One of the lowest cost wireless broadband services uses the same towers and resources that deliver broadband to your cell phone. Only this wireless service offered by Accel Networks is designed for fixed locations. What Accel has done is contract with major wireless carriers to use their bandwidth. By combining the coverage maps of several carriers, Accel can deliver 3G data rates to most locations that need it. You get similar bandwidth to a T1 line for about half the price. Installation is a matter of days, not weeks or months. Service reliability is 99.9% per the service level agreement.
Who is this service right for? It’s perfect for convenience stores, gas stations and other retail locations that need PCI compliant connection to process credit cards. Traditionally, these stores have ordered DSL, Cable broadband or satellite. When you are not on the path for wireline connections this wireless service can give you the bandwidth you need. You can even order it for temporary holiday locations, conventions and conferences, and construction sites.
Cellular broadband isn’t appropriate for applications where you need large amounts of continuous uploading and downloading. But there are fixed wireless services that are designed for just that. These are dedicated connections using directional antennas on special licensed frequencies for this service. The provider installs a small equipment and antenna box on the outside of your building and runs an Ethernet connection inside for your router. Dedicated fixed wireless can give you DS3 levels of bandwidth (45 Mbps) and replace bonded T1 lines and even lower speed fiber optic connections. The one kicker is that you need to be located near the carriers transmitting location, which is almost always downtown in a major metropolitan area.
Satellite is a two-way wireless service that has been popular with businesses that don’t need high bandwidth levels but do need connectivity in locations that have little to no wireline service and perhaps even no cellular service. These satellites are in geosynchronous orbit, just like the ones that deliver satellite TV service. The difference is that they are providing business broadband service. Satellite has the advantage that you can get service just about anywhere in the US where you have clear view of the southern sky and some way to provide electrical power. It doesn’t even have to be from the grid. Solar and batteries will work just fine.
Satellite and 3G cellular services are bandwidth limited and tend to have caps on the amount of data you can upload or download in a given period of time. They tend to have higher latency than wireline services. Geosynchronous satellites, especially, are unsuitable for such applications as VoIP telephony. But many businesses don’t need a broadband telephone service or video conferencing. What they do need is access to the Internet for email, credit card verification, viewing Web sites, using search engines, reporting inventory and ordering supplies, etc. These activities don’t require massive amounts of capacity or very high speeds.
If you have a business application that needs broadband access to the Internet but haven’t been able to find reasonably priced wireline services that meet your need, get prices and availability on broadband access wireless Internet providers that serve your business location.