LTE-Based WAN Helps Locations Open Faster & Easier, Saving Time & Money
Day-1 and temporary networks are a keystone of today’s most agile enterprises. Gone are the days when IT teams simply accepted that Internet access should take months to provision and may not be available in some locations. Using LTE-compatible routers and cloud management from a central location, companies are vastly increasing how quickly they can deploy networks for new or temporary locations, pilot projects, and semi-mobile applications.
One particularly useful application for Day-1 networks is to mitigate the logistical challenges associated with opening new branch offices, retail stores, and other brick-and-mortar locations. Opening new locations requires placing several orders for utilities and services such as wired-line Internet service. In the past, if a new location’s targeted opening day was earlier than when the Internet Service Provider could set up service, the doors would have to remain closed. This meant accruing overhead with no revenue streaming in.
With Day-1 networks, however, it’s possible to open a new location with minimal advance notice. This is essential because each day of postponement for a new store equals thousands and thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
Pop-Up & Temporary Locations
Certain situations don’t merit provisioning a permanent WAN source. For example, retailers might deploy a pop-up location for a seasonal event, or a quick-service restaurant might open a location within a larger retailer, also known as a store-within-a-store. In these scenarios, one or both parties may be unwilling to share network access for security reasons.
A Day-1 network allows such projects to proceed without the cost of provisioning another wired line and without the security risks of shared network access.
Mobile IoT Deployments & Pilot Project Testing
Some companies use temporary networks when testing new technologies. A company can isolate the pilot technology on its own physically separate, air-gapped network, ensuring that the pilot does not interfere with or threaten the security of the main network.
In fact, the relative ease of testing those technologies on one of these Parallel Networks may allow the company to experiment more frequently with innovative technologies.
Similarly, some organizations utilize Day-1 networks for temporary, mobile IoT technology deployments. For example, a large retailer might deploy a set of IP security cameras at store locations that are prone to theft or other crimes. The company can quickly deploy the cameras on a temporary network at the location where the incidents are occurring. Once the problem is mitigated or resolved, the company can use the same technology to tackle challenges at other locations. This allows the company to flexibly address problems without making massive investments in enhanced security at every location.
Considerations for Planning Day-1 Networks
- Cellular Service — It is crucial to evaluate the location in question to determine which cellular carrier provides the best and most reliable service.
- Throughput — It’s not enough to have cost-effective connectivity; the network must provide sufficient throughput to run all of the location’s business-critical applications.
- Cost-Effectiveness — To fully capitalize on bottom-line benefits of Day-1 networks, companies need the ability to avoid sending IT professionals on-site to configure the router. Look for a solution that offers configuration templates that can be applied to individual routers or entire groups of devices. Prior to leaving the company’s staging facility, the network’s firewall, Unified Threat Management, VPN, advanced routing, and other features should have been tested and applied such that an on-site employee can simply plug the router into a power source. Once powered on, the router should be capable of locating a cloud-delivered network management solution, allowing IT teams to make any further configuration changes or conduct troubleshooting from a remote location.