Challenges with LTE & Wi-Fi | Overcoming 5G Network Disadvantages

Filling in the Gap: Rajant Versus Wi-Fi and LTE

challenges with lte & wi-fi alternatives

There’s no shortage of network choices for industrial enterprises today, but almost all fall short in effectively connecting expansive and ever-moving outdoor operations.

Take the two most common options for example.

Wi-Fi brings the benefits of high speed and capacity to support an increasing concentration of mobile devices, but this LAN technology is best suited to indoors where the majority of clients are relatively stationary. Numerous access points must be added to keep sprawling outdoor operations covered, making the network difficult to design for desired performance. What’s more, signal degrades rapidly as mobile clients move farther from access points, and the network has no way to work around interference, making coverage drops common. This leaves operating seeking Wi-Fi alternatives.

Therefore, many operators think LTE is what they need. LTE’s reach is measured in kilometers, as tall 4G towers have the ability to disperse signals over infrastructure obstructions to achieve wide area coverage.

But challenges with LTE in industrial environments abound. For example, LTE still can’t reach shadowed areas like the bottom of an open-pit mine. Relocating or adding a tower to achieve everywhere coverage is a complex, costly, and time-consuming feat.

LTE data rates also degrade the farther mobile equipment moves from the tower, and, most bandwidth is dedicated to downstream access. That means LTE lacks the upstream speeds industrial operations need to run multiple mission-critical apps, like CCTV and real-time machine guidance.

And although next-gen 5G will take advantage of higher frequencies to deliver data rates faster than 4G, there are still 5G network disadvantages because these frequencies have a much shorter range and require line of sight, meaning more towers are needed—escalating deployment and maintenance costs quickly. And it still doesn’t solve the root challenge of LTE in industrial settings that RF can’t travel through common industrial obstructions like thick steel or rock.

So how do industrial deployments get the geographic coverage of a WAN with the robust performance of a LAN? With Rajant Kinetic Mesh®—the intelligent wireless option.

Kinetic Mesh requires less infrastructure to create more resilient, fully mobile coverage everywhere across an industrial environment. That’s because Rajant’s BreadCrumb® nodes work peer-to-peer, holding multiple connections over multiple frequencies at the same time, creating hundreds of potential paths to use. Nodes can be fixed or mobile, and easily deployed on moving equipment to extend coverage in hard-to-reach places and enable machine-to-machine communications.

Rajant’s smart InstaMesh® networking protocol intelligently orchestrates traffic over these connections. It dynamically assesses and selects the fastest path for delivery among all options. If faced with signal blockage or interference, it simply redirects traffic over the next-best available path, allowing the network to self-optimize and making mission-critical mobility possible. As a result, application performance is ensured, no matter where those apps are running.

In short, Kinetic Mesh can extend Wi-Fi speed and capacity outdoors, and bring continuous mobile connectivity to enhance LTE—filling the gap with pervasive, mission-critical coverage and added M2M communications to work around dense obstructions.

Build on what you have and bring the best of all worlds together with the best choice for IIoT networking—Rajant. 🖉