The growing appeal of LTE – in business as well as the home

LTE has been popular amongst home users for some time as a quick, simple and portable way of sharing connections. It is also becoming an increasingly popular technology on business gateways because, in some situations, it’s just the best option.

In the past, the idea of using LTE, either as the main method of connection or as a failover in case of a broadband outage, did not appeal because the cost was so high. But charges have come down all over Europe now. LTE is available pretty much everywhere and performance is very good and consistent.

This has led to it becoming quite popular (in many countries at least) with home users who want a quick and easily portable way of sharing data connectivity just about anywhere. Indeed, Zyxel’s own LTE4506 LTE 4G+ HomeSpot router has been one of the most popular choices with our service provider partners.

LTE is now a much more viable choice for businesses too. Not only for primary connections where there is no communications infrastructure or where services are poor, but also as a back-up in the case of communications services going down. It is also being used as a way of load-balancing traffic to achieve the most efficient and effective performance.

In rural or remote areas, LTE can sometimes be the only option available. More often, it is simply the best option, as it is faster and more cost-effective than cabled connections. In some industries, such as agriculture, hotels and education, LTE is being widely used already.

Any suggestion that it can’t deliver the required performance is now completely out of date. Zyxel’s LTE7460-M608 outdoor router, for example, has a high-gain antenna for enhanced signal performance (it has been known to work over quite extended line-of-sight distances of several kilometers) and an IP65 design, which means it is totally dust-proof and highly resistant to water. It can cope with quite harsh outdoor environments.

It is also fast. It supports 3GPP Release 10, Category 6, which is quite simply the best LTE technology available, and download supports of up to 300 Mbps. That’s pretty good compared to the broadband speeds available in most towns and cities and should also provide enough bandwidth to support a number of devices or services.

But it’s not just in remote areas that LTE is being used. In more urban settings it is now seen as a very viable way of providing a second, independent connection that can kick-in should the main broadband connection go down. The higher speeds and more affordable rates for data now available on 4G networks also make it perfectly feasible to use LTE for load balancing.

It’s easy enough to provide and to set up LTE connections as well. From Zyxel’s perspective, it is simply a matter of providing a SIM card in the router. It’s then very much like setting up a mobile phone. You just need a provider and a number, and you can get yourself connected.