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"Always on" Internet - Do I need it, and what are my options?




With adoption of the Cloud by many organisations over the last 36 months, the importance of a reliable, ‘always on’ Internet connection is more important than ever. 

With organisations relying on off-site “systems” more and more, including Office 365 and Google Docs, Cloud based accounting such as Xero and MYOB, and off-site storage like Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive, without access to these tools, many businesses simply stop.

The variety of methods of connecting to the Internet also continues to grow. The NBN itself with its multi-technology mix, including FttP, FttN, FttDp, HFC, VDSL and Satellite rolling out across the country, along with commercial Fibre, 4G and good old ADSL still available in some locations. Mostly due to cost, a “fixed line” connection is the most common way businesses connect to the Internet. 

So, what is the best way to safeguard my business from an Internet outage? I could use a Business Grade Fibre connection as well as an NBN connection, but will this give my business diversity in risk management? Are both these connections use the same trench outside my office building? Do they share the same MDF inside my office building? 

The prevalence and speed of 4G LTE today means this technology is a great way to introduce Internet connectivity risk diversity. Telco’s introducing high data plans at much lower costs than previously helps too.

But not all 4G LTE modems, routers and USB dongles are created the same. Both Telstra and Optus have heavily promoted their latest 4G technologies, 4GX and 4G+, and with good reason. Operating on the lower 700MHz frequency (known as Band 28), this enables signal to travel further. This benefits both regional and metropolitan customers. For the Telco’s this allows them to easily provide more coverage in Regional Australia with less base stations – and it is also a bonus for customers in Metropolitan areas, with the lower 700MHz frequency offering better signal inside office buildings. 

With over 10,000 4GX and 4G+ base stations across Australia and speeds of up to 300Mbps, utilising 4G as a failover Internet connection looks more attractive than ever. To see what coverage is available in your area, OzTowers (oztowers.com.au) is a great place to start your search.

But what about 5G? That technology is coming and will offer faster speeds – but it operates in the 3.6GHz frequency – much higher than 4G - so will require many, many more base stations to achieve the same coverage as 4G. With theoretical speeds of 20Gbps, and likely speeds of 1.5-4Gbps it will be faster – but don’t hold your breath that it will be available in your neighbourhood anytime soon.

D-Link has 4G LTE modem routers to suit both commercial and consumer customers. Talk to us about the right solution for you.

Phil Tarbox

National Sales Manager - Business Solutions -D-Link ANZ

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