Delivering the hottest of hotspots
Establishing a link between the field and a newsroom is essential. But going live from any location, accessing newsroom systems, and sending clips and edited packages can be a challenge without reliable internet.
With the proliferation of news websites, apps, and social media, audiences expect updates in real-time. Broadcast and live streaming productions have been using MiFi (short for Mobile Wi-Fi, or ‘My Wi-Fi’) devices in the field as a portable hotspot for over a decade now. These devices carry modems that use 4G (or 5G) to connect wirelessly to the internet. Cell phones, tablets, laptops, wireless cameras, etc., in the same vicinity, can connect to the same device using Wi-Fi. And it’s inexpensive, so it’s no wonder MiFi has been a regular fixture for mobile broadcast and live-streaming productions since it appeared on the scene in 2009.
If you happen to be in an area where there is strong cellular signal available from your network provider’s local cell tower, then accessing internet connectivity via MiFi to transmit live video or packaged content from a news scene, sports event or concert is feasible. Some devices even claim to be able to achieve upload speeds of 10-15 Mbps (5G).
However, there are a lot of variables that need to fall into place for MiFi to deliver the hottest of hotspots:
For fixed locations, such as sports stadiums or concert venues, it’s possible to test site location ahead of a live event. But if you’re heading to a breaking news scene in a remote location for example, this is a variable you cannot control – and it’s possible that the closest operating cell tower isn't close enough. If your broadcast is critical and no other option besides cellular is available, then relying on one cellular network provider will compromise reliability.
Even if you test the site of a fixed location ahead of an event, network congestion can have a considerable impact on signal strength. If hundreds or thousands of people are vying for the bandwidth from the same provider as you, it’s highly unlikely that the available internet connectivity will be viable enough to upload high quality video or access any MAM or newsroom systems. Sustaining minimum bandwidth may become difficult, causing dropped frames, softer picture quality or even the complete halt of the stream.
Network providers can put a temporary or long-term speed cap on your data connection to reduce your throughput. This is implemented in various situations to minimize your data usage because lower speeds consume less data - which will cause a big problem if broadcasting or streaming live.
MiFi uses public domain internet, which can present a security risk when transmitting secure, or otherwise, private data. The MiFi method of accessing internet connectivity is missing the confidence that, say, a VPN tunnel would provide.
This calls for an alternative solution
Whether you’re looking to produce more news stories, enable your field crews to do additional research or send edited packages remotely, having access to reliable, resilient internet is vital.
You can now get the reliability and throughput of a wired broadband internet connection, with the convenience, mobility, and live video features you expect from a Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter with the EnGo’s new GateWay mode.
It’s like having two devices in one—live video transmission and an internet gateway - no separate hotspot/MiFi device required. Delivering an ultra-fast, reliable internet connection, it allows teams to be more productive, no matter where they are. Unlike MiFi which relies on a single network, GateWay Mode uses Dejero’s Smart Blending Technology to combine all available network connections from diverse carriers. This increases capacity for data-intensive applications, broadens coverage areas, and enhances reliability. It also supports VPN tunnelling for secure access to your organization’s networks.
If you’re still using MiFi for critical broadcasting or streaming, consider switching to a Dejero EnGo with GateWay Mode for a supercharged hotspot. Learn more dejero.com/engo265.