Top 7 Questions to ask when choosing a 4G LTE Internet Service Provider
What connectivity and integration options does your 4G LTE hardware offer?
You may already have one or more existing connections, 4G LTE hardware that works seamlessly with those connections will save your business time and money. It also reduces the risk of employees incorrectly changing cabling and settings.
- Will it work with satellite or an existing ADSL connection?
- If one connection fails will traffic be automatically rerouted via another connection or do you have to manually make the change?
- Can it be load balanced to share data from a slower ADSL connection?
- Can it be used just as an emergency failover without any manual intervention from you or your employees?
- Can you plug another connection into the 4G hardware to be used as a backup for business continuity in the event of a disaster?
What features does your 4G LTE hardware have to help keep my business network secure?
As well as preventing physical theft of your data, you need to ensure your business data is secure from hackers and cyber-attacks by ensuring your networking equipment is fit for purpose.
- How is the hardware secured?
- Does it have WPA2 Security enabled WiFi and WPS disabled?
- Does it have a stateful inspection firewall?
- Can you easily create multiple networks for example to provide a separate guest WiFi network to prevent visitors accessing your private network and data?
- Can you separate different networks (VLANs) all together, for example keeping tills and card terminals isolated?
- Will it work with VoIP handsets? or WiFi calling on mobiles?
Is it easy to manage the features of the hardware to meet my specific business needs?
Your 4G router is not just about bringing connectivity to your premises, it should also be able to adapt for you to manage your LAN & WiFi to suit your changing business needs.
- What “self-service” hardware management options are available?
- Can you add a Guest WiFi portal to give users self-serve access and collect marketing data?
- What about content filtering? Can you block malicious or inappropriate content to protect your clients and employees?
How scalable and flexible is your 4G LTE hardware?
Many businesses have more complex requirements than a single router. You may have a physically large premises or multiple users. Finding a supplier that’s competent to take a holistic view of your connectivity enables you to ensure you are making a purchase that can be scaled as your business grows so you don’t have unexpected costs later.
- Does it work out of the box with my existing network or will I have to replace it?
- Can I easily add more access points at my premises to extend the WiFi coverage?
- Is it possible to use multiple sims to increase the monthly data allowance?
- How many users can be online on the WiFi at any one time?
- Can remote and home workers connect to the same core network?
Do you have 24/7 automated monitoring and surveillance tools?
A key differentiator between providers is how proactive they are in detecting and resolving faults and how much they invest in tools for automated detection, management and reporting of incidents. Business providers should be checking and detecting incidents 24/7, so check what they do to ensure you don’t have to do anything!
- Do they provide monitoring alerts by email or SMS if the hardware goes offline?
- Does it the hardware the ability to self-heal when it finds a fault?
- Do they comprehensive reports of all monitoring activity?
What level of after sales support do you offer?
Determine the after sales support your supplier offers s key to ensuring your business can always remain online and run efficiently. Ensure you know what after sales support is and isn’t covered.
- What support is included in the hardware price?
- Do they offer an onsite service for call outs?
- Can your supplier remotely assist you with configuration advise and changes?
- How do I raise a support request? by phone, web or email?
- What are the hours of support available? Is it 24/7 from an operations centre manned round the clock by experienced support engineers or is it only available from someone on standby at home or in an overseas call centre?
- Is there a warranty on the hardware and what is the replacement policy?
Which 4G data providers can I use with your hardware and what are the costs?
You should look at the coverage maps of the providers in your area, the better the coverage the faster the speed.
- Will the provider come to your premises and give you a demonstration of the speeds you can achieve with their hardware?
- Is the data allowance capped or do you run the risk of accidental overage charges?
- Can you buy add on data and how much does it cost?
- Do you get commission cashback on your sims from the supplier?
- Do they have short term 30-day contract sims available?
- Can you scale up your usage allowance in contract term?