Network operator Sprint announced it is offering businesses Sprint 4G Enterprise WAN, a fixed wireless access solution that provides wireless connectivity to the Sprint Global MPLS network. The company said the 4G service can help enable businesses to replace or improve on traditional "wired" options with a fast and flexible solution that can be deployed without compromising bandwidth and network reliability, available within all Sprint 4G markets.
Using business-class outdoor modems, Sprint 4G Enterprise WAN provides secure 4G and 3G wireless access as primary and secondary network connectivity, backed by a 99.95 percent availability service level agreement (SLA). With faster time-to-deployment, 15 business days in contrast to what can be a lengthy process of ordering traditional wireline circuits, Sprint 4G Enterprise WAN is an alternative to the traditional T-1, or a new way to bring data connectivity to remote locations where the installation of traditional dedicated circuits is problematic.
"Sprint understands the critical challenges facing businesses today, which demand innovative solutions to address higher bandwidth needs, business continuity, and cost reduction in a recovering economy," said Tom Roberts, vice president of business marketing, Sprint. "With 4G Enterprise WAN, Sprint delivers customers increased flexibility for their branch locations or retail operations through high-speed wireless connectivity and more built-in reliability than typical wireline - creating a real competitive advantage for their business."
Explorer Pipeline, the operator of a 1,900-mile fuel pipeline from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest, is an early user of Sprint 4G Enterprise WAN at its storage facility in Houston. Senior network engineer Greg Wagnon said the ease of the installation was "incredible" and that the 4G solution has immediately improved the productivity of technicians at the site.
"They get the data they need from the Internet and the corporate office to go out and do their work. They spend less time waiting for the information they want and more time doing work on the pipeline. I see a direct increase in productivity," Wagnon said. "The network speeds are faster, and I didn't have to go to the phone company to dig a trench for a T-1. I don't have to deal with tariffs and local loops. It's so much easier to just hang an antenna."
Wagnon estimates the cost savings for this single site at $4,500 per year over a T-1, and anticipates deploying another site immediately, eventually rolling to as many as two dozen locations. With unlimited 4G usage, average download speeds of 3-6 Mbps (peak speeds of over 10 Mbps) and peak upload speeds of 2.5 Mbps, Sprint 4G Enterprise WAN is being aimed at many business situations that require a robust data connection, including branch office locations and retail operations, business-class bandwidth in many places where it simply wasn't available before.
Sprint 4G is currently available in 71 markets across the country, including Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City. Sprint first launched 4G in Baltimore in September 2008 and in conjunction with Clearwire is continuing to build its 4G service for consumers and business users across the country.