For many of us, the first time we heard of LTE was in regard to our mobile phones. At least that’s the case for me. As we get more and more into a wireless environment in our personal and professional lives, there are even more terms to learn and more places to associate them. Long Term Evolution (LTE) is just one of them. We have 4G, MVNO, Multi-IMSI SIM, WiFi, MiFi, SciFi. OK, I may have gone down a rhyming scheme rabbit hole there but you see the point. The point is about learning these terms and learning how to maximize this knowledge. So what is all this stuff and where can you go to learn more about this? I’m so glad you asked.
I’ll be glad to dive into all of these aspects but since we, as a society, tend to have a short attention span in this instant gratification world, I’m going to focus on just one of these – wireless access. It sounds easy enough, right? So what is it?
Wireless access is an inexpensive way to connect directly to the public internet. It is quickly and easily deployed and can be delivered over 3G or 4G wireless networks. There are a number of situations where this is ideal so let’s look at them.
Office in a box. If you need to set up a temporary office, what do you do for internet service? Examples of this could be recruiting offices, news organizations, seasonal pop-ups, convention booths, etc. The point is that you’re on the move or in a location for a week, month, or few months. You’re not going to bring dedicated fiber in there, nor would it be cost effective for you. It might be difficult even getting broadband service as well. You won’t want to pay the high install charges for a place you’re not going to stay. If you’re a journalist, you chase a story, and might be at a location for an hour. You’re going to want quality internet in the news van though, so you can send your story to the station.
Internet for those places that just can’t get internet. Think about new construction, whether it’s a new housing development, bridge or highway work, or anywhere else that will set up a temporary HQ. We’ve all seen the big trailers on these work sites that serve as the command center for the job site. Who do they use for their internet service? If they plan it out months in advance and pay for the install, and possibly the special construction for the build out, they can get broadband service delivered. It’s not likely that dedicated Ethernet would be cost effective for this scenario. Wireless access, however, doesn’t require any of this.
There is another scenario where this will work and I like speaking about this mostly because I’m a big baseball fan. Think of the last time you were at a major league baseball game and all the concessions they have on the main concourse. There are interactive games for kids and adults with so many options that many folks don’t pay any attention to the game on the field because the other amenities are just too engaging. Imagine if the team set up a pop up kiosk on the concourse and filled it with a few tablets loaded with some kind of interactive games. The team could use this to put some advertising in there, which would be paid for by the advertising company, of course. So the fans would have fun with some neat game and the team would have a new revenue stream from the advertisement. In a previous life, they would have to run wiring to that kiosk to make that happen. That’s not the case anymore.
Disaster Recovery. What happens when your internet goes down? There is construction outside of our office right now and we lost power the other day for about 2 hours. When that happens, you have a few options. You can go home and work remotely. You can sit around with co-workers, chatting about sporting events, local news, or anything else that isn’t work related. Or you could have a wireless option as a backup and get to work without skipping a beat. That’s what we did.
Our wireless access is a pay as you play service. You pay for the device with a one-time fee and then you own it. The only time that you pay for bandwidth is when you use it. If you need to send a news story from the van back to the station, you only pay for that bandwidth you use. If you need a temporary HQ for your construction site, you only pay for the time that you need to use your internet. You see the pattern here? You won’t have a lengthy contract. You won’t have to pay exorbitant fees for special construction.
So now that we’ve gone through these questions there is only one left……how come you’re not calling me to discuss all the opportunities you have?