Cellular IoT + Wi-Fi: Collaborating for outage-free connectivity

5G-powered cellular IoT might be the perfect solution for your back-up connectivity
Pat Wilbur
July 9, 2024
Smart warehouse with robot arm putting cardboard boxes

If you’re not thinking about using cellular IoT for critical business operations, you might be missing out on an affordable and reliable solution for outage-free connectivity. With increased speed, lower latency, and improved reliability, 5G can deliver connectivity on par with Wi-Fi. Now, you can use cellular as a reliable fall back affordably and with performance on par with Wi-Fi.

Cellular IoT and Wi-Fi highlights

Let’s start with a quick overview of these two technologies and some of their benefits. Cellular IoT connectivity refers to devices that rely on a cellular data service, authorized through its SIM, to connect to the wider Internet. The connection does not flow through a router, but rather through the wireless cellular connection. Here are a few of the benefits of cellular connectivity:

  • High levels of security: Data is always encrypted and private.
  • Unlimited wireless range: Devices can connect anywhere there’s a cellular signal, including roaming networks.
  • Easy implementation: Devices can be provisioned remotely with minimal user interaction.

Wi-Fi connectivity refers to devices that connect to the Internet through a router, usually located within the same room or building as the device. For uninterrupted connectivity, the Wi-Fi service in the area must be stable and the device has to stay within range. Wi-Fi connectivity offers:

  • Access to connect multiple devices: Wi-Fi is a cost-effective solution for stationary devices, but does require local provisioning and on-going security through the corporate network.
  • Video and large data file streaming: Wi-Fi is good for stationary IoT devices, like video security, that transfer a high volume of data in real-time.

Connectivity is transforming industries

Now let’s take a look at three use cases where cellular IoT connectivity and Wi-Fi collaboration can help deliver outage-free connectivity when it matters the most.

Smart buildings

Smart buildings deliver a wide range of benefits, including energy efficiency, data for predictive maintenance, and employee health and safety. Organizations remain committed to employee health and safety in the workplace post-Covid. Smart buildings can monitor air quality, flow, and humidity to limit the spread of airborne diseases. But, this monitoring only happens when the devices are connected usually via Wi-Fi that can have a wide range of connectivity issues. Cellular IoT provides an ideal back-up connectivity solution for those Wi-Fi networks. The combination of Wi-Fi and cellular delivers the reliability needed for organizations to keep employees safe and maintain their trust.

Frictionless retail

Making sure that physical point of sale (POS) systems stay connected no matter what is key to capturing the sale. The combination of Wi-Fi plus Cellular IoT ensures high availability of those systems, whether they are mobile or stationary. But, the customer experience doesn’t stop there. Where omnichannel marketing – ensuring that all the sales and marketing channels deliver value consistently - was the goal, now optichanneling has emerged. Defined as “optimizing how that consumer chooses the optimum way to get to what she or he wants to solve the problem,” this strategy relies even more on connectivity.

Customers expect information to be consistent across a digital channel, call center, and the physical store. If they start with “webrooming” – browsing online, making initial decisions, and visiting a physical store to make a final decision – they expect stock level information to be accurate. The real power of connectivity in retail is using the collaboration of Wi-Fi and cellular IoT to deliver the consistent, optimized and frictionless customer experience, from decision to purchase.

Smart manufacturing

Manufacturers are increasingly connecting factory lines to bring industrial equipment into the future, making secure and reliable connectivity more important than ever. Downtime in production lines is costly, with recent study revealing that production line outages typically last an average of four hours and cost an average of $2 million. As the manufacturing industry moves from predictive maintenance and machine monitoring into full factory digitization with Industry 4.0, always-on connectivity is the digital backbone that the business relies on.

Another study showed that 45% of surveyed manufacturers expect that 5G specifically will have the largest impact on manufacturing connectivity in the next three to five years, outpacing all other wireless technologies. Wi-Fi plus Cellular IoT as the back-up ensures the outage-free connectivity needed to deliver on the promise of smart manufacturing.

How Hologram can help deliver outage-free connectivity for your organization

We’ve highlighted just a few industries that can benefit from the collaboration of Wi-Fi plus Cellular IoT to ensure connectivity when it matters the most. Count on Hologram for:

  • The highest levels of reliability. The new Hologram Dual-Core SIMs feature two fully independent mobile cores on each SIM that seamlessly switch to a backup core in the event of an outage.
  • Guaranteed uptime commitment. Hologram includes uptime guarantees in our contracts and 24/7 support to resolve any issues quickly.
  • Exceptional performance: Hologram’s low latency and high throughput solution can handle the volumes of data produced by these mission-critical use cases.
  • Simplified management. With the Hologram Dashboard and analytical tools, you get real-time visibility into device activity and performance, so you can keep operations running smoothly.
  • Global coverage. Hologram seamlessly connects to carriers across the world to ensure your user experience is consistent.

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