Relying on a single broadband access circuit is a challenge that many business today struggle with.
Typically, the resilience and back up that is required by these companies is bought by using a secondary broadband access circuit from another provider.
However, the problem with dual vendor circuits is that, more often than not, the little used failover path costs just as much as the primary circuit. This makes for an expensive solution with shared infrastructure and in reality minimal resilience.
The other great advantage is that 3G and 4G is fast and easy to install; simply setup a router with a SIM and the connectivity is active.
This type of connection has now become a serious, cost effective and more resilient alternative to secondary “always on” circuits.
Node4 has seen a rise in customer requirements for 3G/4G as a viable MPLS access option, particularly where private broadband is the primary access circuit. By using the Mobile Network Operator (MNO) the weakest points in the local infrastructure - PSTN, duct, cabinet, local exchange and power - can be avoided.
In order to mitigate variable signal coverage, we have engineered a service that uses the signal of any UK mobile operator, as opposed to being bound to one MNO. And in order to secure data traffic in the failover event, our M2M service uses a private interconnect between our MPLS core and the MNO.
As with any MPLS network the visibility of applications is key, and pro-active bandwidth management will avoid excess 3G and 4G data usage.
Overall at Node4, our early customer trials for M2M have gone well and with increased coverage of 4G networks, M2M technology is becoming an affordable and effective solution to connect at the MPLS access layer.