“The advantages of Venn? Flexibility and speed”
Internet access is indispensable in the construction industry. Wust has found a solution for the disconnecting and stability problems. “If we call Venn Telecom today, we are sure to have a router by tomorrow, configured and ready for use”, says Mr. Lilo Castellaci, the ICT and communication manager of Wust.
Wust is a general construction company with headquarters in Thimister-Clermont (industrial park Les Plenesses). The company has branches in Alleur and in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. Wust has approximately 350 employees and a yearly turnover of more than 100 million euros. “We realise all kinds of projects. Very small ones but also the biggest buildings you can imagine”, explains Mr. Castellaci. “Since 1985 we are part of Besix, the largest Belgian construction group. That company works all over Europe, in North Africa, Central Asia, Australia and the Middle East. The world famous Burj Khalifa was built by SIXCO, a branch of Besix.”
One of the strengths of Wust is the mobility of the employees. “Our construction sites start off faster and faster. So, it is impossible to install an extended installation in time. At the end of the nineties, Wust was a pioneer in using GPRS (General Packet Radio Service). We continued implementing the newest technologies: GPRS, 2G, 3G, 4G, etc. During that evolution, we faced stability and speed problems. More and more, the antennas of the providers are overloaded. But access to the internet is indispensable for our employees. For instance, they need it to check the latest version of the construction plans. Since last year we also need it for Checkinatwork (a system to register the workers on the construction site). Obviously, mobility is expensive, but without a connection, we can’t work at all and that costs a lot more. We prefer to invest so that our personnel can work.”
Wust has developed a procedure for the start-up of a construction site. “The project leader executes an on-site speed-test. We have created a small application to test the speed and the stability. If the connection is alright, we start working with a classic 3G of 4G connection. If the connection is not good enough, we have a problem”, explains Mr. Castellaci.
The solution for that problem was presented by Venn Telecom. “About three years ago, we learned to know a new solution created by the enterprise Venn Telecom. We contacted Mr. Dehaye and a little later we performed a POC (proof of concept). We tested the solution on one of our most problematic construction sites, known for its frequent disconnections. The Venn router proved its value, our connectivity problems were solved.”
“Venn’s solution is really simple: they deliver a router with various SIM-cards of different providers (Proximus, Base, Orange,…). Venn creates a stable VPN (virtual private network) by using all these cards. The router itself decides what card will be used. For instance: when the Proximus SIM-card disconnects, the Orange SIM-card is ready to take over. The Venn router sends out a Wi-Fi signal or offers a connection by Ethernet cable. These routers are characterized by their large amount of antennas. They are indispensable because, as our barracks are made of iron, they act like Faraday’s cages. So, it is necessary to have multiple antennas to receive good signals.”
At this moment, Wust uses around twenty Venn routers. “The principle advantages of Venn are the flexibility and the speed. If we have a construction site start-up tomorrow, I call them today and they deliver a router in time, perfectly configured and ready for use. In case of a problem, for instance a lack of stability, the employees of Venn adapt the configuration from a distance. It is as simple as that.”