With businesses moving their data to the cloud, relying their operations on IoT devices and having to respond quickly to greater mobility, the demand for wireless connectivity solutions has never been higher. That’s because the architectural constraints of wired networks don’t allow for the required reach, diversity and operational flexibility to such use cases. That’s where wireless wide-area network (WAN) architectures come to play.
Wireless WANs, based on the capabilities of 4G LTE and more powerful 5G technology, are becoming an essential part of any organization’s digital transformation. They expand the reach of enterprise network functionality to the people, places, and things where work is happening. Here are five key strategies you should consider if deploying wireless WAN:
Enhancing Network Failover
Network uptime and nonstop operations have become key performance indicators for IT management. Historically, organizations added more wires into the building to ensure network availability and seamless failover, from different carriers if necessary, for greater resilience. Unfortunately, adding another wire is not enough to ensure continuous operations. Instead, enterprises are building layered availability with different types of connections — some over wire, some over the air. Then simply repeat as needed to achieve the desired level of availability.
Augmenting Network Bandwidth
One big advantage of SD-WAN is simultaneously aggregating multiple links to create more bandwidth, as an alternative to ordering (and waiting for) a single, faster line. Augmenting a wired link with a wireless link, or using multiple wireless links, is a powerful alternative technique for quickly increasing available bandwidth.
Making Wireless the Primary Link
People have embraced and prefer wireless connectivity in their offices and homes. Why? Because the reach and agility of wireless is worth far more than the shrinking bandwidth advantage of wires. Many banks, retail stores, insurance agents, and other types of branch offices are looking at Wireless WAN links for the same reason. Wireless WANs bring greater operating agility to these locations, making it faster and easier to open or move stores and offices.
Expanding IoT Capabilities
Many people think of IoT as small, occasional bits of data, with little impact on the existing network. In some cases that may be true, for individual devices such as door sensors, thermostats, or lighting controls. But when they grow into smart buildings, smart cities, or robotic manufacturing, they become a lot of things generating a lot of traffic. The low latency and increased bandwidth of wireless links are critical for many organizations as they deploy these large-scale IoT initiatives.
Boosting Business Mobility
Business mobility, primarily in vehicles, is a large and growing market for data connectivity, as organizations look to eliminate paperwork, improve data collection, and enable real-time operations. A lot of this is being done today with LTE technology, and 5G will dramatically increase the opportunities. As carriers make the necessary 5G investments and transformations over the next 3 to 5 years, now is the time to start planning for greater operational mobility.
Wireless WANs solve multiple problems for business networks, create new opportunities, and lay the foundation for further transformation and innovation. But, like any other sort of network connectivity, it needs careful planning before launch.
Learn more about these five key strategies for Wireless WAN deployments in our free whitepaper in partnership with Cradlepoint.