Using Mobile Broadband Bonding Technology to Provide High Bandwidth Connectivity
Application Case Study – Rapid deployment of Internet connectivity at remote locations
The requirement was to support staff on sites used for limited amounts of time from a few weeks up to several months. The customer carries out engineering maintenance work and also some construction projects. The number of staff on site varies depending on the phases of the projects and often towards the end of the project the numbers are highest. The locations tend to be in the countryside where there is no fixed line internet connectivity or where the price of installing fixed lines is prohibitive. The other major issue with fixed line provision is the lead time as sometimes the maintenance is unplanned and urgent. The services the customer required were for data connectivity to applications running on systems at the head office and also for general public internet access. The final and most challenging application, due to bandwidth requirements, was for video surveillance and monitoring to be running concurrently with the engineering and project management applications.
Three levels of solution were put together to match the different sizes of the sites to be supported. For the larger sites bonded 4G solutions were used where up to 5 SIMs and routers were bonded into a single high capacity channel depending on the number of staff to be supported on site. For the smaller sites a single SIM 4G router with built in WLAN was deployed. The equipment and services supplied were as follows:
Small site – A 4G router with an Anvil fixed IP data SIM with a 10 gigabyte per month data allowance. The fixed IP feature is needed to allow access through the corporate firewall to applications and resources needed for the project. Typical throughput in a location with moderate signal strength is around 15-20mbps download speed and 8-10mbps upload. Higher speeds will be seen in a strong signal location and less in a weak signal environment.
Medium site – An Anvil Synergy bonding server with 3 SIMs & routers using different mobile network operators for resilience. Three Anvil data SIMs with 16 gigabytes per month data allowance. Typical throughput is around 30-40mbps download and 15-20mbps upload optimised for low latency and stable speeds. Quality of service (QoS) rules prioritise interactive applications such as VoIP, Video Conferencing and remote desktop applications.
Large site – An Anvil Synergy Bonding server with 5 SIMs/routers using different mobile network operators for resilience. Five Anvil data SIMs with 32 gigabytes per month data allowance. Typical throughput is around 50-60mbps download and 20-25mbps upload speeds optimised for low latency and stable speeds. Quality of service (QoS) rules prioritise interactive applications such as VoIP, Video Conferencing and remote desktop applications.
Bonded 4G as a business solution
There are two deployment options for the Synergy bonded 4G solutions. The option chosen for the customer scenario described above was the rapid deployment solution where all of the necessary network equipment is housed in a custom designed, ruggedized transport case. This made it possible for a “man in a van” to deliver the network connectivity to site with no specialist network technology skills as there are just two external sockets on the transport case. One is for power and the other is to plug in an Ethernet cable to connect the LAN. The other deployment option is where the 4G routers are positioned on site at locations where the strongest signal is available for each of the mobile network operators SIMs. Ethernet cable is then used to connect back to the Synergy bonding server.
In order to make 4G as a reliable and robust to meet the demands of a business, it is best to spread the risk of lost signal and operator network constraints over several mobile operators. Even high bandwidth applications such as streaming video and heavy duty engineering applications are supported with bonded 4G. Anvil delivers bonded 4G as a managed service so only the Anvil Synergy bonding server and attached routers need to be installed on site with connectivity and Quality of Service managed in real time from the operations centre.
Bonded 4G solutions can also integrate fixed line IP connections such as ADSL, Ethernet and fibre connections. Applications include bonding up to 4 DSL low speed broadband connections into a single channel with the combined bandwidth and 3G/4G being configured for back-up. Another scenario is to use 4G to boost slow upload speeds by around 10mbps with the 4G download service configured to zero so that downloads use the fixed line broadband for economy and 4G is only for the upload requirements.