While there are numerous high profile endeavors to bring high speed internet to all, a couple of interesting statistics released this week in a report by the United Nations’ International Telecom Union (ITU) was that by the end of the year there will be as many cellular subscriptions as there are people on earth, and 95% of the global population lives in an area with a mobile signal. Of course not everyone has a cell phone, subscriptions include individuals with multiple devices and increasingly, applications involving Internet of Things (IoT) devices and failover network functionality where cellular serves as a backup to more traditional services.

Decreasing costs and innovative technology will eventually solve internet availability, but the challenge remains to get people online. The UN report states that 84% of the world’s population has coverage by mobile-broadband networks, yet internet user penetration is only 47% overall. The guiding principle seems to be that if you build it, they will come.

Cellular as a failover network

For Uplogix, cellular modems have been an option for an out-of-band link for years. Enterprise IT finds cell modems to be cost effective and often easier to deploy than POTS lines or other options like an existing secondary network or satellite connection. With the widespread adoption of 4G LTE modems, large amounts of available bandwidth became available with the cellular OOB links.

Uplogix responded to this increase in capability by providing a feature long-requested by customers: the ability to use the OOB link to move primary traffic when the network is down. The WAN Traffic Failover (WTF) feature allows Uplogix to act as a backup cellular router by sharing its out-of-band cellular LTE connection with the local router/firewall/WAN accelerator.

Out-of-band management from Uplogix enables users to:

  • Maintain management access and control over distributed locations, even when the network is down or degraded
  • Configure WTF so user traffic continues to flow over the OOB link, eliminating downtime without the need for additional redundant networks and gear
  • Enforce security policies even during network outages to maintain compliance
  • Continuously monitor critical statistics and user interactions with managed devices via and always-on serial connection

For more information on how WTF works, check out this brief video: