With all of the TV advertisements for 4G focused on major carrier cellular service, you likely haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about 4G fixed wireless for business.
In fact, business-grade 4G fixed wireless technology is a reality today and offers a great primary alternative for when wired service is not available or as a robust backup service for when it is. 4G fixed wireless can reach remote locations, scales easily, and provides superior coverage and security. And as icing on the cake, it can be implemented in less than half the time it takes for a wired alternative.
Having said that, many businesses are asking if they can transition smoothly to 4G and be certain that service at their sites will be consistent and stable.
That question is absolutely reasonable. The truth is, you can’t just upgrade cell towers and magically get great 4G fixed wireless service. Something more needs to happen to make that 4G service viable for data-heavy business applications. Why haven’t carriers addressed the issues beyond the tower? Most carriers do not spend investment dollars developing fixed wireless equipment, since it’s not their core business and they have enough heavy lifting to do in upgrading their mobile infrastructure.
So what’s a business to do? As noted in earlier blog posts, while there is a perception in some quarters that AirCards are up to the rigors of business service, reality differs. The problem is at the site, where a device needs to be able to ensure consistent 4G signal strength, managing the issues that impact RF such as weather, power, trees, the building next door with a metal roof or other factors. Something must be done to keep the signal optimized: an investment in the physics of understanding RF signals so that 4G fixed wireless service is actually stable and good enough for business applications, which are rapidly populating the business scene.
So making 4G work for business is not a simple equipment upgrade at the cell tower. There is an equally important paradigm shift at the business location where new equipment that optimizes signal strength and reduces jitter creates the same consistent broadband availability as wired solutions. And that technology paradigm shift is a matter of RF physics, not wireless magic.