Global markets, companies, and people around the world are facing an unprecedented reality regarding the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and all the safety measures that are being taken to control the situation. Everybody is coming together to find new solutions for the problems they face. Some call this the biggest “Work from home experiment”. Some are looking for new ways to connect to their clients. Some need to completely rethink how they provide education for students. Some are rushing to implement remote monitoring and management solutions to infrastructure to avoid human service and maintenance activities. Some require implementing secure and dependable networks as fast as possible to provide connectivity for crucial temporary deployments that are meant to help governments control and monitor the spread of the virus and provide much-needed help. The public and private sectors are joining forces to lessen the impact of the crisis with the help of technology.
To help you understand how wireless connectivity technologies can help, here are just a few emerging use cases for professional networking devices with cellular connectivity.
Work From Home Connectivity
Working from home has many challenges – comfortable seating, enough space for all the family, noise, and…Internet connectivity. Whereas we cannot solve everything, at least we can help you to deal with three main Internet connectivity challenges: Security, Reliability, and Ease of Deployment. Nowadays, many workers are heavily relying on internal enterprise systems, various business applications, and databases for data input, retrieval, and backup. These systems are too sensitive to be accessed off-site without any additional protection, so as it stands, you wouldn't be able to access them using your home network. An easy fix can be Virtual Private Networks or VPNs. Our professional cellular routers support multiple VPN options to adapt to your company's enterprise security requirements.
Another important talking point here is reliability. Home networks – are not designed for business tasks. If you consider your whole family watching Netflix, playing online games, and face-timing with friends and you will find that you have barely any throughput left to browse the web – not even talking about smooth video conferencing with colleagues. Because of this, the best advice we can give is to set-up an entirely separate home network exclusively for your business tasks. This can easily be done with one of our cellular routers.
IT operators are also struggling to find solutions that can be set-up remotely and easily scalable. If you need to send hundreds of persons to work from home, you have to configure a massive amount of devices, setting them up with appropriate credentials and VPNs for internal business application access. In this case, it helps that all of our routers & gateways are compatible with the Teltonika Remote Management System, which enables complete control of the router – remotely. You can simply send the devices to the homes of the workers and set everything up – remotely. Not even one by one, you can use multi-config to set-up an infinite amount of devices at once!
Reintroduced Border Control in Europe & Drive-through testing sites
According to EURACTIV, EU leaders confirmed the proposed closure of the EU’s external and Schengen borders for at least 30 days on Tuesday (17 March) as the bloc continued struggling to come up with a unified response to the coronavirus outbreak. Countries are doing their best to protect their citizens and try to prevent the spread of the virus. In addition to closing EU borders, individual countries within Shengen zone are reintroducing country borders – something that has been unheard of for many years in Europe. Shengen Area comprises 26 European states and has abolished all passport and other types of border controls at their mutual borders. The area mostly functions as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. As an effect, all infrastructure was abandoned and dismantled for a significant amount of time. Now, most countries must reintroduce border checks, and this infrastructure must be reinstalled as soon as possible.
Border patrols and institution workers must have secure and reliable connectivity, that they can deploy without any delays. The best solution here is to implement Internet connectivity using professional cellular routers. The Teltonika Remote Management System is an essential part of the overall solution because it allows the devices to be configured remotely by IT professionals without them traveling to the actual deployment location. Teltonika Networks cellular routers can support up to 100 concurrent Wi-Fi connections, so even a single router can provide enough connectivity for essential operational tasks. If you need to connect CCTV surveillance, the same solution will do just fine, but depending on the amount and quality of the video streams, you might want to install multiple routers to support the desired throughput. To get an idea of just how easy it is to set up one of our cellular routers, take a look at a quick start guide for RUTX11 next to this paragraph.
In addition, the same applies to drive-through coronavirus testing sites that are being rapidly deployed in some countries, which are facing the outbreak. These sites have to be highly secure and be connected to the central management centers. Also, they must be prepared as fast as possible; therefore, cellular connectivity is a must for such sites, as it can be easily installed and set up remotely for the safety of others. Drive-Through sites need to have very reliable and secure connectivity, as they need to check data of a person on their medical database and to have all other programs running live with headquarters.
Public Information, Surveillance & Enforcement Solutions
We have already discussed how the most affected countries are reacting and what tools they are using to limit the spread of Covid-19. Quarantine measures, social distancing, and full isolation of citizens are essential to slow down the spread of the virus. However, there have been reports that not all citizens are listening to emerging new rules and guidelines and are ignoring the risks. For this reason, public governments and police forces are deploying temporary surveillance, public information & monitoring solutions to help restrict the movement of people and help to enforce quarantine measures. In most cases, temporary surveillance stations are put in place that must have communication with monitoring centers to transfer CCTV video feeds. Because of the temporary nature of such deployments, the connectivity to the Internet must be available immediately, even where cable Internet access is not available. Once again, the solution must be easy to install and maintain while providing reliable Internet connectivity. Our partners working with CCTV solutions are commonly choosing either our LTE Cat 4 based RUT240 if they simply need to connect a few cameras. If the solution consists of more than 10-15 CCTV cameras, then it’s best to look into RUTX09, which is based on quality 4G LTE Cat 6, supporting a throughput of up to 300 Mbps. In addition to surveillance, the same routers can be used to display public information on digital signage screens or transfer messages to the public with IP based speakers.
Remote Telemetry, Equipment Monitoring & Infrastructure Control
Currently, human contact must be kept to a minimum. However, the energy, utilities, industrial and city service infrastructure must be running smoothly. When most office workers can choose to work from home, infrastructure and engineering maintenance personnel must continue working in the field to make sure that all essential services are running. Because of this, remote telemetry solutions are more crucial than ever to ensure equipment monitoring and control. A large number of our partners are closely tied to Industrial IoT projects, implementing connectivity hardware to control other equipment without any physical interaction. The good thing is that most of the industrial machinery and controllers are „smart“ and can be maintained remotely given reliable and secure connectivity to the Internet and appropriate software solutions.
Many of our engineering sector clients are doing this using our industrial cellular routers and gateways, like RUT955, or the TRB series because of their industry-oriented feature set, such as support for Serial interfaces and protocols like Modbus. In addition, the Remote Management System, which is a software solution is essential, because it can give operators and maintenance staff direct access to the devices connected to our routers or gateways from anywhere in the world. Even without Public IP. Take a look at a couple of videos where we explain and visualize similar solutions.
Vending & Self-Service solutions
Restaurants, cafeterias, post offices, bank branches, coffee shops, bars, pubs are closing due to quarantine measures in place. The only safe way to buy food and beverages without close contact with other people is to do that with vending machines. Also, due to disrupted courier service, operations, the companies that specialize in the development and manufacturing of self-service postal terminals are barely keeping with the demand as consumers are more and more shifting to purchasing goods online. All of these self-service solutions have a few things in common. To begin with – most vending machines and delivery terminals are providing an electronic payment option, which is very important as the public is advised to avoid using cash that can further accelerate the spread of the virus. All electronic payments need secure and reliable Internet connectivity. In addition, the control and management of the vending and self-service infrastructure must be connected to allow maintenance personnel to know when to restock or how to manage shipments to nearby terminals. We have many use cases implemented in this field, take a look at a couple of them next to this paragraph.
Products, allowing reliable and secure connectivity now are more critical than ever. Tens, if not hundreds of millions of workers globally, will have to work from home to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. Moreover, infrastructure investments will be even more heavily focused on implementing remote monitoring and management solutions to make sure business operations continues with as little physical worker presence. Our product portfolio consists of cellular modems, gateways & routers that are perfect for reliable and secure machine2machine (M2M) connectivity, especially, connecting enterprise networks to home offices using encrypted virtual private network channels (VPNs).
A comment from our Head of Sales for Europe, Mr. Mindaugas Navickas:
“Coronavirus situation around the world is alarming; however, we are proceeding with our daily business without any interruptions or delays. We are happy to help people and spread our values, which are Help, Trust, and Value. We see this situation as an opportunity to equip people around the world with a reliable and secure internet connection, which is crucial for working at home and homeschooling children. Moreover, we are thrilled that more and more people are choosing Teltonika Networks products in this alarming global situation.“