What Is: Primary Connectivity


What is primary connectivity

Following the recent launch of our “Cellular 101: A Glossary of Terms” help guide, Westbase.io is now launching a weekly “What Is” blog series to provide even more insight into the cellular industry.

In our second edition we look at primary connectivity.


What is Primary Connectivity?

Primary connectivity normally refers to the first choice of connectivity a business uses to provide communication access. In most fixed location cases this is the wired public telephone network, although with connection speeds and reliability improving, some businesses are switching to mobile networks.


3G/4G for Primary Connectivity

There are multiple situations in which cellular provides a great solution for primary connectivity:

Parallel Networking

Many of the latest technological developments require Internet access to enable their full functionality, for example digital signage, kiosks and vending machines all need connectivity so that they can be remotely managed and monitored, and for synchronised updates across the estate, such as delivery of new content. Most of these technologies however are managed by third parties.

In cases such as these it is often unsuitable to provide the third party with access to the location’s primary network, which is relied upon for running business-critical applications such as Point of Sale. This is mainly due to security risks associated with opening the network up to external access, as well as potential performance risks associated with non-critical applications using much-needed bandwidth.

To resolve this issue many third parties now install a ‘”parallel network” using 3G/4G connectivity to power such applications and enable the remote management required. This creates an air-gapped network which runs alongside the enterprise network – keeping it safe.


In-Vehicle Networking

Consumers and employees alike now expect to be able to connect anywhere, anytime, and organisations need to deploy technologies to help improve their fleet efficiencies and services – both of which means that the development of transport technologies has risen rapidly in the past few years and with it the need for connectivity on-the-road. Mobile in its very nature, cellular connectivity is the perfect answer to this requirement.

Able to deliver high speeds and bandwidth, LTE can power the most advanced on-the-road applications – from Point of Sale to Passenger Connectivity, and Digital Signage to CCTV – making it the go-to solution for primary in-vehicle connectivity.


Rapid Deployment Connectivity

Many businesses require connectivity from day one in new locations. Whether opening a new retail store or restaurant, or establishing a new construction site, accessing central and cloud-based systems is key to running business-critical applications. Yet many organisations are faced with delays in getting connected due to long wait times on fixed line installation – even when pre-ordered. This problem can be solved easily by implementing a 3G/4G rapid deployment solution which has a lead time of days instead of months, meaning businesses no longer have to wait to fully launch the new location’s operations. LTE rapid deployment connectivity can then be converted to a failover solution when the fixed line is installed.

3G/4G rapid deployment connectivity can also be used to connect temporary sites in locations where Internet access isn’t readily available – for example outdoor events, exhibitions, and pop-up stores and restaurants. The connection can then be moved to the next temporary location when and where required.


Cutting the Wire

The development of LTE routers and gateways which feature dual modem, dual SIM technology means that mobile networking solutions are now a true alternative to fixed line. The ability to use multiple operators in a single device creates inherent resilience, as if the primary 4G network fails the device can instantly failover to a secondary. This means that businesses can now “cut the wire” permanently with a 4G networking solution, and use cellular as both their primary and failover connectivity.


To find out more about the use of 3G/4G for primary connectivity, contact your account manager on +44 (0) 1291 437 567 or at info@westbase.io.