Cellular as a Data Service

November 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Using Cellular Technology as an Internet Connection:

Connecting to the Internet is no longer tied to wired modems, T1 connections, cable or DSL. In addition to connecting our computers and networks using traditional wired methods, we can connect using wireless. When most people think of wireless, they think of WIFI or the Internet service they get on their smartphone. Cellular has become much more than simply connecting smartphones or PC’s using an accessory supplied by the cellular providers.

Taking a small step back in time, in 2005 I met with a customer as I often have over the years, to demonstrate a new product. As it turned out, he was looking for a wireless solution to enable a portable video camera to be viewed over the Internet. At the time there didn’t seem to be anything available as an off the shelf product to provide this capability. I was intrigued to the point that I invested some time to research what might be available. Within a few months I presented him with a video camera system in a suitcase that he could deploy wherever there was reasonable cellular service available. At the time we only streamed a new image every few seconds but at the time, that was good enough. Over time, cellular and wireless data technology has become both a business and a core competency of my company. Since then, cellular speeds have increased significantly and the equipment used to transmit data have become much more efficient.

To utilize cellular technology, you will need a cellular modem or router and the correct type of cellular data service. As a company we offer a range of cellular products, network switches, automation hardware and computers. Cellular modems can be used to connect a single device to the Internet or a network. We can help to select the correct device to meet your application. Many choices of modems / routers are available. Additionally, many manufacturers of commercial and industrial products are beginning to offer their products with a cellular card, built in. It is important to understand the application and to select the correct cellular service.

In most cases for these type devices, the cellular salespeople are the local carrier stores will not have the expertise to provide the right service. The cellular companies all have the equivalent of Data Solution Consultants who assist in this area, but they can be difficult to track down. While I have had some customers who have been able to get to a person who understood enough about these services to help them, it is recommended to work with someone who is knowledgeable and can ask the right questions so you get both the functionality and security that your application needs.

in the infancy of these products, everyone who sold them had some technical expertise with both the products, the setup or configuration and was able to assist with the service using the appropriate cellular carrier. Since these products are available from alternate sales channels, some dealers may not have the technical competency to help with either the product of the cellular service. Since there are many benefits to working with a Value Added Reseller, we recommend that channel exclusively.

At Tech Automation we offer the products and the technical expertise to get you connected. We offer a wide range of products from companies like Red Lion, Sixnet, Microhard Systems and we act as an agent for several cellular providers. If you would like additional information or would benefit from discussing your application send me an email.

Steve Brown


February 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Sixnet manufactures automation controllers, remote IO systems, industrial Ethernet network switches and cellular products. My initial interest in working with Sixnet was after they aquired Bluetree Wireless which was the first to release a cellular modem with high-speed upload capability using HSPA technology on AT&T networks. I had some experience with these modems as I had provided them to a customer who used them for remote  video applications. With these modems we could utilize an IP camera and provide streaming over cellular. In addition there are a good fit for Web Enabled SCADA applications and are compatible with almost all PLC manufacturers for remote troubleshooting applications.

Sixnet offers a full line of both standard and rugged metal case Ethernet Switches and they are especially well-known for their Ring Switches. With these switches a redundant Ethernet Ring can be established without programming a managed switch. They are also well-known for their fiber Ethernet switches and the newest addition of Advanced Industrial Switches.

For product information visit: www.sixnet.com.

To purchase Sixnet visit Tech Automation’s online store: http://www.techautomationcorp.com/store.php


Categories: Uncategorized