Todd Rigby: How to Troubleshoot Digital Infrastructure Networks Across Industries

In a mesh network, individual devices act as both clients and routers, creating a decentralized digital ecosystem that can expand.

Todd Rigby: How to Troubleshoot Digital Infrastructure Networks Across Industries
The author of this Todd Rigby, director of sales at Rajant Corp.

Given the high volume of data and mobility requirements, the choice of a wireless network can make or break any technology-based solution. From automation and controlling processing machines or assembly lines to accurately tracking fulfillment of an order, it is mission critical for businesses to have a reliable, digital lifeblood. Here are a few things to bear when a company navigates the digital ecosystem looking for the optimal wireless network.

Is there value in private LTE?

Granted, private LTE is available in 4G or 5G variants. Additionally, they can be configured to have equal upload and download bandwidth, which will provide more balanced operations than carrier LTE. All wireless networks use frequency spectrum to transmit. Private LTE typically uses a semi-licensed spectrum, and regardless of what country you are based in, frequency spectrum is expensive.

Furthermore, what is available for private LTE is typically a narrower band than what carriers run networks on. As a result, throughput is limited as compared to the newer variants of 802.11, such as AC/AX (variants of the 802.11 wireless standard) and Wi-Fi 6. While private 5G may produce more throughput than private 4G, private 5G will have less throughput than modern 802.11 wireless options running in unlicensed bands. Lastly, Private LTE has a higher upfront cost and is more expensive to maintain.

Carrier LTE

In addition to having upload constraints within the network, carriers have no way of selling prioritized services. Imagine a scenario where your business is utilizing 5G for automation and control of your assembly line and order fulfillment. One afternoon there is a wreck on the adjacent highway, and traffic comes to a stop, causing every motorist to reach for their smartphone. Your business is now competing with “Joe Public” for network resources, which can result in losing control of your assembly line or records related to your fulfillment processes not being recorded. This is not a great way to impress company executives on how you saved money by not buying a private network.

Mesh networks: An emerging solution

Mesh networks have risen to prominence as a favorable solution for providing broadband connectivity in areas where traditional infrastructure is limited, at risk, or unavailable. Mesh networks use multiple devices, or nodes, to create a network that can cover a larger area than a single centralized router. In a mesh network, individual devices act as both clients and routers, creating a decentralized digital ecosystem that can easily expand and adapt to changing conditions. This makes mesh networks well-suited for rural or remote areas, as well as for disaster recovery and emergency response situations. Mesh networks are also more secure and resilient than traditional networks, as nodes can reorganize to fill gaps if one or more malfunction. Mesh networks are becoming increasingly popular to bring reliable and affordable broadband connectivity to underserved communities.

The rise of vehicle-based technology

With the aid of a mesh network, devices linked to fixed and mobile infrastructure can reliably maintain connection over long distances and in areas with many physical obstructions. This is known as vehicle-to-everything technology or V2X, where mobile platforms can send and receive signals to and from infrastructure, personal devices, and other vehicles or machines.

One of the most significant advantages of using a mesh network system is its capability to reroute signals during periods of high digital traffic or infrastructure outage. Because the network is physically dispersed through multiple network nodes, these networks can scale to cover hundreds of square miles.

These key differences make V2X increasingly more viable for an intricate workplace centered around product and information flow. The network automatically creates a more optimized wireless router to keep up with demand, meaning that even a connection experiencing a signal blockage can be upheld via self-healing and self-optimization. No connection is dropped or disrupted given the never-break design to continuously find the best path for data to travel.

Clearcut advantages on the horizon

Digital infrastructure networks play a critical role in the success of technology-based solutions across industries. Choosing the correct wireless network is essential to ensuring a reliable, high-performing digital ecosystem. While private LTE may have some advantages to carrier LTE and traditional Wi-Fi, it can also be limited in throughput and more expensive to maintain.

On the other hand, mesh networks are emerging as a promising solution for providing broadband connectivity, especially in areas where traditional infrastructure is limited or unavailable. With the rise of V2X technology, mesh networks offer a decentralized and self-healing network that can effectively reroute signals and maintain connections over long distances and in areas with many physical obstructions. Discussing the differences between wireless network options highlights the many advantages of mesh networks, given their level of versatility, security, and reliability.

Todd Rigby is director of sales at Rajant Corporation, a leading industrial wireless mesh networking company. Rigby is an expert in use cases for communication technologies in the mining, heavy construction, agriculture, material processing, manufacturing and warehousing industries. He helped to develop Rajant’s partner sales channel throughout the North and South America, Australia and Africa, and he previously ran a prominent technology integrator and was Rajant’s first reseller partner. This piece is exclusive to Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Breakfast accepts commentary from informed observers of the broadband scene. Please send pieces to The views reflected in Expert Opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Broadband Breakfast and Breakfast Media LLC.

Popular Tags