January 22nd, 2019 - Payments, ATMs and Unattended
Whether it’s to get ahead of the competition or being driven by the global shut down of 2G and 3G networks, the payments industry is migrating to 4G technology in growing numbers. TNS Product Manager Chris Walker is playing a pivotal role in supporting this transition for TNS customers. In this blog Chris provides some vital insights into how to overcome the most common issue when swapping in new 4G equipment – signal strength.
When 2G and 3G technologies were created they consumed a lot of power to transfer communications. Over time technological advancements utilizing purely digital signals over analog signals have created the 4G LTE networks that carry much higher bandwidths of data than the predominantly analog signals of the 2G and 3G networks. This technological step forward has, however, lead to some unanticipated headaches for the payments industry when the migration to 4G technology began.
What was expected by many businesses that use routers in payments devices, such as ATMs and POS terminals, to be a simple hardware switch has in-reality been more disruptive. We have learned from this experience and now recommend three effective tactics when deploying 4G routers to provide a smooth transition.
1. Recognize the signal strength in your location and other influencing factors:pure digital signal strength varies geographically even at the micro level, so one side of a town may see a different signal strength to the other. Routers in ATMs will also have additional metal layers to penetrate and older buildings may have thicker or denser stone walls. ACTION – complete a signal strength test onsite to identify your unique situation and confirm there is a suitable 4G signal.
2. Check for two router antennas:2G and 3G routers typically only featured one antenna, but most 4G devices have two antennas and are meant to operate with both connected. ACTION – ensure both antennas are plugged in.
3. Experiment with flexible antenna placement:the 4G routers that TNS prefers ship with a SMA base and extension cable, so that the hardware can be located in the optimum position. ACTION – try multiple set-ups if the initial location does not provide the results you need.
If you have deployed all the above tactics and still experience signal strength issues, TNS offers a high gain antenna with additional cable length and a mounting bracket to boost the signal at an additional cost.
If you would like to know more, please email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.