Unlimited Data? Not So Much. Here’s What You Need to Know

To be successful, companies today need more bandwidth and with higher reliability than ever before. Whether you’re an SMB or a large enterprise, your business requires agile and effective connections to supplement wired network access and to provide coverage in areas that lack wired access. The growing need for remote cloud access, IoT, and increasingly mobile employees, means that businesses need a new foundation for building a truly ‘connected organization.’ 4G LTE and LTE-A are ideal technologies for supporting a connected organization because the solutions provide lightning-fast Internet connectivity, regardless of where connectivity is needed. While most 4G LTE business-grade solutions are multi-carrier to ensure that networks are always-on and applications are always available, carriers’ so-called ‘unlimited’ data plans leave much to be desired. The fact is, plans advertised as unlimited are, in reality, far from it. Performance in real-world conditions varies greatly, and it’s hard to know if advertised speeds are delivered consistently.

When evaluating data plans and 4G LTE options, organizations need to ask smart questions to determine if the wireless connectivity and data plans will work for their needs. For example:

  • Are there any usage limitations or application limitations on the data plan?
  • Can the 4G LTE service plans be used in a router or device or just a tablet or phone?
  • Can users run business applications like cloud-based UC, VoIP or VPN using these data plans?  Is there throttling at a threshold?

Let’s go over the best use-cases for 4G LTE and learn more about how to determine carriers’ unlimited data hype from reality.

  • Great for enterprise edge connectivity – When conventional wired connections aren’t available, 4G LTE connectivity solutions provide reliable, flexible, and easy to manage connectivity solutions to support data-rich applications. Companies that have remote locations, or those in retail, food, and beverage, or others with branch networks, mobile networks, or IoT may benefit from 4G wireless. Wireless routers can also provide reliable internet for remote and temporary locations, such as fairs or events, or interactive media applications, industrial sites, and more. Putting together the right 4G LTE routers with the right data plan can also support sophisticated networks at the edge and make consistent connectivity possible for organizations of any size and nearly any application or vertical.
  • Business continuity guaranteed – When primary wired networks go down businesses are at tremendous risk. Without backup internet in place, organizations can miss out on critical sales, miss deadlines, accrue penalties, and irritate customers – all of which can impact revenue in the short term and long term. 4G LTE plans can help customers avoid these pains and minimize risks across their organization. On top of that, 4G LTE married with the right data plans can help customers stay connected to the internet, plus provide access to VoIP applications and data networks no matter what.
  • More flexibility to pool data – One of the primary benefits of 4G LTE for WAN network access is that it provides hugely flexible connectivity options for business customers compared with traditional wired line connections. As organizations expand their connectivity needs requiring internet access for everything from remote offices to kiosks and IoT devices, 4G LTE is the clear winner because it provides users access to a shared data pool needed to support all of these business applications in the most effective and efficient way possible.

As a trusted technology partner, customers will be looking to you to answer critical questions about what 4G LTE solutions are optimal and which carriers and data plans they can trust. Luckily, you have Broad Sky Networks on your side! We offer 4G LTE options that your customers will love and that will meet their demands for connectivity across the enterprise. Contact us to learn more about why LTE is the connectivity choice for many enterprises to support data-rich applications and to provide highly reliable, flexible, and easy to manage the internet. We’ll help you understand which 4G LTE data plans are the best and show you how these plans perform in the real world. Your customers with thank you!

Why Your Customers Need Gold Standard Wireless….Quality Matters

The internet is no longer a luxury item, it’s an integral part of every business. As companies push more and more applications to the cloud their reliance and survival rely on their connectivity to the cloud! To meet these demands, there’s an increasing need for faster speeds and a network that can handle the capacity of today’s Cloud Applications. But, with more options and features available for business-grade wireless, the market has also become much more confusing and cluttered. Carriers are promoting cheaper IoT and Machine to Machine (M2M) wireless solutions that are marketed as ‘business-grade’ wireless when in actuality they don’t deliver the speeds or high-availability required. So what are businesses doing to overcome wireless internet challenges?

A lot of companies are going with the ‘hope for the best’ method, which, unfortunately, misses the mark and can lead to tarnished business reputations. Leading companies, however, are taking a different path. They are turning to their technology partners (like you!) for guidance about selecting their right enterprise wireless solutions. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about enterprise-grade wireless options.

  • Think about how wireless integrates with a customer’s overall environment – Today most enterprises have a hybrid mix of traditional IT and new cloud-hosted application. This dynamic environment dramatically impacts the requirements for connectivity between branch offices, plus connections to cloud services (i.e. Office 365, Salesforce, etc.). Corporate Wi-Fi is just one more piece of the puzzle. When looking at deployment options, consider those that have unified management capabilities. Customers want web-based tools for viewing VPN and WiFi performance, and things like inventory, configuration, and bandwidth usage. With analytics and web-based management capabilities, organizations will have visibility across their entire connectivity infrastructure, including managed WiFi networks, broadband, MPLS VPN, and access to cloud services.
  • Be wary of ‘business-grade’ options – While there are multiple options available for speed and latency that are touted as ‘business grade’ wireless, the fact remains that not all wireless packages can support enterprise functions like VoIP, IPSec VPN, VDN or video applications. Be confident that your wireless internet partner can deliver superior throughput, maximum performance, and extensive coverage for each customer deployment.
  • Make sure the equipment being used is the latest Chip Set for Carrier Aggregation – As the carriers have poured money and resources into upgrading their wireless networks for faster speeds and more bandwidth, a customers connection is only as good as the receiving equipment. You want to make sure you are looking at Category 6 or higher in the equipment deployed in your wireless connections. Category 6 Modem or higher provides access to the additional bands available on all the carriers providing faster speeds, more bandwidth and Carrier aggregation for the fastest performance at each location.
  • Why is everyone talking about Cat-M1 and when should it be used? Cat-M1 is just one of the technologies that are paving the way for 5G networks. Many believe that M1 marks a step closer to carriers delivering cellular-based IoT capabilities. While still being improved upon and further developed, LTE Cat M1 technology offers significant enhancements over Cat 1 such as ease of integration, battery life, and coverage. Once Cat-M1 goes mainstream, it will mean lower cost IoT projects, and enhanced flexibility. If your customers are looking for next-gen connectivity for large-scale IoT projects, you should look into the availability of Cat-M1.

The demand for secure, enterprise-grade wireless internet options is pushing leading companies and technology partners to cut through the clutter to bring next-generation wireless networks to life.                 

Whether a business requires wireless internet at multiple branch offices to support VoIP, or connectivity for M2M communications, Gold Standard Wireless from Broad Sky Networks can help you get there. At Broad Sky Networks, we engineer the fastest possible connections at every location. We also offer a winning pre-install process that simplifies installation, and makes partners look good! While carriers have segmented their wireless offerings and networks into categories like ‘good, better, and best’ you’re customers always deserve the best! Let Broad Sky Networks help you deliver. Your customers will love it!

Top 4 Reasons Why SD-WAN and Wireless are a Perfect Match

As our adoption of cloud computing grows, SD-WAN is fast becoming the future of the enterprise WAN. Storage and backup in the cloud, Unified Communication-as-a-Service (UCaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are just a few examples of the great migration to the cloud. SD-WAN offers significant advantages over a traditional WAN infrastructure because it moves away from the conventional hub and spoke network design. In the hub and spoke designed WAN, traffic is backhauled through the enterprise data center, and it relies on private circuit MPLS links. On the other hand, SD-WAN allows for a network overlay with multiple links to form a unified pool of bandwidth. SD-WAN supports MPLS plus other reliable and cost-effective connectivity sources like cable, DSL, and wireless 4G LTE. A software-defined network is ideal for supporting the delivery of cloud-based services because it efficiently routes data traffic across a WAN by choosing the access connection for optimal performance.

Let’s take a look at how and why 4G wireless connectivity complements SD-WAN and how you can help customers leverage it to reduce costs and increase flexibility – making money for you at the same time!

  1. Ideal for traditional ‘branch’ deployments and more – SD-WAN is ideal for branch deployments because it includes centralized management across branches with the ability to select the optimal connection for each application. These capabilities are important because the term ‘branch deployment’ can cover a myriad of deployments. Besides traditional branch offices, businesses may need fast, reliable connectivity for fleet vehicles, pop-up stores, mobile facilities, surveillance cameras, or digital signage and kiosks, for example. Because SD-WANs combine MPLS quality and lower cost internet, including wireless, regardless of the deployment organizations can keep their applications connected and running smoothly. SD-WAN also provides the ability to select network technologies on a site-by-site basis, helping achieve the optimal balance of performance, security, and cost.
  2. Zero-touch deployments – SD-WAN coupled with 4G LTE wireless also simplifies deployment. IT organizations don’t have to dispatch IT staff to a remote location to deploy an SD-WAN router at a new branch, or to provide connectivity for an Internet of Things (IoT) device, like a remote sensor at a plant, for instance. Instead, using an SD-WAN router and wireless connectivity, an office manager can plug in the new router, and they have connectivity!
  3. Cloud-based management – Because SD-WAN technologies are software-defined, management is also done remotely through the cloud. These cloud-based platforms give teams the ability to provision, troubleshoot, and manage connectivity and applications on the network from a web-based interface. Network managers and have peace-of-mind knowing they have a single pane of glass for device management and SD-WAN control.
  4. Smart traffic routing – SD-WAN can optimize the best path for network traffic, leveraging smart-traffic routing, policy-based traffic prioritization, filtering, and traffic shaping. A software-based based platform enables teams to keep an eye on all connected endpoints across the network.

SD-WAN is one of the fastest growing network solutions because of its benefits around reducing costs, increasing flexibility, and centralizing control across the WAN. It aggregates multiple connections, including 4G LTE wireless, to steer application traffic leveraging diverse wireless bandwidth when needed. Talk to Broad Sky Networks about how you can help your customers leverage the power of wireless within their network for diversity, flexibility and peak performance!

5G is Almost Here….Your Questions Answered!

Excitement is building around what 5G connectivity will mean for businesses, consumers, and the partners that support them. While 5G will promote faster speeds and less latency than previous iterations, the evolution in technology will also require a shift and reinvestment in cellular networks. What’s even more exciting is the potential impact 5G will have on the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape. It will require an increase in cellular networks worldwide to include new antennas that will soon, in the not-too-distant future, become the backbone of the IoT movement. In fact, research firm IDC predicts that by 2021, 5G’s broad enablement of IoT use cases will drive 70% of G2000 companies to spend $1.2 billion on connectivity management solutions (Source: IDC)

The possible implications of 5G connectivity are immense with the ability to impact not only mobile phones, but also homes, work, cities, and cars. While it may be some time before we see widespread 5G-enabled wireless networks available, it’s not too early to prepare for this new era of ultra-high-speed communication. Let’s explore some of the biggest questions around 5G networks and look at some exciting applications for business and end users.

  1. How fast are 5G speeds? 5G is a next-generation cellular standard, similar to 2G, 3G, 4G, LTE-Cat M, and NB-IoT, but faster.  One of the promises of 5G connectivity is faster data transmission speeds and much lower latency rates. For example, the fastest fiber broadband speeds currently being offered in the U.S. are hovering around 1 Gbps (gigabits per second). 5G connectivity could enable speeds of 20X that, up to 20 Gbps.
  2. What are the implications of 5G for IoT? Whether you’re talking about “smart cities” where sensors along roadways collect real-time information on traffic and send to traffic boards or “smart manufacturing” applications where interconnected machines share information, the reality is IoT can’t work without reliable connectivity. In the hyper-connected world of IoT, some projects can work fine with lower data rate solutions like 3G while other IoT plans, with more moving parts, have varying connectivity needs. The infrastructure and design of 5G-enabled networks and solutions are ideal for these environments because they are low energy and low cost. Not only that, they bring a level of reliability, latency, scalability, and security that’s needed for mission-critical services in the IoT space.
  3. Why does increased capacity matter? With the rise in IoT devices, such as ‘smart utility networks’ and manufacturing networks, the need for increased capacity will be a critical enabler of sharing data with multiple devices. Not only can 5G support the transport of data at a faster rate compared to 4G LTE, but it can also support a higher number of devices at the same time in a specific range. Experts predict 5G-enabled networks will have a connection density that is about 500 X as high as is the case with 4G.
  4. What opportunities are there around 5G? While 5G is on the verge of transforming how connected users interact with technology and the world around them, the success of 5G hinges on how wireless operators and technology partners can support these mobile networks of the future. The ability of partners to meet high capacity requirements and support practical IoT deployments with flexible and secure network architectures will propel leading partners to the front of the pack. Customers will look to IT service partners for solutions to support IoT plans, leveraging 5G connectivity, edge computing, software-defined networking, and network virtualization.

As organizations push for more data-intensive and complex IoT deployments, there will be an increased need for pervasive and fast mobile connectivity options: enter 5G. Talk to us today about how we can help you build up your support for 5G connectivity, wireless networks, and solutions that can support your customers’ core IoT infrastructure. Call Broad Sky Networks for more details (877) 291-9575.

True Nationwide, Multi-site Wireless Coverage is Here with Cross-carrier Pooling

For organizations with multi-site offices or locations, providing each site with reliable, continuous wireless coverage can be a tremendous challenge. Multi-site business might include retail chains, with operations across multiple states, mobile healthcare workers, or technicians who require using remote data wherever they are working from. Companies have gone direct to Carriers but no one carrier provides coverage everywhere.  To obtain adequate wireless coverage, businesses must purchase individual plans and wireless services from several top-tier carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. This ‘patchwork’ approach aims to ensure that remote workers and all locations have wireless coverage to stay productive. However, despite best efforts, this approach often leads to wireless gaps and buying, overbuying, or underbuying of wireless services. Not only that, there are multiple invoices from carriers to juggle, which is a drain on productivity.

However, a new wireless solution based on advanced engineering and provisioning capabilities is changing the multi-site wireless landscape for good. Broad Sky Networks is now offering an innovative multi-site wireless solution that provides access to cross-carrier pooling for the best wireless data connection at each of their locations. The multi-site wireless service means business locations can share single plans across multiple providers and they are guaranteed the best possible wireless performance and access at each given location. From large organizations that have thousands of locations or remote workers to multi-location retail outlets to a small organization with two employees, Broad Sky’s mobility solution is unique because it provides reliable nationwide coverage, through the consolidation of the most trusted wireless networks, such as AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

  •        Cross-carrier pooling – Provides the ability for all locations to contribute to an aggregated total usage pool across multiple providers for all locations. Cross-carrier pooling means that users can obtain nationwide coverage anywhere, anytime, with a single-source solution.
  •        Extreme plan flexibility – Offering monitoring and reporting tools, customers are notified if trending over their allotted usage pool.  With these tools and information plan changes can be made mid-month to accommodate usage changes within an account to optimize plans.
  •        Consolidated billing – The solution also streamlines billing so that businesses receive a single monthly bill, rather than individual invoices from multiple wireless providers. This can save tremendous time and gives organizations a better handle on their monthly accounting and cost analysis.
  •        Deploys with SD-WAN – Broad Sky Networks’ multi-site wireless solution can also support SD-WAN deployments. Because SD-WAN is transport agnostic, the technology can rely on MPLS, broadband, or 4G wireless connections. 4G LTE is a diverse path redundant connection that works well in any SD-WAN deployment – organizations can deploy SD-WAN for lean branch office set up and greater network flexibility. With SD-WAN and nationwide wireless coverage from Broad Sky businesses can offer a diverse backup solution offering the best wireless connection at each location.

Organizations across several verticals can benefit from a truly nationwide, single-source wireless solution. Talk to us today about how our mobility solution can deliver fast and extremely reliable nationwide coverage, through the consolidation of the most trusted wireless networks available. Through our extensive partner program, partners can also offer this new multi-site wireless package to their customers. Call us for more details (877) 291-9575.

Global Wireless is Here!

When you hear the terms ‘global wireless,’ you might assume your business already has those capabilities. Remote workers and those traveling to-and-from offices may have wireless plans in place, but what happens when mobile workers frequently cross multi-state or multi-country boundaries? Do they drop calls, or lose connectivity?  Further, what happens when Internet of Things (IoT) devices, connected to those same wireless plans, are in route on a multi-country transport? How do these devices stay connected to share sensor data or location information while bouncing across different carrier networks? Dealing with wireless coverage analysis maps, coordinating with carriers, and setting up third-party VPN applications is challenging, time-consuming, and costly to say the least. The question becomes if it takes this much juggling, can it be considered ‘a global wireless plan?’

The answer is, it cannot! That’s why Broad Sky Network’s next-generation global wireless solution is so groundbreaking. Through a new partnership with premier SIM provider, Webbing, Broad Sky Networks is offering a one-device wireless solution that allows for simple and highly-reliable global connectivity across 200-plus countries, without all the headaches. Let’s look at some of the distinct advantages of a wireless solution that has no limits.

  • Anywhere, anytime access without disruption – The global SIM solution bundles Webbing’s multi-IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) technology with failover capabilities across 200+ tier one providers. With Broad Sky Network’s strategic partnerships and carrier reach, this gives users access to wireless coverage across 600-plus countries. These capabilities enable low-cost routing while maintaining a high quality of service, giving users access to the best possible carrier connection automatically, without the need to switch carriers even while on the move (i.e., on a train, ferry, etc.).
  • Multi-device support –  Available for both travel and fixed locations, enterprise customers that require frequent international travel, or those that have international offices and facilities can benefit from Webbing and Broad Sky Network’s global-SIM solution. Supported devices include virtually any ‘smart’ device with a SIM card, such as smartphones, LTE-enabled laptops and tablets, and IoT technologies. With no manual intervention required by the user, the solution locates and connects to the optimal wireless signal at any given moment.
  • VPN access through international firewalls – Conventional global wireless solutions generally include carrier restrictions and require users to purchase, install, and set up a third-party VPN application to run effectively. These VPN blockers were needed to bypass ISP restrictions and enabled access to popular U.S.-based sites such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube as well as other business- related sites and services. Through Broad Sky’s access to premium carries, the global SIM wireless solution provides VPN access through international firewalls, so no additional VPN blockers are required.
  • Streamlined IoT connectivity – Unlike traditional enterprise mobility strategies, where a standardized cellular plan can guarantee sufficient data connectivity, successful IoT implementations require considerable planning and site surveys across thousands of locations, sometimes in areas where cell coverage is spotty. Broad Sky Networks dramatically simplifies current IoT deployments because the SIM solution can intelligently connect to the best wireless network on each data session. The platform enables native integration via APIs to track device usage, generate notifications, and provide insights on data anomalies in addition to real-time monitoring and security capabilities.

Many enterprise users today require continuous access to mission-critical applications while traveling, without all the hassles of dealing with multiple cellular carriers. Through its partnership with Webbing, Broad Sky Networks is making this vision a reality, making wireless without limits possible for businesses of all sizes. Talk to us today about how our global wireless solution provides superior connectivity over traditional carriers along with lower-cost data options. Call us today to get connected (877) 291-9575.

Business-class Satellite Internet and Why It’s Brilliant!

For those of us living and working in developed and densely populated areas, we sometimes take for granted the fact the broadband internet is as ubiquitous as a Starbucks on every corner. But the truth remains that for many businesses operating in remote or rural areas, broadband internet options may be few and far between. Slow and unreliable internet or even providers that promise the delivery of DSL, cable, or 4G/LTE often fail to come through within required timelines. These missed deadlines by providers can wreak havoc on project timelines and client deliverables. For those opening branch offices, remote retail locations, or temporary work sites like a construction job site, broadband internet is critical for everyday activities.

Whether your organization requires access to business-critical SaaS applications, VoIP, VPN, Point of Sale (PoS) applications, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication or Internet of Things (IoT) device connectivity, reliable broadband has evolved from a nice-to-have to a must-have. Fast, dependable broadband connectivity is also the lifeblood of the business, bringing teams together to support better decision making and to drive new levels of customer service delivery.

Business-grade satellite – reaching where other broadband can’t

The beauty of enterprise-grade satellite broadband solutions today is that there are flexible plans available with top satellite service carriers. The trick is to find a technology partner that can help build a customized satellite internet solution and service that fits specific business needs− without overpaying, getting locked into a long contract or signing up for services that can’t meet demands for speed and usage. When looking for a high-quality satellite broadband solution, look for partners and technology that can deliver fast speeds and path diversity with continuous coverage across the US. Let’s take a closer look at what options to consider when evaluating business-grade satellite services.

  • Reliable mobile broadband or backup solutions- Whether the organization requires highly-reliable primary connectivity, mobile broadband, internet at a remote location, or a comprehensive backup solution for business continuity or disaster recovery, business satellite services can meet these demands. Satellite internet with 4G LTE connections can keep employees and equipment connected in challenging terrains or environments. Brilliant Broadband Satellite options from Broad Sky Networks, for instance, have built-in path diversity to ensure a reliable connection that can handle spikes in traffic, wherever work is getting done. Be sure to ask providers if they can deliver uncongested, low-latency data transmission, for optimal speed, performance, and reliability.
  • Fast speeds and high-usage options- Unlike satellite options of the past, next-generation business-grade satellite solutions can reach speeds up to 25Mbps x 3Mbps. High usage plans are also now available allowing for 500GB and over per month. Together, these speeds, usage plans and bandwidth delivered with satellite provide enough capacity for users to connect into collaboration apps, share video or easily share large data files. Also, be sure to avoid expensive overage fees by asking providers about data limits. Broad Sky Networks offers ‘anytime data’ and no hard data limits on usage. Instead of incurring huge, unexpected costs due to high internet usage for a particular month, with Broad Sky Networks satellite, internet access remains available at reduced speeds until the next billing cycle. Look for these smarter satellite features and capabilities to efficiently bring together distant teams for frictionless collaboration, instead of spending time worrying about exceeding data caps.
  • Reliable M2M and IoT connectivity- The right satellite broadband solution can keep users connected to their internet-powered devices and can provide access to real-time data exchange from machine-to-machine, to equipment or other applications. The extensive coverage and high-speed of satellite-delivered by Broad Sky Networks can help organizations ensure consistent connectivity and maintain tighter control over assets. This might include monitoring solutions at a construction site, solar farm, or an oil and gas drilling site or another power-generation facility that relies on SCADA solutions to monitor industrial processes and equipment.
  • Look for built-in Wi-Fi– Depending on business requirements, and it may be important to look for satellite options with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. Broad Sky’s Brilliant Broadband solution comes with an integrated Wi-Fi Modem that includes a modem Wi-Fi router. Dual-band 802.11ac technology delivers a stable and secure wireless connection across the business so users can use smartphones and mobile devices to access the applications they need most, wherever they are working. Ask providers for those devices that include integrated business-grade modems which are designed to provide the highest level of performance, reliability, and security for 24×7 business-critical applications.

Talk to BroadSky Networks today about how Brilliant Broadband advanced satellite options can keep your organization connected and thriving with reliable internet connectivity. Advanced satellite technology offered from Broad Sky Networks can help businesses with mobile connectivity, remote office deployments, temporary job sites, and much more. If you’d like to learn more about how Broad Sky Networks can help take your business to the next level, email us or give us a call at (877) 291-9575.