Cellular Internet Backup Service (Podcast)


In this episode of Tech Tuesday, John speaks with Roland Carter about cellular internet backup service, what it is, and why it’s an important consideration for any business.

Portsmouth Computer Group · Cellular Internet Backup Service

John Maher: Welcome to Tech Tuesday brought to you by PCG, a managed services and security provider in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I’m John Maher and with me today from PCG is Roland Carter. Welcome Roland.

Roland Carter: Hi, John. Nice to talk with you again.

What Is Cellular Internet Backup Service?

John: Yes, you too. So today we’re talking about cellular internet backup. What is a cellular internet backup service?

Roland: A cellular internet backup is designed to work much in the same way that your ordinary cell phone does. It uses a cellular data kind of transmission, a service provided by Verizon or Sprint or T-Mobile. There’s a few one-off other companies too, and different Northern locations. But it’s really designed to work much the same way. You get a certain amount of data that you can use, and you can use that for your business that plugs into your network.

How Does Cellular Internet Complement Primary Internet?

John: Okay. And how does it work in conjunction with my primary internet service, whether that’s Comcast or Verizon files or one of those landline type of internet services?

Roland: It’s designed to basically sit off to the side until the moment that you need it. You’ll have a firewall that’s configured for a failover service. You’ll have primary internet service, like Comcast. And when the firewall notices that that service is no longer available, the firewall kind of takes over at that moment and decides that the secondary service should be in play.

That’s when your cellular backup service will start working. You’ll just want to kind of look at your agreements you have with your cellular company and determine what those data caps are and what the price breakdowns are, just so you know, what you are working with.

How Much Data Do You Need If Your Internet Isn’t Working?

John: Right. Is there any way for me to know how much data I’m going to need, say per hour or per day if my internet is down?

Roland: Yes. You can run some basic math against what you’re currently using. We can see what’s coming in and out of the building for your internet traffic and help determine what those caps should be. Obviously, you’re not going to be looking at a complete 30 days’ worth of data service. Hopefully just a few hours, maybe up to a day or a couple of days if there’s a bad storm or something. But there are ways to figure out how much data you might need for a certain period of time.

Is Backup Cellular Right for Your Business?

John: Okay. How do I know if backup cellular internet is right for my business? Is it pretty much for any business? Obviously most businesses use the internet these days, even just for email or whatever. Is this something that every business could benefit from or is it really meant for businesses of a certain size or a certain type?

Roland: Any business could benefit from having a cellular backup just for the pure fact of being able to reach out via email communication and some basic internet browsing, especially if your business really depends on that kind of service. But it’s not right for every business as a full secondary internet service. You really want to look at how much data you’re going to be using and how fast the internet also needs to be. That really does come into play here.

Limitations With Using Cellular Data to Backup Internet

John: Right. I was wondering if there are limitations in terms of speed and things like that. Obviously, you probably want to make sure that you tell your employees, hey, we’re on our backup internet. Try not to use a lot of data. Don’t be doing video conferencing if possible, or that sort of thing.

Roland: Absolutely. Trying to minimize the throughput on these devices during those times would obviously be beneficial so more people would be able to get the little bit of access that they do require to perform their functions. And so that being said, you do want to look at what you have that runs over the internet. If this isn’t something that is going to be working for everyone, if the speeds are not fast enough for what service you’re trying to access on the internet, that’s when you really do want to make sure you have a full-on secondary internet service in place.

Many areas do offer Comcast, Verizon networks. There’s all kinds of various internet service providers. You should have some options, but there are certain areas, especially in our geographical location where you’re going to be out in the woods maybe a little bit with your business, and you might have to rely a little bit on an internet service provided by cellular.

Do You Need Cell Backup If You Have Two Internet Service Providers?

John: What if I already have a secondary internet service, like Comcast and then I fall back on Firstlight or something like that as a secondary internet? Do I still need to have a cellular internet backup and does that cellular internet backup completely replace that secondary internet service? Might I still want to have two regular internet services?

Roland: There does become a point where you’re being redundant to be redundant. So, the determining factor is the type of business you have. There are some businesses, like restaurants, where they’re depending on that point-of-sale system to process credit cards, debit cards, things like that for their nightly service. And so having a full secondary internet service is going to be useful.

But what do you do if the secondary internet service is also out because, we’ll throw a scenario out there, a telephone pole got struck by lightning or something like that? You might be without power for a small period, or you might have a backup generator to give you power, but you still want to make sure you can process those payments when you really need to. Therefore, having a cellular service in that instance might be beneficial to you.

John: Right. So, if you have two landline internet services and they’re both on that telephone pole, and then that telephone pole goes down, you’re going to lose both of those. So that’s where this cellular option would come into play.

Roland: Absolutely. Yes.

Contact PCG to Talk About Your Internet Backup Plan Today

John: All right. Well that’s really great information, Roland. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Roland: No problem. Thank you.

John: And for more information, visit the PCG website at or call (603) 431-4121.