Rapid Site Deployment for Construction UK

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.

The challenge is then further compounded by a variety of factors; the site location, whether this is a brownfield or greenfield 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 have looked to resolve this issue themselves but have fallen short of providing a complete solution. Dispatching mobile data SIMs and/or devices to site provides a degree of connectivity however this is a short-term fix. Put simply, bandwidth is not the only answer.

The SMART-Hub not only delivers bandwidth but also guarantees that the capacity is safeguarded for business-critical applications only and not squandered on non-essential use. The customer is put wholly in the driving seat as to what happens on-site.

Connectivity however you need it

The demand for bandwidth at any site is rapidly changing throughout the project’s lifecycle. Typically, there are 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 deliver the capacity required 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 applications uninterrupted connectivity is vital.

Mobile data connectivity continues to improve, however, its use as a business-grade communication methodology remains challenged. Whether the signal is impeded by the working environment, with metal-lined cabins presenting a Faraday cage, or the local usage being saturated either constantly or from time to time, all of this adds a further headache to delivering a solution that is fit for purpose.

The SMART-Hub makes use of diverse mobile network providers and aggregates multiple SIMs to optimise performance. When overlayed with the bandwidth management tools, this solution makes the most of all available connectivity.

Network solutions that evolve with your business

We understand that mobile connectivity is useful for the initial site setup. For larger or longer-term projects, there is a need to augment the connectivity with a fixed-line connection. The additional connectivity may require a reconfiguration of on-site equipment.

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 but 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 estate, the unknown challenges at each project and the time pressure exercised by the business, this is understandably a source of anxiety for many.

The SMART-Hub is provided as a fully managed service, including a manned installation and decommission. The expectation from the customer is to simply provide us with the project address and date of requirement… our team will take care of the rest.

The Solution

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

  • Rapid site deployment within 5 working days, 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