This dependence on IT infrastructures has become greater since the establishment of the first worldwide lockdown at the beginning of 2020, where the adoption of remote working has pushed businesses over the technology tipping point. In fact, a recent study by McKinsey Global Survey of executives points out that, in the time span of only a few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies by three or four years.
Along with the rapid implementation of digital transformation processes, the imminent arrival of 5G routing equipment is expected to radically change the way industries operate and how society communicates in ways, according to Forbes, yet to imagine. As a result, we have observed a notable increase in the employment of mobile connectivity into businesses' connectivity technology mix.
The pain points that mobile connectivity can alleviate or eliminate are endless. Mobile connectivity can be used, for instance, to make your current network more resilient. Alternatively, it can also serve as the main connection for your business. In this blog, however, we’ll focus on how mobile broadband can augment businesses’ networking capabilities.
Using Mobile in an always-on, active mode
If mobile connectivity is used as an underlying method, it can maintain – or even increase – application availability and performance during outages, service interruptions, fluctuations, or service degradation. With an active mobile connection in place, your business could endure the fluctuations that are occasionally seen when using fixed connectivity, and deal with common issues such as degradation due to contention or capacity.
Traditionally, network managers have been reluctant to implement Mobile connectivity in this way, due to the eventual unpredictable costs of using a metered data service in addition to an unmetered fixed fiber or copper connection. However, modern means of configuration and control readily accessible in the cloud, and capable of real-time amendment, allow that spend or speed can be kept under tight control – therefore eliminating unpredictability.
The controllable aspects of Mobile Broadband, including regular reporting, threshold notifications, and integration with existing control systems and structures, make 'Bill Shock' moments and those difficult conversations with Finance departments regarding Mobile costs a thing of the past.
SD-WAN solutions for optimized connectivity
While the Mobile connection is present and 'waiting to work' in resilience scenarios, some businesses with SD-WAN solutions in place are able to specifically allocate Mobile traffic under lower priority, so that the primary connection is protected in terms of performance.
That’s because SD-WAN can manage multiple high-bandwidth WAN links – including Mobile broadband – simultaneously, using Artificial Intelligence to control the traffic from one location to another and re-route to the highest-performing available link.
Policies or networking guidelines can be used in the event of a network failure to ensure that the mobile traffic is prioritized, becoming the primary means of business connectivity.
Lower priority traffic where SD-WAN is not deployed
Consider a retailer's network that relies upon fixed fiber or copper connectivity for Point of Sale and core revenue supporting network activity. Increasingly, consumers expect to be provided with freely available and secure Wi-Fi data services as part of their in-shop experience. Ideally, we'd want to keep that lower priority network traffic completely separate from that which actually supports the operation of the business.
A Mobile connection can provide this, by being the preferred route for traffic that is necessary but does not directly support revenue-generating business – leaving the primary connection free for the most important network traffic.
Consider also the case of a large department store, containing a number of concession businesses. These businesses may need their own independent connectivity, but this has to be kept separate from the department store's core network. Mobile can provide this type of connectivity quickly and efficiently – either under ownership of the concession business, where deployment can be rapid, and integration with existing networking arrangements minimal; or provided as part of the agreement with the host store, minimizing the impact of onboarding new concession businesses, and simplifying the process of adding, changing and removing them.
Mobile broadband: the time is now
Mobile connectivity can enhance your business’ networking strategy, particularly when combined with SD-WAN networks. But, as discussed above, using mobile connectivity can also help augment networking where SD-WAN is not deployed or is deployed in a very simple way.
With the accelerating adoption of mobile into the connectivity technology mix, the imminent arrival of 5G routing equipment, and an increasing desire from organizations to be always connected via multiple and diverse methods, Expereo is taking the lead in offering mobility solutions that deliver utility and value to our customers while complementing our position in Global Internet, SD-WAN and unique Cloud Acceleration solutions.
Service Development Manager for Mobility, Rob joined Expereo in November 2020. Has worked in the telecommunications sector since 1997, primarily, but not exclusively in mobile. He loves to use the potential of mobile technologies to solve problems and affect positive changes to the ways in which we live and work. Rob has certifications in Product Management and is a certified Scrum Product Owner.More articles by Robert Clarke