Rapid Site Deployment
– Construction

The Challenge

The construction industry has been beset by one particular challenge for years; how to deploy connectivity to a new site quickly, efficiently and at a reasonable price point? Despite the protestations from IT heads across the country, the IT and infrastructure departments are continually the last to know when a new project has been awarded, their first notification being a service request from a panicked project manager. Before the contract ink is dry there is a demand for network and Internet connectivity at a site, alongside telephony, wifi coverage and cabled infrastructure.

The challenge is then further compounded by a variety of factors; the site location, whether this is a brown or green field site, the availability of local infrastructure, mobile data coverage, traffic management, environmental considerations and the project scope itself. All of which can have a dramatic impact on what can be achieved and vitally by when.

Bandwidth is not the only answer

It is well known that the construction industry works to fine margins whereupon any unnecessary delay can result in significant losses, project creep and substantial penalties back to the client.

Many construction companies and telecommunications have looked to resolve this issue themselves but have fallen short of providing the complete solution. Dispatching mobile data SIMs and/or devices to site provides a degree of connectivity however this is arguably a short term fix. Put simply, bandwidth is not the only answer.

Connectivity however you need it

The demand for bandwidth at any site rapidly changes throughout a The demand for bandwidth at any site is rapidly changing throughout the project’s lifecycle. With only a handful of workers on site initially this then scales to a greater number before tailing off towards the project’s conclusion. The “bell graph” of demand lends itself to a solution that can match the demand at any point. Moreover the need to control what bandwidth is used for, safeguarding capacity for business critical applications and limiting/removing any non-essential use, such as media streaming or social-media applications. With most projects requiring continual access to cloud hosted collaboration tools, unfettered and unhindered connectivity is vital.

Alongside this, continually improving mobile and data connectivity Alongside this whilst continually improving, mobile data connectivity remains a moving feast with unpredictable performance adding a further obstacle to its use a viable business tool. Whether the signal is impeded by the working environment, with metal-lined cabins presenting a Faraday cage, or the local usage is saturated either constantly or from time to time, all of this adds a further headache to delivering a solution that is fit for purpose.

Network solutions that evolve with your business

Granted mobile connectivity can be useful as an initial option but often for larger or longer term projects, there is a need to back fill the project with a copper or fibre based service. Which once completed can require the need to reconfigure devices, reset the end users expectations in performance and the costs incurred.

Based on a list of simple criteria, including number of users, types of applications, anticipated bandwidth demand and project duration it can be straightforward to establish the most suitable type of connectivity, the options for redundancy and method to build up to a final network topology adding net links along the way where required.

On site

With the appropriate solution decided upon the next challenge is the physical deployment. By its nature a construction project can be a volatile environment with many moving parts. The deployment of any infrastructure needs to be carefully considered, with a professional Risk Assessment and Method Statement being pre-requisites.

Once installed, the solution needs to be validated that not only does it provide local connectivity that it also provides onward and secure connectivity to the Internet, any hosted resources required and to the corporate network stipulated by the customer and/or client.

In principle this seems simple, however when adding in the “roll-on roll-off” nature of the project list, the unknown challenges between projects and the time pressure exercised by the business this understandably a source of anxiety for many.

The Solution

The Southern Communications SMART-Hub solution address all of the obstacles facing the construction industry. Co-designed with key construction industry contacts, SMART-Hub delivers a fully managed approach to site connectivity, including;

  • Rapid deployment within 48 hours, including manned installation and decommission
  • Scalable connectivity combining mobile, xDSL and Ethernet options (with no reconfiguration)
  • Bespoke traffic shaping to prioritise business critical applications
  • Next Generation Firewall
  • Proactive management and monitoring
  • Managed rotation from site to site
  • Secure hand off to third party providers and existing corporate networks
  • Granular reporting and access to the management interface
  • GPS tracking and Geofencing
  • External antenna to augment mobile data (across multiple carriers)
  • Integrated wifi with multiple SSIDs (staff, guest, visitor)
  • Ruggedised Flight Case
  • Simplified billing with Cost Centres
  • Dedicated Account Management
  • Structured cabling options

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