ISP Claranet has created a private 3G network designed for small and medium sized businesses who either want a secondary backup connection for branch-offices, or who want to help enable secure Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) connectivity to their employees.
As well as having a direct connection to the private network for the mobile workforce – delivered through a Claranet SIM card placed in a users device, - Claranet's 3G solution also provides back-up connectivity for fixed office locations via a 3G router that connects directly into Claranet's private network.
Claranet have priced the new system so that there are no start-up charges for using the system to encourage more users to take the system. Claranet describes the new system as "drastically reducing the cost of entry for companies wanting to create secure remote working access for their employees." Additionally, Claranet are also offering flexible short-term contracts with minimum of one month sign up and the service can be installed in hours rather than weeks.
Michel Robert, Managing Director at Claranet UK says: "Our new 3G service is an important part of our offering to a market that is adjusting to the rise of BYOD. CIOs need to be confident that this new mobile way of working will reduce complexity while maintaining the integrity and security of their data. If mobile working or back-up connectivity are not fully integrated with the private network, then IT departments effectively have to run 3G as a separate system. Different levels of security and specific authentication processes are then needed for the rest of their IT platform.
"For many businesses, it is now a given that their workforce will to some degree need to work remotely. Poorly integrated 3G is therefore a big issue for many."
One of the first customers is retailer, Space NK. Claranet is supplying its 60 UK stores with its MPLS private network using Broadband backed up by 3G.
Anthony Baldwin, IT Manager at Space NK says: "Connectivity in our retail estate is an essential commodity. In the face of repeated incidents with copper lines and long repair times, we decided to implement a 'no wires' solution rather than a second line or ISDN back-up.
"A key issue for us is the robustness of the equipment in the store – a one box solution is critical, without any USB dongles or other similar hardware that can get easily knocked, and then disrupt the service. We also need to have automatic failover, where 3G picks up the slack when it is needed, without the need for our intervention."