In designing a CradlePoint solution and engineer needs to know the following:
- Physical location of installation.
- What is the signal strength of the carrier(s) in the physical location?
- Who are the carrier(s) on each tower in the area?
- What is the distance to the physical tower(s)?
- How many external antenna are you using?
- dB gain of antenna to be used
- Does the cellular signal need boosting?
- How much data are you planning to pass through the CradlePoint?
- How many users are on the CradlePoint?
- What is the purpose of the CradlePoint (backup service, monitoring, voice, main service, trickle data, and etc.)
Once the above is know, an engineer can begin to make sense of the environment where the CradlePoint is being used. At this point the engineer can pick out external antenna(s), the CradlePoint model, LAN connectivity, and service provider. We generally use Verizon or AT&T as our providers. We have very specific business accounts we setup for each type of provider, to control cost. Verizon is good because the cost is considerably cheaper and unlimited. AT&T will stop your data flow at certain level and the cost is substantial. But, sometimes AT&T is ones only choice. If you have many sites to install, AT&T will negotiate a business contract with you. We generally provide the CradlePoint and resell the monthly service to our customers. This makes it easy for all involved to get cellular connectivity to our customer’s sites. We sometimes put AT&T and Verizon in the same CradlePoint to balance load and eliminate cellular congestion in metropolitan areas.
Our main purpose for using CradlePoint is for Backup Internet Circuits and temporary Main Internet Circuits for building under construction. We have run entire hospitals from CradlePoints. In the right environment, users never notice when their main Internet circuit fail and the CradlePoint becomes their main Internet connection.
It is also very important to mention that the network needs to be able to automatically switch over to the CradlePoint in the event of a main circuit failure.