Why Redundancy of Connectivity is Essential on the Jobsite

There is no amount of repetition that can be considered unnecessary when we’re talking about safeguards that keep your IoT connections working.

IoT tools provide a profound positive impact on a jobsites' productivity and efficiency.
IoT tools provide a profound positive impact on a jobsites' productivity and efficiency.
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We tend to think of the word redundant with negative connotations. The dictionary defines redundant with phrases like “unnecessary repetition.” Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to IoT connectivity. There is no amount of repetition that can be considered unnecessary when we’re talking about safeguards that keep your IoT connections working.

First, let me explain that IoT stands for the Internet of Things, and it encompasses every piece of technology used in communications and operations—the numbers of which continue to grow annually as innovative technologies are introduced into the construction industry. The reality is that the number of connected devices is projected to increase from 20 billion to 60 billion by 2025, touching just about every aspect of our personal and professional lives, and increasing in use across construction sites. 

There has been an explosion in IoT adoption in the construction industry in recent years. Whether internal communications, automated processes with vendors, or operational functions, our reliance on digital technology has completely altered our business practices. These updated tools have provided us with a profound positive impact on our productivity and efficiency. That is,  until the internet connection slows or goes down completely. In which case, everything can come to a complete standstill.

It’s important to ensure those connections are strong and reliable, or risk the entire interconnected digital system falling apart. That’s where redundancy comes in. Redundancy means that those connected devices stay connected because there is a back-up system in place that offers insurance that the internet connection doesn’t fail.

There are a whole lot of businesses in Canada that wish they had become familiar with connectivity redundancy prior to this summer, when one of the largest carriers in Canada experienced a multi-hour, system-wide outage. From residential households to stores to hospitals to public transportation, the impact of the outage was felt throughout the country, when their 10.8 million subscribers endured the outage that lasted for a staggering 15 hours.

It was a nightmare for their business subscribers that rely on a single carrier for connectivity, which is in fact the majority of them. For many, operations either came to an abrupt halt, or were severely hampered. It’s a wake-up call for those who are paying attention. As we continue to become more dependent on IoT connectivity, securing an infrastructure that helps ensure your business remains online and operational is a wise course of action. Some might call it necessary and they would be correct.

Whether it's at the site office or in the field, maintaining consistent connectivity can be difficult, as cellular networks are the standard connection that construction sites rely on for IoT devices, and cellular networks can be spotty at any given site. Working on multiple sites at one time and the issue is compounded, as you try to find a cost effective solution that works company wide and removes the need to contract with multiple carriers. 

Those sensors, wearables and maintenance systems you’ve invested in to keep workers and equipment safe, and help ensure the entire project is running according to schedule, can also wreak havoc on your timelines if they are slow or go offline completely. Many IoT implementations on the site are tied to job-site safety and having those devices go off-line could cause dangerous situations.

Any business that isn’t investing in their IoT infrastructure is simply tempting fate. It isn’t a question of if their connection will go down, it’s when and how often. Neither Wi-Fi nor cellular is fail proof, and relying on a single network to keep a business online leaves a business vulnerable. 

Luckily, as the IoT industry continues to grow, so do solutions for keeping your company connected. CaaS, which stands for Connectivity as a Service, is growing and expanding right alongside IoT. It is no longer necessary to contract with an individual carrier at each site and cross your fingers that the connection at each location is strong enough to carry your communications needs. It is instead possible to secure a fully redundant global IP network. This innovative solution allows businesses to stay connected at all times. 

What is a redundant global IP network? You’re likely familiar with SIM cards. They are the hardware that maintains a cellular network connection and traditional SIM cards connect you to a single provider. Using a multi-carrier SIM card on the other hand, enables connected IoT devices to be managed from anywhere in the world, at any time, and they aren’t limited to a single carrier. 

These multi-carrier SIM cards come with the capability of sending and receiving data through multiple provider networks. This simply means  that the SIM card will automatically toggle between carriers when it detects a slow or lost connection. This leaves your team and the many devices they rely on connected and productive at all times. The ability to switch to an active connection ensures there is never down time due to a slow or lost connection.

If you’re managing multiple jobsites, you probably realize this also means that these multi-carrier SIM cards will work seamlessly at all of your locations. No matter how many locations you’re managing, a multi-SIM card connects you to a redundant global IP network and you no longer have to contract with multiple carriers. 

The multi-carrier SIM technology is not only more reliable, it also simplifies the management of this integral part of your business. This is the IoT connectivity redundancy your business needs.

Don’t wait for the next outage that impacts your construction schedule or employee’s safety to implement a communications infrastructure that will safeguard your employees, your reputation, and your profits.