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Businesses Maintain Network Uptime with 5G Failover

Dee Dee Pare

Cellular links keep mission-critical IoT and applications running during unexpected periods of downtime

Now that enterprise-class 5G coverage is making its way around the world, forward-thinking companies are putting it to use. Failover, using a cellular link as a backup connection in the event that the primary link is disrupted, has successfully been in use with 3G and 4G LTE technologies to maintain network uptime when natural disasters, network glitches, and backhoes interrupt business operations. In fact, a recent study of retailers and restaurant IT staff shows that nearly 50% of the survey respondents use cellular for a backup link today. But 5G provides many reasons to consider cellular beyond just backup in distributed offices, precincts, restaurants, and stores.

Digital transformation is placing more emphasis on accessing IoT and cloud-based applications from remote locations. In striving to digitally connect with customers, monitor environmental status, and stay abreast of mission-critical operations, organizations have increased reliance on their wide area networks (WANs). Listed here are a few deployment options that take advantage of the strengths of 5G to bolster network uptime in distributed offices.

Ensure that critical IoT and applications have plenty of uninterrupted bandwidth

Many organizations with increased reliance on the WAN often face spurts of traffic rather than steady, smooth traffic flows. Critical applications and IoT depend on uninterrupted connections to maintain productivity results. Offloading traffic to a secondary link minimizes the effects of traffic bursts, which could slow or disrupt the WAN if unchecked. 5G, according to the ITU[1], offers services that can triple the throughput  and decreases latency by a factor of 10 over previous cellular technologies. These 5G advancements provide ideal conditions for a standby link to support application needs when traffic spikes overwhelm the primary link.

Support SD-WAN with a tertiary connection

Construction sites are notorious for accidentally severing both the primary and secondary WAN links.  Companies that use two wired connections per office for SD-WAN face downtime risk. Also, many root causes for primary wired WAN performance issues often also hinder the redundant link, such as a regional disruption from a network provider misconfiguration or a natural disaster.

For deployment scenarios that require SD-WAN with a wired link as the primary connection,  a 5G cellular link can serve as an effective failover link to maintain uptime.  With the additional speeds and latency improvements from 5G, it also can be designated for bandwidth augmentation.

Update a WAN connection without replacing the router

While it is always a good idea to replace aging routers, there are some scenarios where security configurations or legacy equipment connections make it necessary to leave them in place. At the same time, network providers are starting to retire or charge more for traditional connection lines such as T1/E1 and xDSL. Adding a 5G cellular adapter connected to the router’s console port provides a quick WAN update, faster speeds, and won’t be retired anytime soon. It’s at least worth an exploration or cost comparison to find out if 5G failover makes sense for these deployment scenarios.

5G brings many choices and considerations, whether it’s deployed in a failover scenario, for bandwidth augmentation, or for primary connectivity. As outlined in a recent blog, selecting the right 5G is contingent upon availability of spectrum layers, operator strategies, and country distinctions, so it is important to select a vendor who has evaluated these factors to package platforms to meet your unique needs. Cradlepoint offers proven, second-generation 5G technology in purpose-built platforms, such as the recently released dual-connectivity Cat20 LTE and 5G W1850 Wideband Adapter. All these 5G devices are managed at scale through Cradlepoint NetCloud Manager  with 5G-specific analytics and lifecycle management considerations.  Cradlepoint stands ready to help you find your 5G.

Learn more about 5G solutions for business from our webpage.

[1] Based on International Telecommunications Union’s vision for IMT-2020 (5G) compared to IMT Advanced (4G)

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