Today we’re asking more and more of our enterprise networks – support reliable access to a large number of cloud apps and connect all our IoT devices and branch offices. Oh, and we also want fast speeds for remote workers while keeping our data secure at all times. Whew!
That’s quite a list of demands. Luckily, software-defined and LTE-pervasive wide-area networks (WANs) have stepped up to the plate. But some business leaders remain skeptical. So, beyond the hype, is wireless WAN really ready for the big leagues? Can cellular-based connections support mission-critical business applications? What about running Unified Communication (UC) platforms or VoIP? Or can they support Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to secure corporate data and applications? The answer is simple – yes, and yes. Check out these results from Cradelepoint’s recent State of the WAN report for evidence playing out in the enterprise. (Source: Cradlepoint).
- 52% of the organizations surveyed are leveraging cellular connections, including 4G LTE today are using it as a primary connection. Moreover, 29% plan to shortly.
- 45% of organizations rely on LTE for mobile offices in vehicles.
- 33% of organizations are actively working toward using 5G for enterprise networking.
At Broad Sky Networks, we want to set the record straight about 4G LTE and cellular-based SD-WAN. If your customers are curious about the changing role of wireless WANs, consider these key points.
- Wireless WANs, VPNs, and VoIP – Because an SD-WAN is a virtualized WAN, the technology ‘bonds’ transport links between sites using the best path available to route traffic – T1, DSL, or a wireless 4G LTE connection. The appliance finds the ideal route suited for the application, including for VPN and VoIP, based on QoS requirements and other user-defined protocols. These capabilities mean companies can take advantage of uninterrupted real-time data transmission in 4G LTE wireless networks to run business-critical applications with confidence.
- Wireless networks for failover or primary connections – It used to be that wireless service was a ‘second tier’ connection with users experiencing frequent dropped calls, or down service. Today, however, wireless networks consistently deliver excellent speed and reliability. Cellular connections are also immune to instances where wired lines get cut, or ripped out accidentally. Another benefit is that wireless connections are resilient and generally available during inclement weather, unlike wired connections. Today, in many cases, customers are often reporting better speeds and performance of 4G LTE, compared to wired connections like T1, DSL or cable internet, making wireless ideal for both primary or secondary links.
- Launching IoT and M2M deployments – Whether it’s digital signage, security cameras, ATMs, or remote monitoring sensors, today’s IoT and M2M deployments are anywhere and everywhere. The good news is that these deployments help organizations seize new business opportunities, streamline operations, and reduce costs. The challenging part is keeping these devices connected to the internet cost-effectively and reliably. 4G LTE wireless links are the ideal counterpart for connected devices because they provide the visibility, security, and control that IoT requires, minus high costs and complexity.
- Don’t forget about branch networking – In a distributed branch office environment, nearly all tools and applications now require an internet connection. Mobile workers and branch offices also need internet access quickly, and they don’t have time to wait weeks or months for connections to get installed. 4G LTE-enabled branch routers meet all of these goals, plus many are plug-and-play, with cloud-based configuration capabilities. Cellular-based connections also minimize the need for branch networks to rely on several regional ISPs for connectivity, making vendor management less of a hassle.
What’s coming with 4G LTE and 5G?
At a time when businesses are requiring more and more bandwidth for mobile connectivity and cloud-based apps, wireless WANs are a welcome shift from traditional networking. SD-WAN and wireless networks are now advanced enough to meet companies’ growing demands – connecting people, places, and things so businesses can continue to innovate.
Looking ahead, Gigabit-class LTE is bringing even higher-speeds and lower-latency connections. These characteristics make Gigabit-class LTE an essential building block to 5G. If you’d like help talking to your customers about the benefits of 4G LTE – and soon to be 5G – talk to Broad Sky Networks! We’ll break down a plan for augmenting traditional MPLS-only WANs with wireless connections – either as a failover or primary link – without reinventing the wheel. We know the ins and outs of 4G LTE and wireless SD-WAN, so we can help customers make the decision that’s best for them. Don’t wait! Your customers will high-five you!