Reliable and highly available connectivity is key to distributed branch networking. Organisations require connectivity solutions which enable maximum application performance while still being cost-effective, and are increasingly looking to cellular to provide this. In this article, we take a look at how the advent of 5G will expand the role of cellular in branch networking, bringing advanced capabilities to branch office and retail locations.
4G LTE can, in many cases, deliver the same speeds and bandwidth as fixed line solutions, meaning that it often provides a more cost-effective and easily-deployed solution without compromising the quality of the connection. Because of this, many leading organisations are already “cutting the wire” and moving to an entirely wireless solution for their branch networks.
5G is set to deliver download speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second, further increasing cellular’s ability to match and far exceed fixed line capabilities – and opening up new possibilities for branch networks.
Organisations are faced with increased bandwidth requirements today and these are only set to expand further and further in the future. The rapidly growing use of cloud-based, SaaS and video applications are all driving more internet traffic than ever before, plus new technologies such as virtual reality are constantly adding to this weight load.
In addition to such applications, many branches – particularly retail stores and food chains – offer services such as customer WiFi. The super-fast download speeds provided with a 5G-enabled WiFi hotspot will therefore also enhance business operations and customer experience by delivering a superior service for all.
Another major benefit of 5G, which will work in tandem with increased speeds and lower latency to provide enhanced connectivity for branch networks, is reliability. Considered to be the necessary platform to connect all ‘things’ and people, 5G has network reliability at its core. Therefore, while 4G LTE routing solutions are already providing consistent connections in branch offices and retail stores, 5G will go further and deliver complete reliability. This is critical to many branch office and retail applications such as Point of Sale, and makes an all-wireless networking approach even more viable.
For many enterprises today, 4G LTE cellular networking is answering the demand for highly available, reliable and cost-effective connectivity across their hundreds, or even thousands, of distributed branch locations. With its vastly enhanced capabilities, 5G has the potential to transform branch networking, optimising performance and driving the growth of branch applications even further.