The problem with single-radio routers and why we are different!
In the afterglow of 4G, the market is awash with cellular “gateways”, from industrial and enterprise routers to small, portable Wi-Fi hotspots. The former tend to be traditional Ethernet or standard broadband devices with either a slot for a USB dongle, or something similar hidden under the hood, while the latter are really little more than smartphones without the big screen or camera. There are some devices that are somewhere in-between, mostly designed for specific markets, such as vehicles.
The main issue with any of these is that they rely on a single cellular radio. As anyone who has ever used a mobile phone knows, the signal quality can vary wildly, even in the same spot. Some days you’ll see the lovely “4G” icon in your smartphone bar, while some days the dreaded “E” will tell you it isn’t worth pressing the Facebook icon. On some days, even with the strongest signal, web pages just don’t seem to want to load.
There are two main issues with the dependence on a single radio. When a cellular mast is taken down for maintenance or encounters issues, the only option is to go to a mast further away, which generally means you lose your super-fast data connection. 4G becomes EDGE, which becomes GPRS, which is every reason to give up on the connection altogether.
The other issue occurs when your connection reaches the mast. 4G, 3G, whichever connection technology is being used, is only relevant until your data reaches the cellular mast. From there, you have two problems – contention (the number of other people sending or receiving data) and backhaul (the speed and quality of the connection from the mast to the rest of the network). Regardless of if you have a retail or business contract, you are all treated equally – your vital email or drawing is no more important than somebody streaming a cat video on YouTube.
Outpost has been designed differently to mitigate these issues.
Our hardware has more than one radio – up to seven, in fact, so we can equip a site with the best of the all the connections. All the networks with coverage in the area will be utilised simultaneously and If a network has a particularly good 4G coverage with excellent backhaul, we will create more than one connection over that network too. Outpost uses true aggregation to create seamless fault-tolerance in the event one mobile carrier goes down and a connection that combines the speed of all the connections to create a connection that throttles up to speeds single-radio systems can only dream of. Please don’t confuse this with “load balancers” (which are generalised devices and can’t fully use the total available bandwidth) or dual-SIM routers, which can switch to another network should one fail but still only provide a single connection at a time.
We also utilise a private cellular system, one which is prioritised on the carrier networks. No matter how many cats are being streamed, your data gets through first.
In short, Outpost is the most advanced connectivity solution for construction, designed specifically for your site so you will always be connected. Don’t just take our word for it, give us a call and let us show you how we can help.