In my previous blog post (link to “The Quest for Five 9s Making For Strange Bedfellows”), I mentioned how many of our enterprise customers are now achieving continuous (AKA “Five 9s” or 99.999%) network connectivity with wireless alone. In most cases, they do it by using two cell carriers per branch location. (If Carrier A’s network goes down, the routing device switches to Carrier B until Carrier A comes back online).
This solution requires branch offices to be equipped with devices that contain two modems. But the benefits of doing so extend beyond reliability. With two modems, companies get the bandwidth they need to accommodate more users and run today's ever-more-ubiquitous and demanding applications. Dual modems also give enterprises the ability to load balance and add burst bandwidth for peak periods. Plus they gain a diversity of WAN pathways to ensure reliability.
In addition, while many customers achieve Five 9s by using two Carriers, others are taking advantage of WiFi as WAN. The benefit of using WiFi as a primary connection is that most WiFi plans are unlimited—as opposed to cellular plans. And if, for any reason, the WiFi goes down, with Cradlepoint solutions, you can failover to cellular and maintain Five 9s.
As I have reluctantly pointed out, I’ve been around wireless for what adds up not to years but to decades. I was there for 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G. Previously, every single time a new “G” was released, the Carriers breathlessly proclaimed, “the new mobile office is here." However, it wasn't until 4G that the preponderance of enterprises started feeling comfortable enough with wireless to finally cut the wire. Now that it’s faster than wired, 4G LTE has come of age and become the connection of choice for smart enterprises the world over.