Wednesday, 20 June 2012

3Green Fixed IP Data SIMs – Ecologically sound and good for the environment?

Travelling to the location of an installation that could instead be accessed over the 3G network and internet has many consequences. There are carbon emissions, pollution from exhaust fumes, it takes valuable time, there is wear and tear on the vehicle, as well as the high fuel costs. If the remote system can be accessed directly over Anvil’s fixed IP 3Green data service, the time it takes to resolve an issue or adjust control settings is drastically reduced. By eliminating the time and cost of travelling, this benefits  the individual, their company and also the user of the system because problems and changes can be dealt with immediately simply because issues can be managed or fixed remotely. From a personal perspective we should also perhaps mention the frustration element that would be saved on both sides. The environment also wins as the pollution and carbon emissions that the journey would have caused are completely eliminated.

A real life case where Anvil’s fixed IP SIMs have been deployed is a customer who installs small scale, environmentally friendly hydro electric generators based on an Archimedes screw rather than the traditional turbine design. The benefits are that fish and other organisms are carried down through the generator safely rather than being chopped to pieces and damaged by the dramatic increase in water pressure caused by standard turbines..

A 3G router with an Anvil Fixed IP SIM is installed to monitor and manage the operation of generators where previously the management and control of these systems had to be carried out on site. The nature of these installations means that they are in rural locations all around the UK. Freezing temperatures, heavy rain and drought conditions are all likely to happen during a normal year and control systems  therefore need constant monitoring and adjustment.  Visit to read more about their technology and how it has been deployed – there are some very interesting case studies and research articles.

Other examples of customers who use remote management of control systems are wind farm operators and intelligent building management where heating, lighting, ventilation, water and power are managed for cost reduction and to save energy.  All great examples of the application of green technology aided by Anvil’s 3G Fixed IP SIM.

Future blog posts will focus on enabling remote video surveillance and monitoring using a fixed IP SIMs either in a 3G router or in a camera SIM  slot. There will be separate posts on remote IT support of servers, data centres and IT resources, another on bonded 3G where up to 6 SIMs can be bonded into a single high capacity internet connection for larger user populations and applications such as live video streaming and another on hosted VoIP support over 3G (Three UK network).  Please let us know if you have a preference for the priority of these topics.

The Technology

For those who want more technical detail -  3G mobile broadband can deliver an experience similar to being locally connected to the remote management system. GSM and even GPRS networks were just too slow to make the user experience acceptable. Anvil's 3G service uses private APNs to connect from the mobile network to the internet and then the internet connection has a 1:1 contention ratio over Layer 2 (low latency). Consequently no data is sent over the public internet. We use a tunnelling protocol called L2TP to carry the data. Each SIM has a unique user name and password and uses CHAP authentication to access the network. The result is better performance, security and reliability and what we refer to as business grade mobile broadband as opposed to the standard consumer SIM service.  Multiple IP addresses can be supported on the Anvil SIM to enable the remote control of multiple devices and external firewall appliances. The fixed IP addresses can be either publically addressable or from a private IP address range and managed VPNs can be built using the private ranges. We offer a data monitoring portal to our users so that they can report and analyse the data use by time of day and day of the week. We supply 3G Data SIMs on Three UK, Vodafone networks and from July 2012 on Orange.

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