Construction Site Connectivity Solutions
Does your construction site suffer with slow, or no, broadband?
It’s hard to imagine that in 2018, sites still struggle to get up and running due to unreliable phone lines and broadband. However, it is a sad reality for many; landline providers sometimes can’t provide any service at all, and a lot of the time, service is poor and expensive to maintain. Contact us for our online information guide, and below is an exploration of the different solutions on offer to you.
So, what are the current options available to the site agent?
There are several options a site agent can choose to employ into their site.
A fixed line is likely to be the first solution you will look into. With a DSL/fixed line, Open-Reach, Virgin or Hypertronic etc., will deliver your line as a physical cable. It appears, superficially at least, to be painless because fast connection speeds are available, there are no limits on data usage and fixed IP addresses are available thus offering secure VPN access.
However, a fixed line can take a minimum of 90 days to pull onto site, and you will be tied into a minimum 24-month term. The service is highly inflexible, given that it is a physical line that is fixed into place, and the infrastructure required can cost thousands (the lowest installation is £1,250 but we have seen some sites pay as much as £17,000 for a basic phoneline). If faults are found, more costs will be incurred, and you have very little to no control over the network- plus, if your connection does fail, it can take an elongated period of time before anyone may be able to come and look at the issue.
Secondly, you can use a satellite to gain connectivity. The satellite solution requires you to hold a large satellite on your site, and this then sends + receives data from a relay station in space, back to earth to a data centre. The advantages of this are that rapid connectivity can be delivered (within 90 days, however), and connectivity can be delivered to to anywhere in the UK.
On the other hand, a satellite is hard to place. If moved, even by an inch, connectivity will be lost. The data costs are typically high, and the customer will usually be roped into a long-term contract. Bandwidth allowance is poor, meaning that if a lot of people are using the network, it is likely to break down or give you low speeds. Finally, a satellite is not well supported by the provider, as they do not own the network and as such have limited abilities when supporting speed issues
Next, mobile network dongles also seem like an easy solution, as a handy USB device that allows users to access the internet via 3G mobile broadband connection. In the UK alone, a quarter of a million units are sold by month. A dongle is advantageous to you because it’s conveniently portable; as tiny as a USB flash disk, anyone can simply plug the device into a port. A dongle, furthermore, is universally compatible, i.e., can be used with various service providers, and a dongle is highly secure.
On the other hand however, it is very limited in usefulness, particularly with speeds of 3.2 mbps to 7.6 mpbs. One can be affected by the Faraday effect, meaning if your device is in a metal container your network won’t be able to communicate with your dongle. AKA you will lose connection. As pointed out in a study, because coverage relies on mobile phone reception, the mobile blackspots that have you cursing your provider will also affect mobile broadband. Further, a dongle is typically only happy dealing with one device because of their bandwidth.
A final solution on offer to you is our solution, SiteConnect. The OIAB 1100 series is an enabler product, enabling your device to connect to the network. LTE-Advanced, or CAT 6 LTE allows our SiteConnect router to receive two signals from a single mast. This effectively doubles our bandwidth. LTE advanced is a next-generation network technology offering improved quality and coverage consistency of the network, better data rates compared to LTE and advanced network security. The features a site will be able to access and see the immediate benefit of, in comparison to other solutions, is that the SiteConnect solution can be delivered in 10 days from the order. The speed of the service is vast, with up to 100mbps minimum speed (the UK average is 23mpbs), and the solution can be up to 30% cheaper than going to BT. The number of users is significantly higher than, say, a dongle – 30 people can access a single device.
And finally, installation itself is virtually hassle-free with a fully qualified network engineer being able to install within 2 hours.