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Is 4G a viable alternative for remote workers with slow, unreliable or limited broadband?

Posted on 04-03-2021 , by: Anvil Mobile , in , 0 Comments

The comments on all of the applications listed below assume a reasonable 4G signal is present at the remote worker’s location:

Voice – Voice over IP (VoIP) phones will work well over 4G and allow users to make and receive calls. Some companies deploy data SIMs with a fixed IP address so that a VPN connection from the head office can be established and then the phone can act as an extension on the corporate phone system. This means that the remote worker can have calls transferred to them and they can also hold and transfer calls as if they were working in the office.

Applications and data – Cloud-based applications such as Dropbox and email will work well over 4G. If the remote worker needs to access servers at the head office to access documents or applications a fixed IP address on the 4G SIM allows IT staff to allow the specified IP addresses through the corporate firewall in order to log in to the network with their username and password. This is known as white listing and is commonly used to allow branch offices to connect to their main corporate network.

Video – Zoom, Microsoft Teams and similar applications will also work well where there is a good 4G signal. The only caveat is cost as video is a data-hungry application. A few gigabytes of monthly data allowance will support most voice and data applications and adding on a weekly Teams call will not add a great deal to the data use. Regular video users would need a higher monthly data allowance, however there are many benefits as well. The video calls may be business critical, as the alternative costs of travel and the time to do so may well be higher and, very importantly, video calls are safe for the participants.

4G as a back-up to fixed line connections – Broadband lines can fail occasionally and, in these troubled times, can take longer to fix. For remote workers Anvil has a low cost 4G SIM solution, with or without a public fixed IP address, where no data is charged while the SIMs are idle. When the SIMs are actively passing data, it is charged based on the mount data actually used.