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BT Enterprise Launch 4G Mobile Broadband Back-up for UK SMEs UPDATE

Monday, May 21st, 2018 (12:25 pm) - Score 10,622

BT’s Enterprise division has today launch a new “business-grade broadband product” called 4G Assure, which switches automatically to a 4G mobile data connection to help small and medium sized UK businesses stay connected if they experience an interruption to their fixed line ISP connection.

The new 4G Assure service is said to work with all of BT’s broadband connection types and it also supports static IP addresses. Crucially this is NOT to be confused with the BT Plus service that was announced by their consumer division last week (here), although it does flow into the same theme of convergence.

Essentially businesses will receive a Mobile Broadband dongle (usually a USB modem) to complement their existing Business Smart Hub router and this will then automatically failover to a “reliable” 4G connection if the fixed line goes down. We should point out that some third-party broadband ISP routers can already be configured to do something similar, although many of those require it to be manually setup and may be less flexible.

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After this the hub will then monitor for the return of the fixed line broadband connection every few seconds and will automatically switch back to fixed broadband when the line becomes stable. In addition, if a broadband fault is detected then BT will know and “take action to proactively fix the fault, without the customer having to contact the company to request a fix.”

The other advantage is that businesses can also use this feature in reverse, which means you can make use of the 4G data connection while waiting for a new fixed line service to go live.

Mike Tomlinson, MD of SME for BT, said:

“We recognise that a reliable, always on broadband connection is essential for businesses. So we’ve packed even more innovation into our award winning Smart Hub to provide SMEs with a failsafe method to stay online. We are very excited about this new service because it combines the strengths of our fixed broadband network and the UK’s most powerful Wi-Fi signal with the most extensive 4G network in the country.

This delivers a highly resilient broadband service which will keep SMEs – the backbone of the UK economy – up and running.”

The 4G Assure solution will be included at “no extra charge” for those customers taking an Ultrafast, Infinity Premium or Broadband Premium business broadband package from BT. Customers who purchase BT’s standard business broadband packages will have the option to buy 4G Assure for an additional £8 per month.

You’ll also benefit from “unlimited” mobile data with this feature, although they’re probably assuming that you won’t need that all the time because it’s a redundancy product.

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UPDATE 7:16pm

Rival ISP OptaNet has stated that BT are NOT the “first” to offer the above service and in fact they claim to have been offering the same solution for awhile, which is similarly titled “Assured Internet“.

Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
12 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Tim says:

    Could you just unplug the slower ADSL line and use 4G all the time unlimited?

    1. Avatar photo R BT says:

      Check out the BT Plus service. Converged technology. Where if you’re speeds are advertised at 52Mbps(Unlimited BT Infinity 1) and your line can only achieve say 30Mbps the other 22Mbps would be covered by unlimited 4G. Giving you your full 52 Mbps or whatever your advertised speeds are. The fixed line capacity will be used in full first before then reverting to the 4G for your additional capacity. All core work required more of a fixed service (I.e. online gaming which requires decent latency, which is more likely on the fixed line than 4G) will be done on the fixed line first before falling back onto the 4G.

    2. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

      @R BT
      To combine both line and 4G capacity will require the functionality of a balanced WAN capability. All I have heard is “Next year BT will introduce a new home router that combines broadband and mobile signals to provide what it claims will be a faster and more reliable connection”.

    3. Avatar photo R BT says:

      @Meadmodj
      Have a check on previous articles here and on TBB and you should find similar information to my description. I work in sales and retentions here at BT and this was what has thus far been explained to me. Being available in 2019 I believe. Well that particular part of the BT Plus service to my knowledge.

    4. Avatar photo Andrew Ferguson says:

      4G Assure IS NOT BT PLUS

      4G Assure is a failover solution
      Load Balancing – not being launched
      Bonded is what BT Plus i.e. single stream will use both solutions. Take a look at Multipath TCP, which others abroad have used and is one of the ways apparently they’ve got mobiles as fast as they have in South Korea

    5. Avatar photo Technological says:

      BT Plus is not the Bonded solution BT Consumer previewed last week, that is EE Hybrid Broadband and that will come in 2019

      BT Plus is a enhanced Broadband offer, which combines DSL Broadband with a Mobile Phone contact plus with a unlimited 4G Data Boost if you have a line fault – they will also give you a 4G MiFi device if you line fault continues over a day – ie BT Plus is like a Quad Play bundle not new technology

  2. Avatar photo BuckleZ says:

    I’m sure you could, but they would soon catch on

  3. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

    “When in failover mode, speeds are capped to match the broadband speed”

  4. Avatar photo Element82 says:

    4G Assure works with Business Hub 5 as well

  5. Avatar photo Nic Elliott says:

    Still waiting for more details on the BT Plus service and whether it really is bonding or not. The word converged is being thrown around. That’s not a term we’ve seen particularly in use.

    Again, no where near the first ISP to be providing a resilience multi-line fully bonded service. Evolving Networks have been doing it for 10 years. Nice to see the big boys finally get wise to it being a good idea.

    Will they also be adding compression, QoS, and other software related enhancements I wonder?

    Also it will be interesting to see how the product performs during any kind of line fault, or contention.

  6. Avatar photo Simon says:

    I got offered to trial this product and I had to refuse because it would mean using their stupid hub. I refuse to use any of their smart hubs. I use a Ubiquiti Edgerouter X SFP with a Meraki Cisco MR33 and I’ve never looked back. I can’t help thinking that BT is releasing this product because their lines are notoriously rubbish for dropping connections, sounds like a band aid to avoid customers complaining about their rubbish infrastructure and cheap low-cpu/memory routers.

    BBB broadband provider in Sweden was providing 1000mbit fibre back to home customers when I was 16…. that’s over 18 years ago! BT have had two decades to get us fibre ready!

  7. Avatar photo Alison says:

    Just fount this thread, hope you don’t mind you seem to know what your talking about… I have just been offered the 4G Assure by the BT retension team, However they can only guarantee 3-8 mbps speed and I have to sign up for another 2 years. while I can just about cope with 8mbps, if it was only running at 3 (which it currently is at home) it would not be fit for purpose but there would be no way out of the contract. (No trial period offered) Has anyone experience of the 4G Assure and at what level of speed does it cut in, or does it only work if BB gone completely? super fast not an option, live in sticks and line goes direct to a small village exchange. Does anyone have any solutions that dont break the bank for reasonably fast bb without fibre.

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