Photo of a large satellite dish with text reading, "Satellite Internet - It's Not What You Think!"


Business internet users have more choices than ever, at the same time, familiar products like analog phone lines and DSL are going away or in some areas, most are already gone. Other older products and services are benefitting from improved technology and one of those is satellite internet.

Those who tried Satellite Internet when it first became available, know that it was an erratic service which was not business grade by today’s standards. Modern systems use similar technology, but the service has been vastly improved by improved hardware and low earth orbit (LEO) satellite services and smaller, more efficient reception dish.

Older systems were metered, so users never know what to expect on their monthly bill. That too has or is going away.  Newer service by several providers are using more satellites, in a lower orbit with improved hardware that greatly increases stability, reliability and signal quality. They are no offering unlimited packages that guarantee a consistent bill every month. While satellite is not the best choice for every business, it is a great option for locations where options are few and those that are hard to reach with other services. If you are having trouble finding good internet for your business, call Online Technology Associates for a quote, you may be surprised! Contact: (770) 446-7199 • LCole@OTA1.com.

Your customers are trying to communicate with you, are you listening?

32% of consumers attest to texting a business and never receiving a reply. AT&T reports that 150 million texts are sent every day to numbers that are not text-enabled. 

90% of people want to use messaging to interact with businesses and 93% of consumers trust text messaging as a communication channel.

HostMyCalls Business-Grade SMS System makes engagement easy. You can send and receive SMS messaging on all of your existing telephone numbers while leaving your current voice services entirely intact. That’s right – you do not have to replace your phone system to enable SMS texting.

To learn more about our SMS platform, visit hostmycalls.com. You can engage with real humans using our SMS chat initiation widget in the lower right corner of our web page. You can also request sales contact by texting ‘learnsms’ to (678) 916-1952.

It’s time for your business to stop surviving and start thriving!

Guy Holding a Cell Phone with Text saying, "Stay In Touch with Customers".

Businesses miss calls when they are busy – and calls turn into voicemails, which are often ignored…

Did you know that only 18% of Americans listen to voicemails, with only 24% answering calls from an unknown number? The same goes for emails, as most emails get lost in the storm of message filtering and junk mail folders. So, how are businesses getting important messages these days?

As someone with a mobile phone, you know better than anyone – because you use that mobile phone many times a day. Even a quick glance at your mobile phone, as the screen lights up, tells you a lot. You are much like every other American who checks their cell phone an average of 150 times a day. This is because people always have their mobile phones, which is the most convenient way to view and reply to messages.

Spam filters, unanswered calls, and ignored voicemails significantly impede human-to-human interactions and rob you of your ability to increase business. The HostMyCalls Business-Grade SMS System is designed to open the gates to the most effective communication channel. Our SMS users build stronger connections and long-lasting business by engaging in uninhibited dialogue with clients and potential customers.

To learn more about our SMS platform, visit hostmycalls.com where you can engage with real humans using our SMS chat initiation widget in the lower right corner of our web page. You can also request sales contact by texting ‘learnsms’ to (678) 916-1952.

Communication is Key! It’s time for your business to stop surviving and start thriving! Reach out to OTA with any questions today!

AI + Telecom Online Technology Associates

Nothing New Here: Artificial Intelligence Has Been In Telecom for Years!

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the latest trend in many areas, but telecom has used the concept for years. SDWAN  (Software Defined Networks)  have been around for years, but are they really AI?  Well…technically, YES!

It all started with the quest for more reliability in business and residential internet circuits. The fact is that there are NO internet circuits that are 100% reliable, even though there is high demand for the highest reliability available…The solution is to stack two or more circuits, then intelligently send and receive data on a combination or selection of the available services.

SDWAN uses a device onsite that is connected to multiple circuits, usually diverse types, such as cable, copper, fiber, satellite, ETC. The onsite device combines the circuits and points the incoming and outgoing data to a SDWAN provider, which receives the traffic from a customer and resends it according to preset priorities and programming.

The result is that missing packets and down circuits are rectified by simultaneous transmission of the data so the SDWAN provider can sort it out, replace missing packets and resend it over clean fiber connections. The customer also gets to take advantage of the combined capacity through load balancing to for a larger, faster, and more reliable circuit than any of the circuits in the mix.

Customers can also choose to send critical data over the most secure and clean circuit in use – and relegate less critical traffic, such as casual surfing, social media, etc., to a cable or other less secure broadband circuit to keep the secure capacity available for more important data.

SDWAN is not just an appliance, it is a service that can ensure the most secure, clean, and reliable connections available. There are also other AI services in telecom, such as “Smart Networks” – but we will discuss that at a later time.    

Got Questions? Yep, AI is a lot to ponder…Just reach out to Online Technology Associates to make sense of it all…we’re here to untangle the info and help you get the best connection for your business!

Wireless Providing Satellite in orbit over Earth

Things have certainly changed for the better!

The satellite service of our past had earned a well-deserved reputation for being slow and delivering erratic service. But, that was the past – Now, with new technology and supersized satellites already in orbit are delivering speeds and quality that are competitive with other technology here on the ground. This new and improved satellite tech is providing you with enhanced coverage in many more areas.

A case in point is the new ViaSat -3 launched just this week. This supersized satellite has the capacity of 1TB of bandwidth and can deliver 100M of high-quality bandwidth to individual customers! ViaSat’s Constellation of the America satellites will be able to service businesses as well as residential customers in the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa when all of the 3 series satellites are in orbit.

These high-powered satellites will also be servicing customers at sea and in the air, resulting in seamless coverage for travelers in aircraft and aboard ships. These particular satellites will be placed in a traditional “high orbit”. But, AT&T, StarLink, Oneweb, and Amazon’s Kuiper project, etc. are deploying Low Earth Orbit (LEO) smaller satellites that could potentially replace cell towers.

The best news here is that cable, fiber, and cellular providers will have to up their games in order to compete with this new tech in the sky! When shopping for internet service, go with the Pros to help guide you through the choices that you might not know about. Reach out to OTA today!

Complicated Highway OverPass System with text overlay: What's Complicated But Simple at the Same Time? The Future, My Friend!

What does the future hold for Telecom Services?

How can that be?  Well, as usual, there are many new products coming out – many more choices for you to choose from for your business or home – which makes choosing more complicated. Also, the providers are using new product names and company names, which makes our choosing more complicated! So, what’s the simple part you may ask?

Right now, there are many choices for businesses and several for most homes. The technology, performance, and cost can vary a lot! To make matters worse, it is quite difficult to tell what you are actually getting due to the providers intentionally using terms such as fiber, VoIP, secure, firewall in ways that can be very deceptive to the average consumer… For instance, cable providers use the term “fiber optic” to describe services that have little or no actual fiber in them, so you can’t distinguish “fiber service” from “cable service.” In the future, this will not be an issue since the major cable providers are working hard to convert the cable infrastructure to real fiber. So in the near future, say the next 10 years or so – there will be no cable service, so all wired services will be only fiber.

Let’s talk about Fiber service, the many types of fiber, and fiber providers…Which is the most reliable network: Shared or Dedicated? Broadband service, which is shared, is not going away, in fact, it is expanding rapidly. Government regulations are forcing the providers to share networks, which makes a lot more sense than tearing up the public infrastructure – AKA roads, sidewalks, and other utilities, multiple times so each fiber provider can have their own network installed. Providers are forced to share networks – so that makes it simpler. Also the new technology being used right now, these provider companies can use the same fiber trunks to provide different qualities of service at the same time… so much more simple!

Now we have 4G, 4G LTE, plus the many flavors of 5G… and 6G is already in the works. In the near future, these will all be consolidated into a single technology so all cellular devices will work on all cellular networks. Which is simpler, right? But we still have analog, cellular, digital, and VoIP phone traffic – these all require different equipment. We are already moving to an all VoIP or cellular infrastructure, so voice services will be simpler.

Technology has always been a double-edged sword. Out with the old and in with the new, means we have more functionality and more to learn! Reach out to Online Technology Associates to learn more, or just to chat about what’s available now and how to get your ducks in a row for what’s coming down the line.

New Cell Tower with 5G capabilities.

5G signals are delivered on various platforms with VERY different results – Basically, 5G can be divided into three very different types:

Think of 5G as three different flashlights; the first flashlight has a broad beam but has limited strength and intensity (like a lantern). The second flashlight covers a smaller area (like a traditional flashlight) but is brighter and the third is more like a laser – very, very bright, but has a tiny coverage area…

The most popular 5G is a lower frequency (600-900MHz  range) which is similar to 4G cell service. It covers an area similar to 4G, with very broad coverage, but has limited strength and bandwidth. This is what is being offered by cell carriers now.

Then there is mid-range 5G which covers a smaller area, but with more bandwidth and is stronger.  It uses frequencies in the 30-250 MBPS, giving download speed higher than 4G cellular, but has coverage issues that make it impractical for the current cellular antenna network. This is well suited for fixed applications as opposed to mobile devices since it has a narrow coverage area.

Those big promises you hear about 5G are based on high band, or millimeter wave, using frequencies in the  24-54GHz range. This is more like a laser beam – very strong, has very high bandwidth, and covers a very small area. This high-frequency 5G is suited for very limited areas, often within a building that needs a local network (LAN) with a very high capacity in a small, well-defined space.

However, technology marches on! While 5G is being refined, 6G is on the way with frequencies in the sub-THz range – which is very, very high and very narrow (at least for now). The likely outcome is a network with multiple layers of frequencies for different purposes and types of users.

Want to know more about how this affects you and your options for connectivity? Reach out today for a chat: Online Technology Associates (770) 446-7199.

Many office workers connected online.

What exactly is the difference in Fiber Connectivity for Business? – There are several Categories and Types, with the cost and quality of services varying greatly! Therefore, no single carrier or product is right for every business.

Dedicated or Broadband?

You may be familiar with the term, “Broadband”, but do you know what it means?  If not, then you aren’t alone…the Carriers and even the Trade use this term for very different products. One thing to know is that each internet circuit is either Broadband or Dedicated. Here are the differences: 

First, Dedicated refers to a custom-built circuit that can be used to access the public internet:

  • These are custom-built circuits – similar to having a private entrance ramp or having your own lane custom-built for just one particular customer.
  • Dedicated Circuits are much higher in quality and price than broadband services because they get their own lane to internet access!
  • Dedicated Circuits are cleaner and MUCH more secure than broadband services.
  • These circuits are also synchronous – meaning that the upload speeds are the same – up and down, day and night regardless of what other users down the street or across town are doing.
  • Since Dedicated Circuits are also cleaner – they are much more efficient, meaning there is less static and trash on the circuit – this is the reason Dedicated Circuits do not need as much speed as you would with a broadband circuit.

Think of it this way; you are trying to move a certain amount of data, the Dedicated Circuit is like an empty truck, everything in it is your data, whereas the broadband circuit is like a truck that is already 60% or more full of trash, so you need a bigger truck, much bigger to move the same amount of data.

On the other hand, there are Broadband Circuits:

  • Broadband Circuits are usually, but not always asynchronous – meaning that the upload and download speeds are different. Your Downloads (data you receive) are much faster than the Uploads, (data you send out). These Broadband Circuits were initially developed for residential use – where most of the activity is at-home users downloading and not doing much uploading.
  • Broadband services are also shared circuits, meaning they are much less secure and the performance you get is highly affected by other users in your neighborhoods and across the network.
  • While Dedicated Circuits have an SLA, or Service Level Agreement, meaning that the carrier guarantees uptime, the industry standard is 99.999 % uptime and guaranteed quality measured in latency and dropped packets – The Broadband products carry a “Best Effort” policy, meaning that the carrier will do its best to maintain service and quality, but no guarantees!
  • Cable circuits are always Broadband Circuits, but FIBER can be either Broadband or Dedicated Circuits!

As you would expect, there is a large difference in pricing between the Dedicated and Broadband services – and neither is best for every business. Unfortunately, there are no requirements that a data circuit be designated as one or the other – which means that catchy product names, such as “Business” or “High Speed” do not tell the full story. It is advisable to purchase from an independent consultant who will tell you exactly what you are purchasing…and that’s exactly who we are.

Confusing? Yep, we get that and are here to help you make sense of what your business does and does not need. Reach out to Online Technology Associates today for a consultation on your business needs!