You may have heard lots about ‘redundancy measures’ and ‘connectivity backups’. But what does this mean?
In short, it’s a fancy way of saying, “if your wifi goes down, you can stay connected to the internet”. But how does this work?
Well, your mobile devices can provide a clue here. When you’re at home, your smartphone is connected to your home network. When you leave the house, though, your phone can still connect to the internet via 4G.
3G, 4G, 5G… What Are They?
4G, 3G and 5G technologies are names used in the UK to denote progressing generations of mobile technology. If that sounds a bit vague, it’s because each number stands for an arbitrarily assigned ‘generation’ of mobile technologies. For example, 1G encapsulates only mobile voice calls as far as its mobile technology. 2G was introduced with the addition of mobile SMS text messaging.
3G, the first instance of ‘*G’ that you’re probably familiar with, was a huge leap forward in that it was the beginning of mobile web browsing. Since then, a new ‘generation’ has been born roughly every ten years. 4G (the 4th Generation of mobile technology) was introduced in around 2010 when devices and infrastructure were capable of allowing for mobile video streaming.
With 5G in 2020, it is expected that industries will become increasingly digitalised, with IoT applications (to give one example) increasing the ease and efficiency with which businesses can operate. Some examples provided by Ericsson include:
- Production lines autonomously reacting to changes in supply and demand
- Logistics planning systems autonomously changing supply routes in reaction to real-world traffic and weather information.
- Real-time remote control of complex robotics systems and machinery for safe operation in hazardous or risky environments.
This will all work by transmitting data across radiofrequency bands, just the same as current 4G and WiFi technologies do.
SIM Cards - But Not In Your Phone?
So how can you take advantage of 4G and 5G?
As you know, when you sign up for a mobile contract nowadays you get a certain amount of data included in your plan, ranging from 2Gb to 20Gb in most cases, which will be used up more or less quickly depending on how heavy your internet use is over 4G.
What you may not know is that smartphones aren’t the only devices that accept SIM cards. Data-only SIM cards are available from providers which can be used with any device. LTE modems accept data SIMs and they range from tiny dongles that plug into the USB port on your PC to dedicated router-modems like the Teltonika RUT950, which act as an alternative to a standard router, handling all incoming network traffic from the wider internet.
Whilst your standard router would connect to the internet through the fibre optic or copper cables running into the house, your Teltonika RUT950 communicates with your local cell masts to establish an internet connection in the same way that your smartphone does. 4G/5G antennas like the Poynting XPOL-2-5G, which are specifically designed to boost signals being broadcast across the radio frequencies used for mobile data, can be plugged into your LTE modem to strengthen and stabilise this internet connection. Your standard network devices can then be plugged into your 4G router with ethernet cables, just as they would in a standard router.
You can even set up a dual configuration with your standard router handling all wired network traffic, with your 4G router standing by ready to kick in and provide connectivity to your home’s various wireless access points and other network devices if and when your wired network drops out or otherwise begins experiencing issues.
With this 4G antenna/4G modem combo, you have a means of providing a ‘redundancy plan’ or ‘connectivity backup’ for your primary network configuration, meaning you can say goodbye to those painful periods without an internet connection!