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Zello Staff
By
April 27, 2021

When You Deploy Zello to Your Team, Should You Use WiFi or Cell Data?

If you’re thinking of deploying Zello to your organization, one of the most important things to consider is whether or not you’ll be using WiFi or cellular data. The good news is: Zello works on both. You can use one, the other, or a mixture of both, based on your company’s needs. 

 

Retail Worker in Stockroom.psd

 

Why is this important to consider? Cellular dead spots and weak WiFi connections will affect employees’ ability to connect to their networks. Your organization may also have hybrid needs. For instance, in a retail setting, employees working mainly inside the store will do fine on a WiFi network, whereas those operating outside the store or moving between the two settings might be better off on a cellular network to ensure they can be reached, no matter what. Similarly, first responders who move quickly across a wide geographic area will need a cellular network.

 

WiFi

Cellular

Pros

  • A more cost effective option instead of buying phones and paying for a monthly data plan
  • Unlimited range
  • Zello uses less data than comparable apps/tools, making it a more efficient communication option

Cons

  • Restricts the user (if the device does not have data) from communicating on Zello if they happen to leave the store for any reason
  • Can be more costly than using WiFi
  • Some stores have dead zones that impact communications

 

A Few Examples

Zello customers make good use of both WiFi and cellular data options based on their needs and on how their businesses operate. 

One of our customers, a regional furniture retailer, made the decision to use Zello over WiFi, allowing them to eliminate the need for cellular data plans and reducing their overall costs. To do this, when deploying Zello they had to identify their wireless access points and run tests to ensure their WiFi connection was strong throughout the store so that there would be no communication delays. 

Another one of our customers, a liquor superchain, offers curbside pick-up to customers who have placed online orders. Accordingly, employees enter and exit the store to assist customers. The company relies on cellular data so that employees can be reached outside. 

A national luxury furniture retailer has been using a stand-alone Zello On-premise Server in each retail store so that in-store communications does not depend on an internet connection. This was critical to the company so that all store employees could stay connected with each other even during a major event that could cause a WiFi or cellular disruption.

We have many customers who work out in the field, such as in the construction, logistics, and courier industries. These customers use a mixture of cellular data in the field and WiFi for dispatchers or in the field office. If you were to ask them whether you should choose WiFi or cellular data, their answer would be clear: the choice is yours! Use either one or a mixture of both. Consider your needs carefully before deploying, and investigate any potential technical challenges, such as dead spots, before you make your decision. However you work, whatever your setup, Zello has a solution for you.