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How Connectivity Can Make Or Break A Construction Site

How Connectivity Can Make Or Break A Construction Site

Demand for internet access on sites has been steadily rising for years. Before, only a handful of site managers would be equipped with some level of connectivity. Now, as programmes become more demanding and site employees require more information and collaboration, connectivity is vital.

Everything from office equipment to cameras and 3D mapping devices need to move freely around your site. By limiting their connectivity, your team works less effectively and you risk not being compliant with current security standards.

So, to help you get to grips with it, we’ve provided a complete guide to connectivity and its role on modern construction sites.

 

Keep teams connected

If you’re in charge of operations for a construction site, you need to be able to check in with various projects – occasionally across multiple locations – to ensure that work is being carried out on time and within budget. Architects, contractors and clients all require updates and information too. And you may need to provide immediate access to plans and surveys. If not, everything could grind to a halt.

The same is true of technical and health and safety information. If your site workers can’t read relevant documentation, you’re acting unethically. And if they make a claim, on your head be it. There’s also the issue of supplier management, geolocation and workflow…

Trouble is, construction sites are still at the mercy of carriers and infrastructure providers. Which means whenever there’s downtime, client relationships suffer, on-site safety is threatened and so is the success of the project. Only by realising the true value of connection, and the role it plays in the smooth exchange of information on-site, will you realistically address all of the above challenges.

 

Ensure systems are secure

Even if communication between teams isn’t your number one priority, it’s likely that site security is. CCTV alone requires a stable connection in order to keep your site under constant surveillance. But it isn’t just your standard CCTV that you’ll need. In fact, there’s two forms of security most sites offer – physical and operational.
Operational is the human-enforced measures of protection, for example having guards on-site 24/7. Physical security though, which includes intruder detection and access control systems, requires a stable internet connection in order to truly protect the site. Which in most cases, is a stakeholder requirement.

Speaking of protecting the site, only by investing in construction connectivity can you safely support risk assessment and hazard identification technologies. This ensures that firstly, you’re not at risk of a claim and secondly, you’re protecting your assets from damage. How? By enhancing your processes so that you can run more comprehensive security measures.

 

Enjoy cloud-based software

Virtual desktops and cloud computing allow for more than quality connection however. They enhance your facilities so that you’re able evolve your site development into something more dynamic. Where before, a site manager may be shackled to their desk in order to monitor progress. Now, they’re able to update schedules, perform time entry and generate reports from the field with their mobile devices.

Whether you’re in need of a project management solution or an ERP system that can help you to better manage your resources, only by embracing cloud technology are you able to utilise them. Of course, with cloud relying on a stable internet connection, there’s no use shopping for software unless you’re confident you’ll remain fully connected while on-site.

Likewise, tethering your smartphone to these devices won’t be enough to sustain your team, rendering a project management tool useless. Instead you need a solution that isn’t hampered by data restrictions, network coverage and the inability to transfer data internally. Plus it will need to be protected from on-site activity, while flexible enough (in terms of its contract) to marry up to your project time constraints.

Often site managers will be forced to travel around overseeing various locations – some with very poor connection. This is where eSIMs come in. eSIMs allow any mobile data device to connect to any provider in the UK or abroad. So, whether you don’t know who the best provider is for the area you’re in or simply move around a lot, our eSIM product will always connect to the carrier with the strongest signal – no matter where you are.

 

How Nxcoms can help

In need of a better connection but don’t know where to start? Give us a shout. At Nxcoms, we understand that in order for you to deliver a project to the timeframe outlined and meet the demands of your clients, you need access to reliable internet speeds with increased bandwidth potential. And we have just the thing…

In fact, as experts in connectivity, our team have supported construction leaders with exactly that. Not only are we able to recommend solutions which are tailored to your project, but also your sector. So, whether you’re hoping to get a direct broadband connection established or looking to protect it with a private APN, we’ve got you covered.

If you’d be interested in learning more about connectivity options for construction sites, get in touch with us on info@nxcoms.co.uk or by calling 0161 711 1100.

Forget Working From Home…… Work From Anywhere Instead!

Forget Working From Home…… Work From Anywhere Instead!

If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that it pays to be flexible. With a little ingenuity and agility, remote working has allowed many to carry on with business as usual. Even those previously skeptical of working from home policies are now – understandably – converts.
But with more reaping the benefits, we believe that when lockdown eases, individuals will not just seek out opportunities to work from home but wherever it suits them.

Here, we explore how you can enable your team to do just that…

 

Keep connected with dedicated broadband

Now, it’s all well and good having a PC upstairs but if your employee’s presence on a Zoom conference is little more than a blur, you’re not exactly running at full capacity. Trouble is, most home set-ups have standard wireless connection meaning that full capacity isn’t always possible. That’s where a dedicated second broadband line comes in. No longer will you have to contend with the kids for connection while they’re playing games or watching videos. There are some circumstances where a second broadband connection isn’t available. But, if this is what’s stopping you from staying connected, we’ll provide a 4G router instead.

 

Ensure security with remote desktops

Back to your employee’s computers for a second… ask yourself, do you want your data stored on them? And, we’re not accusing your team of corporate espionage. Your employee’s devices are much easier to hack into than what you have in the office. After all, they’ll likely have varying levels of cybersecurity – and, in some cases, none at all. Remote desktops reduce your data exposure instantly. Your employees simply log into their computers, then into a portal that securely gives them access to their work computer. The result? All their files are now within reach and your data remains under lock and key – regardless of where they are or what their internet connection is like.

 

Free up resources with cloud software

If installing remote desktops has helped strengthen your team, why stop there? You’ve only just dipped your toe into the cloud water. Cloud is much more convenient – and cost-effective – for businesses. The way it’s delivered, in comparison to hardware, means that your usage often determines your bill. So if you’ve battened down the hatches these past few months, cloud allows you to minimise your infrastructure costs and dedicate money elsewhere. What’s more, data will be more secure, users will have even greater flexibility, and you’ll effectively be future-proofing your business all at the same time.

 

How we can help

At Nxcoms, we’re passionate about getting you back on track. Our experts are capable of not only setting up any of the above solutions, but also ensuring that they actually make a difference in your workplace – wherever that may be. Simply get in touch with a member of our team on 0161 711 1100, or email info@nxcoms.co.uk today.

 

Dongles Are Dead! It’s Time to Roam Free With eSIMs

Dongles Are Dead! It’s Time to Roam Free With eSIMs

It’s annoying, isn’t it? Having to pace around the office until you find that one sweet spot where your network can actually get signal. As you’re tied to a specific mobile provider, you can’t always get the best signal for the area that you’re in. Instead, you have to get the best signal that your supplier provides, and sometimes that might be weaker than other mobile networks.

But now, just like roaming abroad, you can move dynamically between providers in the UK using our secure eSIM! No hassle, no hardware, just seamless swapping. We’re finally giving meaning to ‘dead as a dongle’.

Still no idea what we’re on about? Let us break it down.

 

So… what is an eSIM?

 In short, it’s what it says on the tin. An electronic SIM card that can be programmed to accept any mobile phone provider.

They come in two formats – a traditional card-based SIM card which will work with any provider, or an eSIM virtual card which is rooted within a mobile device.

In fact, if you’re the proud owner of any of Apple’s latest iPhones or Google Pixel 3, you’ll notice there’s already support for an eSIM.

Okay. But why is that useful?

These clever eSIMs can automatically switch networks, according to the one which has the strongest signal. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever be in an area without a signal. If one network has a very weak signal, another network may be stronger and the eSIM will automatically switch without you needing to do anything at all.

For example, if you run 4G mobile data locations such as building site offices, CCTV sites, parking meters or traffic control systems, you no longer need to go out and change SIMs if your existing carrier goes offline. Your devices will switch automatically saving a huge amount of downtime.

Plus, if you transfer your devices to a new location, for example a new building site, you may find that a different carrier has a better signal in the new location. Using an eSIM means you don’t have to change anything in your setup – the carrier will be automatically changed to the best signal in your area.  Our eSIMs also work internationally with 450 networks over 190 countries worldwide.

In essence, you can enjoy optimal connectivity anywhere in the UK – and globally!

 

I’m on-board. What’s the next step?

 Just a short chat with a member of our team!

Poor signal shouldn’t prevent you from meeting your business aims, which is why at Nxcoms, we’ve made it as easy as possible for you to get connection wherever you are.

Whether you’re on the move or looking to streamline your internal comms we’ve got the solution for you.

 

So, what are you waiting for?

Enhance your communication today by dropping us a line on info@nxcoms.co.uk or calling 0161 711 1100.

What’s a Private APN and why should I care?

What’s a Private APN and why should I care?

Nowadays, most businesses enjoy the flexibility of remote working. And, even when your staff are on site, they’re probably using their mobiles to deal with work-related matters.

Sure, it’s boosted productivity. But it’s left a gaping hole where security is concerned. And, if you want to get serious about cybersecurity, you need to turn your attention to all devices – on and off the desk.

Enter into the picture: Private APN.

Ok, fair enough – that might not mean anything to you. But, when you realise what a Private APN can do for your business, we guarantee you’ll want to know even more about where to get one…

 

Go on, then – what’s a Private APN?

Before we dive into Private APNs, we should probably explain what APN itself stands for: Access Point Name.

In short, it’s a point of entry onto an IP network for a mobile device allowing your staff to connect to the mobile network, and wider internet beyond.

So what?

To get onto the internet, mobiles devices use the APN provided by the mobile carrier, but you are sharing this network with thousands of other mobile users. Furthermore, you cannot remotely access your device externally as the mobile provider prevents this.  In order to remotely access a device, such as a router, CCTV device, smartmeter or server, you have to request a fixed IP connection from your mobile provider; this is not only much more expensive, but leaves your device fully open to the internet without any protection from hackers whatsoever.

That’s where a Private APN comes in. This type of connection gives you your very own private network on a mobile device – securing all your data, offering easy but secure accessibility, and the ability to connect all of your devices together as if they were on your internal office network.

 

Do I need one?

If you’re dealing with any type of delicate information, or require secure remote access to your devices, then a Private APN is a game changer.

Customer data is like catnip for cyber thieves. And when you’re accessing company data from a mobile device, you’re opening the door to opportunists.

In just minutes, they can dip in and take all the digits needed to make a fortune – and when that happens, your business is liable. Your reputation is in tatters, customer trust is crushed, and the company bank account is left dry as you’re forced to pay big fines.

A Private APN, however, establishes a secure line on devices and keeps data protected 24/7.

 

Right. So, is a Private APN suitable for me?

Well, that depends.

If your team are a modest size and mobile data is working just fine for the odd task you’re using it for, then you can afford to work off standard data SIMs.

However, if you need to access mobile devices remotely, the only option up until now has been to use fixed IP data SIMs. There’s no avoiding that cyber criminals see these kind of connections as an open goal.

Private APNs replace fixed IP SIMs, prioritising security and allowing you to access your devices remotely without opening them to the wider internet.

 

Unsure of your needs?

No worries. At Nxcoms, we’re happy to walk you through the benefits of a Private APN without selling you what you don’t need. So, let us paint a clearer picture and email info@nxcoms.co.uk or call 0161 711 1100 today.

Are you ready for full fibre broadband?

Are you ready for full fibre broadband?

You may have heard a lot in the news recently about Full Fibre Broadband…

 

There have been quite a few stories in the news recently about the Government’s push for Full Fibre Broadband, and the aim to get most of the country on a fibre optic internet connection by 2025, but what exactly is it, and how does it benefit your business?

The UK now has more than 95% coverage for “superfast broadband” with speeds of 24Mbs (megabits per second) or higher. However, most “superfast” connections still depend on copper telephone wires, which are limited in the speeds they can support. The maximum speed you can get on a copper-based broadband connection is 80Mbs, however with a fibre optic based broadband line you can go up to 1000Mbs. So, if your business requires faster and more reliable broadband, capable of delivering gigabit speeds, then a full fibre connection is required.

One gigabit is the same as 1000Mbs (1,000 megabits) – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you and your business into the future. Full fibre also supports symmetrical connections – meaning your upload and download speeds are exactly the same.  There are huge benefits to business, as this means your external internet connection is as fast as your internal network. You can run more computers in remote locations, take advantage of more cloud services, and even download or upload files much more quickly.

What you may not realise is that the full fibre broadband rollout has been going on for quite some time now, and the main telecoms providers have been supplying this kind of technology for a number of years. Its only recently that prices have come down to make it more viable for more businesses to use as their main connection to the internet.

In order to help businesses utilise this technology, the Government Gigabit Voucher scheme is a grant to cover the installation costs associated with installing a fibre optic cable into the premises.  UK Small and Medium sized businesses can apply for the grant of up to £2500 through one of their approved suppliers.  Nxcoms is an approved supplier of the scheme and can help businesses to apply and obtain the grant as well as installing the line and equipment needed.

 

 

For more information on obtaining the Gigabit Voucher Grant for your business, click here

The Government is committed to a full fibre Britain and they want to help your business keep up

The Government is committed to a full fibre Britain and they want to help your business keep up

Did you know you can claim a grant of up to £2,500 towards an ultrafast, Gigabit internet connection?

 

We live in a world where fast, resilient internet is a must. We often think we’re ahead of the game, but have you heard that Britain’s average internet speed ranks 31st in the world, falling behind most of Europe, Thailand and New Zealand? The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have launched a £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to help small businesses keep up with the larger players.

You may have heard about the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. It’s a grant the Government’s offering to small and medium sized businesses with less than 250 employees. For a limited time only, these companies can claim up to £2,500 towards the installation of a gigabit-capable internet connection. We want to make sure you understand the facts and don’t miss out.

 

The technical bit 

Standard broadband delivers speeds up to 20Mbs (mega-bits per second). Fibre-optic broadband, also known as BT infinity or superfast broadband can deliver speeds up to 80Mbs. Fibre-optic broadband isn’t available in all areas, and there are many “not-spots” where it can’t be supplied at all.  Gigabit or ultra-fast broadband provides a dedicated full-fibre optic connection to the premises with speeds available from 100Mbs to 1000Mbs.

 

What this really means for your business   

A Gigabit connection simply enables you to complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Usually downloading large numbers of photographs, videos or streaming media can take time, slowing down business productivity. Gigabit connections allow 100 photos or songs to be downloaded in just 3 seconds and a HD movie can be downloaded in 7 seconds.

Tasks like transferring large files, presenting a webinar or watching large training videos suddenly become pain free and seamless with no delays or glitches.

Gigabit internet is often used by organisations that have a large number of users or that engage with a lot of multimedia content. It’s brilliant for supporting HD streaming, it has improved support for multiple users and devices, video conferencing and fast data transfers and multimedia uploads and downloads.

 

The benefits of claiming a voucher

Businesses should be thinking seriously about taking advantage of this offer and here’s why…

Keep up to speed

Over 95% of the UK now has coverage for superfast broadband with speeds of 24 megabits per second or higher. This isn’t being used to its potential when most connections still depend on copper telephone wires, which are limited in the speeds they can support. BT Openreach has already stated that they intend to phase out all copper-based traditional telephone lines by 2025 and they plan to start this process in 2020. By taking advantage of the voucher scheme now, you can future-proof your business against these changes.

If your business depends on reliable broadband, capable of delivering faster speeds, with a guaranteed uptime and a full-service level agreement, then taking the leap towards a full fibre connection is a must.

Increase productivity

The last broadband voucher scheme saw 50,000 businesses upgrade their internet connections and of these 50,000, 86% reported the internet upgrade had significantly increased the productivity of their employees. That’s a statistic you can rely on.

Slow, unpredictable internet can cause delays and frustrations in the workplace which can impact on the productivity of your staff, staff morale and the culture of your business. When broadband goes offline, your business can grind to a halt quite quickly, impacting your business and resulting in lost revenue. With a Gigabit, ultrafast connection which comes with an ultra-reliable 99.9% uptime, you can turbo-charge your business and your productivity, knowing that down-time is virtually non-existent.

Customer satisfaction

As we’ve discussed, slow internet and delays can cause frustration and friction for your staff, but this can also directly affect your customers.

Your customers will have a better experience if your staff are happy at work. They’ll be greeted by a positive and helpful team and their experience overall will be more efficient and enjoyable.

Seamless connectivity also means you get the best out of the other services and platforms you’ve invested in. Marketing, sales and finance experiences can only be as good as the connectivity they’re provided with and Gigabit internet means your customers always see the very best of your business.

Save thousands of pounds

Gigabit internet can seem like an expensive investment which is usually something only larger businesses can afford to install.

Small and medium-sized businesses with less than 250 employees, and an annual turnover of less than £45M could qualify for the Gigabit Voucher grant to save thousands of pounds on the initial infrastructure costs.

As well as the obvious initial saving, once installed businesses will continue to see money saving through their increased productivity and customer and staff satisfaction and retention. The monthly rental of a new connection is often less than the cost of your current internet and phone lines combined, so by utilising a Gigabit internet connection for both voice and data, you can not only have a faster internet, you can have a more reliable phone connection too!

 

Why nxcoms?

We care about each and every one of our customers and excel in providing a bespoke, personal service.

Our experience and expertise in telecoms means we understand how critical the internet is to your business. We can assist you along every step of the way, from arranging for your connection voucher, to installing, configuring and maintaining your gigabit ultrafast internet connection. So that once you decide to proceed, the whole process is simple and straightforward as possible.

To find out if you qualify and to take advantage of the scheme, click here or email  info@nxcoms.co.uk

 

claim for a grant of up to £2500 towards and ultrafast broaband connection

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