1SimplePhone Powers COVID Testing with Peplink

Drive-through testing sites were an essential resource during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the power of Peplink, 1SimplePhone CEO Jonathan Pitts crafted an innovative solution to provide unbreakable mobile connectivity to 100 sites.

Success Factors

  • Easy Deployment
    Solution must be deployable at scale.
  • User-friendly
    Technology must be easy to set up for end users.
  • Budget-conscious
    Devices must be available within a limited budget.
  • Reliable & Secure
    Internet connection must be constant and secure.

Jonathan Pitts, CEO of solutions provider 1SimplePhone, was asked to design a connectivity solution to provide internet access to 100 COVID-19 testing sites. Strong, reliable, secure connectivity was essential to the efficient functioning of the sites—attendants needed constant, instant access to patients’ pre-registration records, and to communicate with health insurance providers. Facing massive demand for testing, organizers expected to be busy.

Working within a limited budget, the testing agency initially planned to deploy consumer-grade mobile hotspots to each testing site. However, Jonathan recommended the Pepwave MAX BR1 Mini from Peplink.

A small, highly-mobile enterprise-grade 4G LTE router, the BR1 Mini is a shining example of Peplink’s drive to provide solutions for any need and budget. Though it strips out some of the more advanced hardware of Peplink’s higher-end devices, it comes equipped with redundant SIM slots to provide failover, and like all Peplink routers, it’s able to take advantage of Peplink’s powerful SpeedFusion technology. And, like all Peplink routers, it’s managed through the cloud-based InControl2 device management platform, which allows for central management and monitoring of all devices from a single pane of glass. The Remote Web Admin feature allows you to log in to each device as if you were onsite.

A New Approach to Provisioning

Having reached an agreement, Jonathan faced a new challenge. The client required a 24-hour turnaround time, and with 100 MAX BR1 Mini routers to provision, time would be tight. Plus, because the BR1 Mini is designed to be an extremely streamlined and mobile cellular router, the base model has no wired WAN connection. Setup of a single BR1 Mini is easy—users connect to a cellular network, and InControl 2 handles configuration. Setup of 100 is time consuming, and could use quite a bit of cellular data.

Jonathan needed a solution that would allow him to preconfigure these BR1 Minis quickly, and without using his own data subscription. Building on ideas he’d begun to develop in Peplink’s active and helpful online community, Jonathan created a script that was capable of preconfiguring a BR1 Mini in minutes, without the need for an internet connection. The script can be run on a basic Windows laptop, and is able to update firmware and set preconfiguration settings automatically—simply plug a BR1 Mini into the laptop, and when the laptop beeps, it’s time to plug in the next one.

In addition to its use for this deployment, Jonathan expects that his script, which he has shared with the community, will be useful for a number of purposes. Resellers selling Peplink devices in regions other than their own, for example, or deploying Peplink devices in regions without internet access, will be able to use it to preconfigure devices without access to the cloud.

Learn more about this solution, and download the script, in the Peplink Community.

Thanks to Peplink’s powerful, budget-friendly Pepwave MAX BR1 Mini, and to Jonathan’s creative thinking, the solution was deployed to all testing sites, each of which was able to efficiently test hundreds of people for COVID-19.

Watch Jonathan Pitts walk through his solution: