Why choose cellular for your WiFi?

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Cellular wouldn’t necessarily be the first option you consider when thinking about connectivity for your WiFi deployment. It really should be, since going cellular provides a huge range of benefits with very little downside. It’s easy to set up, it’s secure, it provides great redundancy and reliability, and the flexibility can’t be beat. Wired connections just aren’t practical in some use cases (far-flung construction sites), and straight up impossible in others (buses and trains that are constantly moving).

At the end of the day, it’s critical for most businesses to guarantee reliable connectivity regardless of outages or location. It may not yet be considered a basic human right but there’s a strong expectation that internet connectivity will always be made available for use, and it should offer both high speeds and consistently solid coverage. There’s a large variety of use cases but let’s highlight the 3 below.

Uses of cellular for WiFi

Passenger WiFi: “Free WiFi!” can sometimes be the key selling point when customers are making their public transportation choices. The expectation from passengers is that they’ll be able to enjoy high-speed, reliable internet connectivity on the move, throughout their journey, regardless of location. By deploying wireless access points throughout their vehicles using a SIM for connectivity, public transport companies can meet their customers’ expectations, with the added benefit of a lightened management load, easy billing, usage data analytics, and more.

Want to learn how IoT is changing the face of public transportation? Check out our blog post!

“Through the connectivity provided by Pelion, we are able to provide dozens of on-board services to our business and our customers. Connectivity for our train fleet enables remote monitoring of engineering systems, the provision of on-board retail as well as on-board entertainment, passenger WiFi and real time train running information for our customers and colleagues.”

Service Delivery Manager, UK Rail Organization

Site WiFi: Cellular steps in to enable connectivity in any number of remote locations, from temporary construction sites to agricultural farms, where workers (and animals) are constantly moving over a huge area. Remote locations will have more issues ensuring solid coverage for workers on a site where wired connectivity is impractical. Cellular networks are the perfect option to keep folks connected around their working area, with ultra-reliable high-speed WiFi. The use cases for site WiFi can range from simple internet access to mission-critical safety monitoring.

We covered this topic more in-depth in a recent post, “Cellular keeps remote site workers connected” so take a look!

WiFi failover: Service interruptions are simply not an option in many industries, so if the regular wired to WiFi connectivity has an outage, cellular can be introduced to seamlessly keep critical systems online. Whether you call it failover, fallback or backup, it’s designed as the ultimate in resiliency to mitigate any risks of disruption. By having a cellular-based recourse in case of potential connectivity issues, organizations can massively improve their uptime, save on reparations to customers, and increase user satisfaction.           

A simple diagram of WiFi for cellular backup.
Simple diagram of a WiFi failover solution.

Not convinced? Here’s a couple examples of Pelion customers using 4G cellular connectivity to provide robust, easily managed WiFi solutions, including Lothian in the public transport industry, and a prominent remote WiFi supplier.

If you’re keen to learn more about 4G and how it excels in IoT, read our informational blog, “Using 4G LTE for IoT connectivity”.

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