well in excess of T1’s at a fraction of the costs.

Pair this with the fact that you can have SIM cards active from multiple carriers to allow for redundancy, and you have an amazing, highly-available solution in an area that’s usually considered to be a challenge.

“Our offices are in well-populated areas, so we have plenty of options when it comes to our network.”

Sure, we’ll keep playing along.

If you have access to reliable landline connections that aren’t metered, it makes complete sense to utilize those. But that doesn’t mean 4G shouldn’t be of interest to you.

In today’s cloud-crazy environment, most companies have a need for high availability since network downtime is more costly than ever. Considering the fact that fiber can be cut due to natural disasters, construction, and a whole hosts of other human-related catastrophes that are more likely in heavily populated an area, you can see how a wireless last-mile for your network redundancy is important.

So when some dimwit with a back-hoe takes out your primary connection, you can lean on the wireless network to keep your business critical applications available.

“Our company uses MPLS, so our network is private.”

Your private network is in need of redundancy just as much as a public network, so why not take advantage of a wireless last mile solution and using a VPN to get back into your private network? That way you have a backup ISP that’s not only cost effective, but also allows for a truly diverse last mile.

“The 4G network isn’t reliable, and the speeds I need can’t be achieved or maintained.”

Yes, people still fall for this myth. This topic deserves a little more attention, so we’ll cover it in a follow-up that addresses the multiple layers that this objection really encompasses.

Suffice to say for now that modern 4G technology is good enough to keep your business running and at a price you can leverage, so you shouldn’t waste brain cells worrying about this.

In the end, we’ve only scratched the surface on the full scope of possibilities available to network architects and engineers by the 4G network. Everyday people are finding new, innovative ways to use this technology, and with hardware companies bringing enterprise grade routers to the table that allow you to leverage traditional landline options as well as 4G, we’ll continue to see this network become a larger part of the market for a wide range of applications.

If you’d like to know how 4G solutions can work for you, feel free to reach out for a free consultation with EnableIP consultants. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the follow up post regarding reliability.

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