Technological advances have been coming exponentially faster over the past few years, and businesses have found that they need to keep up to survive. If you can’t match the pace, your company might not survive, even if you’ve experienced success for years prior – just look at the empty storefronts on the high street that were once occupied by well-respected businesses.
It’s clear that keeping up with the latest tech is essential to thriving as a business, new or old, but how exactly do you go about that? It’s not straightforward to keep your company adaptable – just think of how complex business networks are to install, let alone to change on a whim.
There may be a solution to this problem very soon in the form of 4G powered WAN (wide area networks), which could allow your business to adapt with the times more easily than ever. In this article, we’ll explain how 4G WANs work, and how you can utilise them to make your business more modern than ever before.
What is 4G?
You’re probably already familiar with 4G in your daily life, even if you aren’t quite sure what that little two digit code in the corner of your phone means – so what is it? We can trace 4G back to the earliest form of wireless communication in the 1980s, now known as 1G (first generation networks). Unlike 4G, which can let you stream a whole movie on the go, 1G was only capable of carrying voice calls over radio waves.
The next important step up was to 2G in the 1990s, which switched out analogue communication for digital, meaning that texts and emails could be sent outside of your home or office computer, entirely wirelessly.
We then reach 3G, which you’re likely already familiar with, as it marks when wireless connection could truly allow you to access the internet from almost anywhere. 3G has far greater transfer speeds than 2G could reach, meaning that users could access the entire web on the go – something up a step up from just getting texts.
4G essentially works in the same way as 3G, only far more effectively due to even faster speeds. 4G connections can send much more data in a single transmission, and can handle issues like network congestion that would frequently hinder 3G.
Mobile data is no longer a novelty that lets you chat to a friend on the go; it’s an important tool strong enough to power a whole company.
Does this mean that we can run an entire business network from our phones using only 4G? Sadly, this isn’t quite how it works, as one SIM wouldn’t be able to handle even a fraction of the data required to run a complex business network. So what’s the solution? Using a 4G router.
4G routers allow you to utilise and combine the data potential of more than one SIM – this strength in numbers can transform a 4G connection into something capable of supporting your business. The number of SIMs per router can vary greatly, but can be as many as over twenty working towards the same network.
Configuring Your 4G Router
To configure the SIMs in your 4G router, there are a couple of different directions you can take – these are known as bonding or load balancing.
‘Bonding’ lets you gather all of the data capability into one connection, creating a robust connection to the internet that allows for the failure of some SIMs. On the other hand, ‘load balancing’ keeps your SIMs independent of one another, instead mapping each of them to a device or user. This means that other connections are kept unavailable unless a SIM malfunctions.
Both have different benefits, and whichever you choose, you’ll be creating an entirely wireless internet connection.
Benefits for Your Business
The phrase ‘circuit delivery’ likely strikes fear into the heart of any business owner. You receive a date from the network carrier, plan your entire operation around it, and then more often than not it seems like they delay at the last second. This obviously means far more work on your end, for an issue that’s entirely out of your control.
Using a 4G router as a part of your business completely prevents this issue, letting you launch your business on your own terms.
How can 4G expand your business?
- Launching New Locations: You can dodge the previously mentioned pain of relying on a service provider to get your new location up and running by utilising an entirely wireless 4G WAN, which allows you to get your new location started in days rather than weeks.
- Expo Appearances: You can use the newfound mobility provided by a 4G router to bring your network to expos and conventions – perhaps even as a selling point for your company.
- Embracing Pop-Up Stores: While it may seem that online shopping is the way of the future, consumers are still making a staggering number of purchases in person – by using a 4G WAN to connect pop-up stores to your network, you won’t be missing out on these sales!
- Connecting Staff: Do you have staff who work from home, or who travel around the world for their work? Using a wireless 4G network means that you can keep them connected wherever they go with the same stellar connection they’d find in the workplace.
- Making Employees Mobile: If you have a client who requires an employee on site, you can use your 4G connectivity to let them rely on your internet instead of taking a chance on the connection of another business.
How Much Does Using 4G Cost?
Every business owner knows that IT needs aren’t always straightforward, and that what works for one business could be inappropriate for the needs of another. 4G WAN is just the same; as with any other type of network, you’ll want to have a thorough discussion with potential providers about exactly what you expect and need from them.
They’ll be able to tell you the features they can provide, the speeds you’ll be able to achieve, the support they can give your business, and, most importantly, how much 4G WAN will cost you. It might not be an immediate money saver endeavour, but if it keeps you on the cutting edge, it could also help keep your business afloat.