Guide | 29 November 2022

Guide: How to set up your LTE/5G wireless access network

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Wireless Internet Access networks deliver genuine internet connectivity through 4G and 5G mobile signals. They offer performance, functionality, and unique flexibility – which is why many businesses are choosing to switch from traditional wired broadband.

Setting up your home network is often as simple as plugging in your router, attaching a network cable, and switching it on – but businesses need more to ensure it delivers exceptional performance for multiple users and applications while meeting enterprise-grade security standards. For that, you will need to select a suitable router, data provider, and have the right people in place to manage it.

So, where do you start? In this guide, we explain some of the critical considerations when setting up a wireless internet access network. We address some frequently asked questions, and identify situations when you may need to ask for extra help.

What you need

Whether your wireless WAN is used as a primary or backup service, it isn’t simply a router. You must consider a data provider, a cloud management software, and the support required to ensure it functions correctly.

In this first part of the guide, we will examine some of the critical components.

1. Wireless router

The wireless router sits at the heart of your network, providing connectivity for all users. Business users should ensure the router has enterprise-grade protection – for your network to be robust and reliable, protecting all users against threats.

Before investing in a router, compare options to ensure the device will provide coverage for all connected devices and conforms to the latest standards. Look for alternatives offering a cloud management platform (for example, Cradlepoint Netcloud). This allows IT teams to monitor, manage, control, and troubleshoot networks. Many routers enable operators to control them from mobile apps installed on a phone or tablet.

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2. Data provider(s)

Wireless connectivity uses cellular-based networks to provide a genuine alternative to cable connections.

In selecting the data operator, you should keep in mind to select 2 different ones, allowing redundant WAN connections and supporting your organisation's business continuity plans.

Why select more than one? If one network fails, a second network connection can step in. This two-step protection is essential if you use your wireless connection for mission-critical applications or in customer-facing environments, such as retail.

3. Professional support

A network is only as stable as the support provided by your in-house team or outsourced provider. Your network would function flawlessly in an ideal world, but you'll inevitably experience downtime and drop-outs.

We recommend that every organisation has a technically competent person inside their business to manage a network. If you don't have the technical skill in-house, there are several courses that enable staff to become self-certified, provided they have the dedication, time, and support to study for a qualification.

Alternatively, you can contract support from a managed support provider (MSP) who can provide a complete end-to-end service.

A step-by-step guide to setting up your wireless network

You should now understand what an enterprise-grade wireless network built for business is. Here's a step-by-step guide to installing, configuring, and protecting your wireless connection.

Step #1 – Select your tech

Before setting up your network, you’ll need to buy an LTE capable router and secure a data package that delivers the speed, security, and connectivity you require.

We’re not going to go into detail in this guide, but some of the questions you must ask include the following:

  • What speed do you need your network to deliver?
  • Will the wireless network be fixed (in an office, shop, etc.) or portable?
  • Do you want to cap data or have an unlimited package?
  • Do you need public or private IP addressing?
  • Does your provider guarantee speed and uptime?

You can work through these questions and make a choice if you're confident with technology. If you're not, consider working with a professional provider that can specify, install, configure and maintain your wireless network and add additional services, like a Static IP.

Step #2 – Set up your wireless network router

So, by this stage, you've selected your router, chosen a package, and are ready to unpack and do the installation. Here are a few key considerations:

Location: Carefully select a suitable location for the router. Avoid thick walls, UV-protected windows, metal structures such as warehouses, or protected places where the router may struggle to get a signal.

Ideally, you should place the router somewhere open that’s close to a window. This should provide the maximum signal strength – and deliver the highest speeds.

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Test: If there are several suitable locations within your site, you should perform some speed tests in those locations until finding the best.

Boost the signal: If, after testing, you can't secure a good signal, consider using an external antenna. As the name suggests, an external antenna is located outside and connects to your router using a cable. If you need an external antenna, you should engage a knowledgeable party to install it, as there could be several building and cable length restrictions.

Step #3 – Configure the router to your use case

As we've explained, in most cases, enterprise wireless routers aren't plug- and-play – you'll need to get it to work.

Once you’ve installed your router, you’ll need to configure it through the cloud management app. Thankfully, most brands provide a range of tutorial guides and videos to guide you through the process. Many also offer real-time customer support online that can support you if you get stuck.

By this stage, your router should be set up and ready to go – but it’s the start of the challenge. You'll also need to ensure you have in-house support or a managed service provider to troubleshoot your network and protect against any problems.

When to look for a service provider?

Setting up a single router is relatively simple, but connecting large teams, multiple branches or fleets is a significant challenge – and in most cases, you’ll need professional support.

Service providers – such as Blue Wireless – can deliver a seamless solution across hundreds of branches. We work with you to design a solution that provides the speed and security you need.

Other benefits of working with Blue Wireless include:

  • All-in-one solution, procuring equipment, data, installation services, management and support
  • Unlimited data plans at a fixed price
  • SLAs for uptime and speed
  • Fast deployments in 80+ countries
  • A team of certified experts to support you along the way

This is also a reason why we are the chosen partner by hundreds of companies. From retail branches to maritime vessels, we've deployed over 2000 services in 80+ countries. Would you like to know more?

Talk to
Michiel

Michiel van der Maas, Global Head of Sales

Hundreds of businesses are already taking advantage of Blue Wireless LTE/5G solutions. Let's explore together what wireless can do for you.

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