Is your construction site WiFi dropping out on you? It may comfort you to hear that you’re not the only one and that this, in fact, has become a surprisingly common problem. It is a genuine business frustration, causing productivity issues that make meeting project deadlines more challenging.
It may also be comforting to hear that 99% of the time, it’s entirely fixable. By modernising your WiFi solution, you’ll soon be back to seamless internet access on all of your devices across your site.
What’s the problem?
Chances are that the problem is due to dated technology. Let me explain.
Back when I started providing WiFi solutions to construction sites, the solution consisted of a 4G connection, that could be deployed with ease and created a local WiFI hotspot inside the cabin.
It was a good solution. Portable, agile, without long-term contracts, and relatively quick and painless to install. Construction sites could be connected next day for as long as they needed. Sounds perfect, right?
More and more providers were offering this service and it was soon industry standard.
The problem was that the industry became reliant on supplying 4G in non-contentious areas. Imagine, if you will, that your site is near a train station. At certain times of day, people arrive, using their devices to look up emails, get directions etc. Suddenly there are many more devices competing for the same 4G signal. You’ve now got contention issues and the end user experience is your internet connection falters.
Let’s also consider that construction sites are often on the edge of towns. This is where there’s enough space to build new warehouses, offices and houses. 4G wasn’t designed for out-of-town rural locations, being primarily designed for city centre locations where there is a higher density of people.
It means that often 4G is poor where construction sites are most plentiful. It started causing problems.
So, if a single WAN (wide area network) resulted in contention issues and congested networks, what was the solution?
Adding a second connection
We then thought, what if we provide a second 4G connection and load balance the traffic across the two WAN connections? So this is what we did. And it worked. To a point. It worked to multiply the potential bandwidth to the construction site, but there were soon problems with the WiFi user experience.
Construction site users were experiencing drops in connection. And it’s all due to the load balancing. When load balancing, your sessions are coming from multiple IP addresses. Your device will be regularly switching from one IP address to another. At the beginning this was fine, but today, with increasing security measures, the end client is actively dropping your connection when it sees multiple IP addresses, treating it as a threat.
And for many construction sites, it’s what happening to your site today. If you hear the word ‘load balancing’ across your WLAN (wireless local area network = WiFi) then there’s your problem. It’s why you’re experiencing frequent drops in service, or having to repeatedly go through the captcha process.
Frustrating isn’t it?
So what’s the alternative?
As stated in the introduction, you’re just using outdated technology. There are alternatives and at Wireless Solutions we’ve already built an alternative 4G/5G construction WiFi solution.
It’s been tested across a large construction firm and not once dropped a connection. The firm’s comment is that ‘it just works!’. We’ve now been requested for by one of the top 5 construction companies to replace their current provider.
At Wireless Solutions we don’t believe in a single internet connection option. Both Satellite and 4G/5G have their places – it depends on the location of the construction site. Getting the internet connection is pretty straightforward nowadays.
The trick is in the WiFi. Distributing that across a site, allowing every user to have the access they need without dropping a connection is where it gets interesting.
We don’t use load balancing for this. Our approach is to bond multiple connections together creating a single internet connection to avoid the issues caused by load balancing your WiFi network. That’s as much as we’ll reveal right here as it gets a whole load more complicated than that, and that’s were the specialist expertise comes in.
Your construction site WiFi dropping out could be due to other reasons, but if you’re repeatedly having captcha keys thrown up then it’s a good sign that your problem’s right here.
Give us a call on 01189 919664 and we’ll go through alternatives with you to make sure you’re running seamlessly on your site. It’ll be a breath of fresh air.