Latest developments in 4G spell big things for out-of-band

As 4G LTE coverage is expanded, remote monitoring solutions powered by out-of-band access will be more potent than ever.

The number of 4G developments that have been made this month so far show that wireless connectivity around the world is only becoming stronger, more resilient and more widely available. For companies with expansive networks, this is welcome news, since it means that remote monitoring solutions powered by out-of-band access will be more potent than ever before going forward.

Here are just some of the major 4G LTE developments:

  • On March 7, T-Mobile announced that it was doubling the amount of 4G LTE data offered to customers at no extra cost. Those who have T-Mobile’s $50 Simple Choice plan will go from having 500 megabytes to 1 gigabyte of data, and customers will not have to pay anything extra for the extra data or for going over that 1 GB limit. According to the Los Angeles Times, the move is part of T-Mobile’s ongoing strategy to aggressively lure customers away from telcos like AT&T, and it shows the role that 4G coverage and data plans has in the minds of consumers today.
  • AT&T has taken a number of steps recently to boost 4G coverage, with an especially strong focus on the Midwest. GigaOM reported that AT&T became the first carrier to roll out an LTE-Advanced network in the United States when it recently rolled out this service to its Chicago customers, and the company on March 11 announced that it spent more than $275 million on infrastructure upgrades in the Milwaukee area from 2011 to 2013. In addition, AT&T noted earlier this month that it had invested $575 million in the Phoenix area between 2010 and 2013 to boost coverage for its customers there.
  • Available wireless coverage is not just expanding in the United States, as global operators are taking steps to improve coverage in just about every nation on earth. For example, Batelco recently teamed up with Mobily to offer 4G roaming in Saudi Arabia, Hungarian telecommunications company Magyar Telekom Nyrt. announced last month that it would be doubling its 4G coverage to make it available to 80 percent of Hungarians, and V3 reported in February that the United Kingdom’s EE would be spending millions of pounds this year to improve 4G network connectivity at major transportation hubs and along key travel routes.

“4G LTE is changing the way customers interact with the world via next generation apps, devices and solutions,” said Dave MacBeth, Executive Director of Network for Verizon Wireless. “By investing in wireless broadband, we’re investing in local communities and economies where our customers live, work and play.”

4G’s role in remote site management
Although most of the announcements coming out lately that pertain to 4G coverage are geared toward consumers, these developments are huge for companies that operate expansive networks. Keeping tabs on all endpoints has historically been problematic, especially when the remote site management tools being leveraged were modem-based. Now, thanks to emerging solutions like Opengear ACM5500 remote management gateways, network management teams can bypass traditional connection gateways and use 4G LTE networks to oversee endpoints and troubleshoot any potential issues.

By using out-of-band connectivity to oversee the network, IT staff members will always be able to ensure business continuity and keep tabs on hardware even when core connectivity is down for any amount of time. As available 4G LTE coverage becomes more powerful and expands across the globe, out-of-band access becomes a more potent tool for network oversight professionals.

“With our integrated 4G LTE models, Opengear provides high performance, secure in-band and out-of-band access enabling remote configuration, monitoring and repair of all types of IT and networking equipment,” said Opengear CEO Rick Stevenson. “As our customers’ networks become more geographically dispersed across data centers, edge networks and public and private clouds, remote management becomes a critical component for providing business continuity.”