Digitization, which has accelerated due to the corona pandemic, is driving the transition from wired networks to wireless WANs. What opportunities do wireless WANs offer?
SD-WAN technology creates new possibilities for enterprise networks by consolidating multiple network functions to reduce hardware and operational costs. In addition, the technology supports various WAN links, making the network more reliable and favoring bandwidth bundling and traffic segregation. Application awareness and policy-based routing open up new avenues for network optimization. Central, cloud-based management simplifies the deployment and management of network devices.
However, as long as the resulting networks are still wired, the benefits of the technology cannot be fully realized. Wireless WANs can bring more range to corporate networks, and the basis for this is a reliable WAN, which can be achieved by supporting different network connection types.
Wireless edge solutions are suitable for cellular connections to extend the range of corporate network functionality – people, locations, or devices can be connected. Based on intelligent SD-WAN solutions, relationships can be changed dynamically, specific applications can be separated or prioritized, or a new business location can be opened.
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5G Services For More Performance
With affordable flat rate options and higher bandwidth through gigabit-class LTE, mobile communications are now an attractive alternative or supplement to conventional connections. 5G is designed for low latency, and faster reaction times should enable the unrestricted use of business-critical applications and make processes more flexible.
Improved antenna and transmission technologies allow each 5G station to handle more devices and connections. In this way, IoT networks and other high-density applications can be supported wirelessly.
With gigabit-class LTE becoming widely available and many major network operators focusing on rolling out 5G services, high-availability networks can be deployed almost anywhere, anytime.
Wireless WAN Strategies
Wireless WANs Offer New Opportunities:
- Better Network Failover: The digital transformation of companies requires continuously available networks, e.g., B. in the form of layered systems that include different types of connections – wired and wireless. Wired-to-wireless failover can jump from one connection type to another without disruption. SD-WAN policies recognize and weigh the critical data traffic if LTE connections have lower bandwidth. Gigabit-class LTE and 5G connections can failover all traffic. Wireless failover capabilities are more accessible to deploy than installing new cables. The network management function is lost if wired connections fail and the remote data traffic. Since most landline dropouts occur in the last mile, Secondary PSTN lines also often fail, rendering the remote unit inaccessible. Wireless connections provide an out-of-band management option that connects directly to the console port of one or more remote devices.
- Extension of the network bandwidth: SD-WAN can combine several connections simultaneously and thus generate a higher bandwidth. Adding a wireless connection to the wired network or using different wireless connections can effectively increase bandwidth. Wireless connection options are rapidly reaching or exceeding the performance potential of wired connections with LTE speeds of up to 50 Mbit/s, Gigabit LTE with up to 350 Mbit/s, and 5G with over 1 Gbit/s.
- Make Mobile Connectivity the Main Link: Wireless WANs offer greater operational flexibility for different business locations, making opening or relocating branches and offices more effortless. This technology is also suitable for business areas where only wireless networks are possible, e.g., B. on construction sites or in pop-up stores. Wireless is the ideal primary connection if a highly redundant network with low operating costs is to be set up.
- Expansion of IoT functions: Large amounts of data are generated in intelligent buildings, intelligent cities, or fully automated production. The predominant use cases in retail include video surveillance, self-service kiosks, and manufacturing and industrial processes, as these require a lot of bandwidth. Large-scale IoT initiatives require low latency and higher bandwidth wireless connections. Some IoT devices have built-in wireless capabilities and connect directly to a cellular or WiFi network. As the number of devices increases, managing SIM cards and wireless network subscriptions or access points becomes too costly and time-consuming. This is why companies rely on their own private LTE or 5G networks.
- Enabling enterprise mobility: Mobile process support – especially in vehicles – is seen as a growing market for data connectivity as companies strive to transition to paperless offices and intensify data collection. Thanks to LTE technology, a lot is already being implemented here. 5G will open up new possibilities such as real-time data and video uploads, automated work and route planning, and the connectivity of entire vehicles.
Transformation of The Network Edge
Enterprise networks are no longer tied to fixed locations and are formed from people, cloud services, vehicles, kiosks, pop-up locations, and a growing cosmos of IoT devices. The expansion of the network edge allows for new sites, services and digital transformation initiatives. Overall, companies have a high level of flexibility based on the existing range and the evolving capabilities of wireless WANs.
Also Read: SD-WAN In The Post-COVID Era