Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

ISP Baltic Broadband Introduce Baltic Backpack to Fix Connectivity

Monday, November 8th, 2021 (4:14 pm) - Score 1,872
Baltic-Broadband-Backpack

Business ISP Baltic Broadband, which typically offers a mix of fixed wireless and full fibre broadband to firms in the Liverpool area, has introduced an unusual new product called the ‘Baltic Backpack‘ – designed to be introduced to tackle areas of slow or failed broadband, seemingly by harnessing multiple cellular networks.

According to the announcement, the provider was recently able to deploy their new product to Liverpool’s hospitality sector, where it is said to have saved “dozens of bars” tens of thousands of pounds this year (this is linked to how they are now entirely broadband dependent for taking payments, orders and managing reservations). But sadly, no practical case studies are included to help elaborate on this.

The Baltic Backpack itself, which looks pretty bulky, is said to have been designed and developed in-house “over months of trial and error” by the provider’s own engineers. The aim was for the portable unit to act as a full service broadband connection, getting hospitality teams back online quickly and bringing service back to full capacity.

Matt Wilson, Baltic Broadband Founder, said:

“Lots of people in the sector were calling us after weekends when their broadband went down, saying it affected their tills, kitchen orders and security cameras and had cost them a fortune in lost business to ask how we could help. And when they’re tied into contracts for years, with support from their provider arriving 3 working days later, it was clear there needed to be a solution.”

The announcement is somewhat shy on the detail of how this solution works, although they do talk about harnessing the “potential of their own network with the capabilities of multiple cellular networks to create a highly available and resilient solution.” One customer told the team that it had saved them over £15,000 in a single weekend.

Apparently, this is more than just a fancy mobile broadband dongle: “Sticking a SIM card into a bar and hoping the signal is strong enough to make everything work wasn’t what people wanted,” said the ISP, partly because “all it takes is a busy night with loads of users on a network and you’re back to square one“. But this is debatable, depending upon the detail of each case and actual network demand vs local mobile capacity, signal etc.

At this point we asked Baltic for some more details, since there’s nothing on their website or any indication of system cost or rental charges. The announcement makes it sound like some sort of connection bonding system, which can aggregate data connections from different mobile operators, as well as Baltic’s own wireless broadband network (if available). Such solutions are tricky to get right and often have caveats.

The ISP informed us that the Backpack has multiple (up to 12) SIM cards, which connect to different mobile operators that they peer with at various internet exchanges (keeping latency low). The provider collects the traffic from the mobile operators at the radio access network handoff point (RAN) so that they can provide their internet service “over the top“, while avoiding the typical Carrier Grade NAT issues and being able to provide static IP addressing (as well as various other layer 2 services).

It is very different from a traditional 4G/5G service as we send a copy of all data across all 12 SIM connections, using the first data packet to arrive, creating a highly available and resilient connection,” said the provider to ISPreview. This sounds a bit like some of the other aggregation services that we’ve seen before, where some degree of remote VPN / cloud processing is required to merge different connections into one.

The provider said the Baltic Backpack wasn’t on their website “yet“, but that customers could rent it at a cost of £150 per day – hefty, but this is only intended to be a temporary mobile “on location” hire or emergency internet service. As such, a business might only need it for a day or so, before their main link is back. However, smaller businesses could probably cope with just a regular 4G or 5G backup / failover, provided there’s a signal.

Crucially, everything is included in that price and the data allowances are unlimited, so no need for the customer to buy lots of mobile SIMs to feed it. “The SIM cards are unlimited business SIM’s by way of a special agreement with each mobile operator, which results in lower latency, less slow-down’s and various other traffic management/shaping that happens on regular mobile SIM solutions,” added the operator.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. The Facts says:

    This is similar to equipment used by broadcasters, like for the weather person on breakfast tv.

    1. Dick witter says:

      Yea I also know there was a company that made a backpack setup like this for streams and such

  2. Mike says:

    A lot of consumer routers have Dual WAN with failover now with USB for a 4G dongle, definitely worth it if you have a flaky FTTC connection.

    1. El Guapo says:

      I think this is something a bit different to that though. I mean, I ran a project using a raspberry pi 4 and a bunch of 4G dongles that load balanced across them / used whatever network was available at the time. But this looks like something like multipoint VPN with their own L2TP network a bit like AAIPs sim cards. So they’re only using the mobile network to get a signal, they’re not using the mobile networks internet connections, they’re using their own. Pretty neat stuff I think. Could hack it together much cheaper than £150 a day of course.

    2. Mike says:

      There is a feature in Linux for packet cloning/routing, whether they use that or not I don’t know.

      I think 12 sims is a little overkill though given there are only 4 infrastructure providers.

      I mentioned dual SIM routers as that’s probably more realistic for the average reader here.

  3. JJ says:

    This is great stuff. You have to admire the creativity and ‘out of box’ thinking here

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £17.00
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £20.00
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £24.00
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £25.00
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00
    Speed: 158Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £17.99
    Speed 33Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Shell Energy £19.99
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £20.00
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Virgin Media £20.00
    Speed 54Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.00
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (4097)
  2. BT (3144)
  3. Politics (2107)
  4. Building Digital UK (2019)
  5. Openreach (1966)
  6. FTTC (1920)
  7. Business (1825)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1600)
  9. Statistics (1504)
  10. 4G (1373)
  11. FTTH (1371)
  12. Virgin Media (1273)
  13. Ofcom Regulation (1238)
  14. Wireless Internet (1232)
  15. Fibre Optic (1232)
  16. Vodafone (924)
  17. EE (903)
  18. 5G (893)
  19. TalkTalk (819)
  20. Sky Broadband (785)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact