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Cellular Broadband Backup for Petrol Stations

Background
Businesses worldwide are becoming more dependent on broadband connections. This dependence also means that they are relying on a single pair of copper wires to provide the service. Historically, many businesses have used one connection for telephone, one for alarm, one for fax and one for the Internet. Broadband enables these functions to run over the same connection. While this is cost-effective, a failure means the business loses all of its services at once.

The Challenge
When YX Energi decided they would install broadband on all their petrol stations, they were also aware of the potential risk of converting from ISDN to broadband. ISDN is stable but cannot deliver the services and capacity the stations will need in the future. Broadband is known to be less stable due to all the parties involved and the constant changes in the network infrastructure. YX Energi needed a backup solution for the most important traffic, the payment transactions from over 400 petrol stations. The backup solution was essential to ensure that card transactions can always be completed. This is especially important on the unmanned stations.

The Digi Solution
The YX Energi solution consists of Digi TransPort wireless routers – one for every YX Energi site in the country. Each Digi cellular router is connected to the station’s primary ADSL/SDSL router and detects failure using Digi’s firewall which monitors POS traffic. As soon as traffic stops, the Digi cellular router detects the problem and diverts traffic over wireless networks.

“The deployment of this project was particularly simple thanks to Digi’s ‘No Touch Configuration’ facility on Digi Remote Manager. Put simply, the router configurations and SIM card details of every site are stored centrally on Digi Remote Manager,” said Jan Erik Bjerkholt of NetTec, who won the contract to provide backup for the ADSL lines. “In practice, this meant that as soon as each remote site was turned on, Digi Remote Manager recognized the SIM details and instantly pushed the router configuration to the site automatically. Consequently, non-technical staff could deploy the units.”

“Another benefit of No Touch Configuration is that if we later need to replace a device, we simply swap the SIM card into the new unit and Digi Remote Manager will recognise the change and self configure it,” continued Bjerkholt.

Backup Plan Put to the Test
As with all insurance measures such as backup, you hope you will never actually need it. With broadband backup, it is very likely that you will use the backup several times during a 12- to 18-month period, especially if you are running a 24/7 service like YX Energi does.

YX Energi’s backup plan was put to the test in November 2007, when the Oslo Central Train Station experienced a horrific fire in an underground tunnel carrying power and telecom cables. The fire caused YX Energi to lose broadband access to about 300 of their 440 stations. Within seconds, the Digi TransPort routers had switched the traffic over to the mobile network, which uses a completely different infrastructure and had been unaffected. The people working on the stations only noticed that they could no longer surf the Internet, but all payments went through and customers were served as normal.

“The solution proved to be an indisputable success,” Einar Dahlen of YX Energi stated after the incident.

The significance of ADSL loss was felt by many of the other retail stores within the Oslo area, who experienced huge financial losses by not being able to take card transactions, while YX Energi was able to continue with business as usual. Revenues and customers were unaffected by the incident, thanks to the Digi TransPort backup solution.

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"The solution proved to be an indisputable success."

 - Einhar Dahlen, YX Energi

Application: Broadband backup for petrol stations

Industry: Retail/POS

Company: YX Energi

Challenge: YX Energi needed a reliable, easy-to-deploy solution for broadband backup connectivity to petrol stations.

Solution: Digi TransPort cellular routers are connected to the primary ADSL/SDSL routers. As soon as traffic stops, Digi TransPort detects the problem and diverts traffic over wireless networks.

More about Digi TransPort
The Digi TransPort family of upgradeable cellular routers provides secure high speed wireless connectivity to remote sites and devices. The routers can be used for primary wireless broadband network connectivity or backup to existing landline communications. They stand apart from the competition with true advanced routing, firewall and security features including stateful firewall inspection and integrated VPN.
    Key Features:
  • Reliable and cost effective
  • Easy to deploy
  • Integrated VPN
  • Digi Remote Manager software for large installations

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