Hybrid Internet – introducing a new technology An emerging technology in a nutshell

Hybrid modems combine two proven technologies: fixed-line connections using glass fibre or copper lines (DSL, VDSL) are coupled with mobile technology (LTE). To support this feature, the hybrid modem requires a SIM card slot in addition to the already available ports and sockets. Whenever the performance of the fixed line connection is not enough and if more bandwidth is required for the user’s activities, the mobile connection boosts the speed, as the two connection technologies are merged. Generally, this merging is handled by the modem itself.

When setting up such a modem, the users need to both connect the device to the (DSL) fixed-line and activate an inserted SIM card. In addition, to ensure an ideal LTE reception, the hybrid modem needs to be positioned the best way possible.

Advantages of the new technology

Using hybrid technology, fixed-line connections with poor line quality can be enhanced. This comes in handy for rural areas where the fixed-line speed is limited by line performance or line length. Whereas, users had to rely on or even hope for infrastructure upgrades, they have a new option now: given sufficient LTE reception, they can simply exchange their modem for a hybrid one.

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Furthermore, hybrid technology entails significant benefits for the providers. No need to lay expensive cabling to the most remote places – the resources can flow into improving existing LTE infrastructure. Convergent Internet Service Providers benefit the most from this new technology, as they can combine existing fixed line with mobile infrastructure to achieve a higher bandwidth.

The smart network switch between mobile and fixed avoids excessive load on the networks, as users don’t always need the “speed boost” provided by hybrid tech. In areas that already have well developed infrastructure, providers that offer both DSL and 4G accesses can now switch to the new technology and easily keep up with cable providers when it comes to speed issues.

Reception and location – another challenge

Especially when a fixed line is necessary or is explicitly desired by the user, hybrid Internet may not be the perfect solution. On the other hand, users already surfing via mobile connections are not reliant on this new technology. Furthermore, those used to a fixed-line product and who want to benefit from the speed boost provided by hybrid, now face new challenges: The new modem has to be positioned in a way that ensures sufficient mobile reception, access to the fixed-line socket, as well as access to a power socket. At the same time, to complicate things even further, the WiFi range within the household needs to be taken into account. Consequently, the modem must be positioned carefully to meet all of the requirements. Last but not least, locations with a poor mobile reception are left out and can’t benefit from the new technology, since the mere existence of a radio mast does not guarantee good reception for a particular area.

A quick solution for quick Internet

For all areas with a good LTE signal, hybrid modems offer a quick and efficient solution to the speed challenge. No need for the user to wait for a network expansion or to make a lot of modifications on-site. All they have to do is exchange the modem and switch to another Internet plan. The providers profit as well: they can concentrate their resources more efficiently and target dissatisfied customers to improve their Internet connections. However, a crucial point is to assist the users with setting up their modems (cabling, inserting and activating SIM cards, as well as with finding the best position for the modem). Our software solutions are already supporting users with these challenges to help them get the most out of this new technology.

What are your expectations in this new technology? Are you already using hybrid Internet? If so, mind sharing your experience? Let us know what you think about this new trend.