The emergence of 4G Networks: Is cable broadband on its way out?

Cables now bring in broadband internet, but this is all set to change. After all, companies are now seeking wire-free solutions to suit their ever increasing BYOD users, as well as to power their customer-facing applications. It should therefore come as no surprise, that they are increasingly settling on 4G as the optimum solution.

4G networks
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4G, or the fourth generation of mobile communication technology facilitates ultra-broadband Internet access through mobile devices. This technology promises higher speed, lower latency, and an end-to-end IP wireless network, making IP telephony, high-definition mobile TV, gaming, video conferencing and cloud computing lightning quick, as well as incredibly seamless over mobile devices.

The end-to-end IP wireless network that 4G facilitates, does away with the separate voice channel that mobile networks have hitherto used. This simplifies the architectural challenges faced by fixed mobile convergence (FMC) and other enterprise mobility services. It also makes the solution more robust and reliable.

With 4G matching, and even exceeding cable in speed, performance, and quality, preferring 4G over cable broadband is pretty close to a no-brainer. For those unconvinced though, here are the distinct advantages offered:

1,   The most obvious advantage is mobility. It becomes possible to move around without tagging cables along. This not just increases convenience and cuts costs, it also throws open a whole world of possibilities which are difficult to implement otherwise. A case in point: live remote monitoring of premises from different points, using an unmanned vehicle, videoconferencing when on the move to save time and travel costs, etc.

2,   Along with mobility comes agility. 4G modems are easier to use, set up, and troubleshoot.

3,   Installation becomes a piece of cake. 4G does away with the hassles of establishing pathways and laying cables. All it requires is setting up of a distributed antenna system to connect to the 4G LTE connection offered by service providers. This antenna system may even be set up atop trailers, making it that much simpler and easier, offering even more mobility.

4,   Establishing Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnels may also be in order, for security.

5,   The increasing affordability of load balancers makes it possible to have a connectivity backup. It is now possible to cable and wireless, or for that matter, DSL and wireless, or even T1 and wireless simultaneously, so that If one source fails, the other will pick up the entire load. A 4G activated premises can remain online computing at full blast even if the in-house Ethernet network fails, and this is vital for most businesses today.

6,   4G is by no means the first or the only online wireless internet solution. But, it offers the most robust solution at affordable prices for the mass market. The nearest viable solution, satellite connectivity, is much slower and very, very expensive.

The only thing holding 4G back is the fact that many carriers have not yet scaled up their networks for 4G, leading to frequent outages and interferences. 4G replacing cable broadband as the dominant way companies access the World Wide Web depends on resolving this critical roadblock – and that’s just a matter of time.

Author : Nayab Naseer Date : 10 Oct 2013