Having a fixed IP address on a data SIM may sound boring, but some of our customers have come up with some really cool applications. For example:
1. 1. Providing internet connectivity for all forms of renewable energy installations to enable remote management. Wind turbines, solar farms, anaerobic digesters, biomass generators and small scale hydro power installations all tend to be located in rural locations with no fixed phone line nearby to support a broadband connection. An inexpensive 3G or 4G router with a fixed IP SIM card supports in-bound internet traffic for remote management, monitoring and control. Some customers use the remote management system to manage building management systems, commercial refrigeration units, remote servers, basically anything with an IP address that you want to connect to without going on site.
2. 2. CCTV security cameras with 3G or 4G connectivity can be easily re-located as and when required without running cables for network connectivity. The fixed IP address lets you view what the camera sees from anywhere over the internet. Ideal to protect assets that may not always be in the same place and also for specific events in the countryside.
3. 3. Vehicle mounted 3G/4G routers provide for internet connectivity on the move. The fixed IP address adds the capability of accessing applications and resources located elsewhere even where they are protected behind a firewall, for example, back at the office. A good example of this is a customer who has a fleet of vans that service an area and sell products with a credit card payment on the spot and a link back to stock control. When the van returns to base all of the stock sold is replenished ready for the next day. Mobile libraries use the same approach using the fixed IP to access the administration systems back at HQ.
4. 4. When broadband breaks down for any reason, businesses can be crippled if they rely on the internet to do business. One of our customers has 680 stores that need the internet to accept payment by card and on any one day, there can be 10-20 locations with no internet, sometimes for minutes, sometimes for days. There are routers that support both fixed line and 3G/4G that will automatically sense a broadband fault and fail over to the fixed IP SIM and business continues as normal.
5. 5. Bonding multiple SIMs is now possible and delivers much higher internet speeds than a single SIM can support. This is ideal for where there is a need for a high capacity connection to support multiple users or high demand applications such as CAD engineering tools or video streaming. Bonding systems can be installed very quickly to temporary sites such as construction sites or project offices either as table top devices or built into a transport case for rapid deployment.
6. 6. If slow broadband speeds are causing frustration and holding back the business, the bonding solution can add 3G or 4G to the fixed line internet to boost the speeds by combining the throughput of multiple connections. Some customers bond multiple broadband lines to achieve the speeds they need where there is no mobile coverage.
7. 7. Pop up shops and kiosks are often used at events or for specific promotions. With a fixed IP SIM and router these kiosks can be treated exactly the same as any remote office or retail shop. All you need is a power supply for the router – some routers can also run off a 12 volt power supply removing the need for a standard power socket. The most unusual example we have come across is a converted fire engine kitted out as a mobile pub!
8. 8. The craziest fixed IP application to date is a 3G router on a boat off the west coast of Scotland that provides a service for cleaning fish farms. The sea water is analysed on board and software in a data centre in Norway determines what treatment is required so that only the relevant pesticides or chemicals are used saving money and reducing any pollution risks. We never saw that one coming.
If any readers have other good examples of innovative uses for 3G and 4G, we would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter with the #3Genius