Aerea Maintains Unbreakable IoT Network with Peplink

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Increase Network Availability for Sigfox Internet of Things

Sigfox is one of the biggest Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connectivity providers for Internet of Things (IoT). It connects and gives life to millions of objects all around the world. Aerea is the Sigfox operator for the Netherlands region. Applications for LPWAN connectivity include smart metering, logistics tracking, intelligent sensors in buildings and cities, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication, and connecting any IoT objects in a large scale, for both private and public sectors.

“In the Netherlands, Aerea works with established telecom operators and hardware and platform builders. The network is already being used successfully for parking sensors, smoke detectors, water meters and GPS trackers.” -Aerea – Sigfox operator in the Netherlands.

Point of Failure

Aerea maintains Sigfox base stations all over the Netherlands to provide Internet for Sigfox IoT objects. The Sigfox IoT objects connect to the Sigfox base stations and the base stations connect to DSL, fibre or any kind of landline Internet that the national Internet service providers like KPN or Ziggo have available in the area. The Sigfox base stations provide Internet access to the Sigfox IoT objects via the KPN or Ziggo landline Internet connection. The problem is when KPN or Ziggo experiences Internet outage, all the Sigfox IoT objects will be disconnected because the Sigfox base stations no longer have Internet access.

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The Sigfox IoT objects such as smart meters, logistics trackers, intelligent sensors, security equipment will not be able to operate at full capacity, when they lose Internet connectivity. This poses a serious problem for Aerea. They need a solution to maintain Internet connectivity for the Sigfox IoT objects when the KPN or Ziggo landline Internet fails.

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Peplink Software-Defined WAN

Aerea was introduced to Peplink while looking for a solution that would provide their Sigfox base stations a redundant connection. When Aerea was explaining the issue to Peplink Partner Frontier, it was clear that Peplink MAX BR1 router would be able to help. Proposal was drafted based on the challenges Aerea faced. Instead of connecting the DSL or fibre landline Internet directly to the Sigfox base station, which will lose Internet access when the landline Internet fails, the Sigfox base station connects to a Peplink MAX BR1 router.

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The Peplink MAX BR1 router features one ethernet WAN port and an embedded 4G LTE/3G modem. It is able to connect to the DSL or fibre landline Internet as well as a mobile Internet provider e.g. Tele2 or T-Mobile for a 4G LTE/3G Internet backup. When KPN or Ziggo experiences service outage, the MAX BR1 router will detect the connectivity failure and automatically switch to the backup Tele2 or T-Mobile 4G LTE/3G network. The Sigfox base station will remain connected to the Internet, and so do all the Sigfox IoT objects. The MAX BR1 will continuously monitor the KPN or Ziggo landline Internet, and will seamlessly switch back to it once its service restores.

Peplink for Sigfox Internet of Things

Peplink MAX BR1 router leverages the existing Tele2 or T-Mobile 4G LTE/3G network to backup the KPN or Ziggo landline Internet. Smart meters, logistics trackers, intelligent sensors, security equipment, and other Sigfox IoT objects, in both private and public sectors, will maintain Internet connectivity via the Tele2 or T-Mobile 4G LTE/3G network when KPN or Ziggo landline Internet fails. The MAX BR1 will continuously monitor the KPN or Ziggo landline Internet, and will seamlessly switch back to it once its service restores to ensure minimum data usage and data cost on the Tele2 or T-Mobile 4G LTE/3G network. The MAX BR1 features a Bandwidth Allowance Monitor to help Aerea keep track on the data usage and cost on the Tele2 or T-Mobile 4G LTE/3G network. The MAX BR1 also features a redundant SIM slot which can house a SIM card from a secondary 4G LTE/3G network provider. It will use the secondary SIM when the primary 4G LTE/3G network experiences outage or is out of data quota.

Aerea is deploying over 400 Pepwave BR1s.

Aerea is deploying over 400 Pepwave BR1s.

At the scale that Aerea is operating, central management is crucial to a successful nation-wide roll-out. Peplink InControl 2 cloud management service allows Aerea to monitor and manage their 400+ MAX BR1 deployment all over the Netherlands on a single cloud platform. InControl 2 also provides instant email alert and detailed log on landline Internet failure which helps Aerea assess and maintain the highest level of network availability. With the MAX BR1, Aerea is able to achieve a network availability higher than that of any individual KPN, Ziggo, Tele2 or T-Mobile network.

“Any connectivity is only as strong as the weakest link. And Peplink provides redundancy on our connectivity for a competitive price. Peplink is crucial to our success in deploying Sigfox for Internet of Things (IoT) in the Netherlands.”

-Nicholas van Hoey Smith, CEO. Aerea – Sigfox operator in the Netherlands.

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