LTE and 5G benefits for business combine flexibility and security for organizations when deployed at the network’s edge
The ongoing expansion of the corporate network’s edge is simultaneously one of the biggest opportunities and most significant challenges for network administrators and IT professionals. The rapid deployment of IoT devices, connected computers and personal devices, guest Wi-Fi, mission-critical business applications, and direct-to-cloud traffic have made network agility and availability essential components of opening and operating a temporary, mobile, or fixed location.
With enterprise networking needs ranging from routing and security to performance control and troubleshooting, many organizations are replacing multiple network appliances with all-in-one branch solutions that enable cellular-based wireless broadband for primary or secondary WAN — or even both — in edge scenarios such as temporary pop-up networks, day-1 access, and store within a store.
Pop-up and temporary networks expand customer service versatility
Temporary networks are increasingly essential across just about every industry. Food trucks, seasonal and event-driven retail, and kiosks are just a few examples of how organizations of all shapes and sizes are serving customers in innovative new ways. For first responders, temporary wireless networks that connect portable communication kits and pop-up mobile command centers help professionals perform their lifesaving work more efficiently, and from anywhere.
Often in pop-up situations, wired connectivity is either unavailable or unreliable. To maximize the potential of pop-up networks, many organizations ensure reliable connectivity through cloud-managed multi-WAN branch routers. This type of solution provides the flexibility to set up a wide variety of WAN configurations, depending on the circumstances — and to make changes from headquarters as needed.
In this scenario, either wired WAN or cellular-based broadband can be up and running instantly, enabling high availability for important applications.
Day-1 networks get businesses up and running faster than ever
At many temporary and long-term sites, enterprises need instant Internet. For example, companies that open new retail stores and restaurants on a regular basis face strict deadlines to meet revenue and business goals. Waiting for wired lines to be installed prior to opening day isn’t always a viable option.
Often IT teams ensure day-1 connectivity at new locations by leveraging an all-in-one solution that supports high-performance LTE or 5G as the primary WAN link. Later, once the wired connection is up and running, the organization can use that same multi-WAN router to either load balance between wired and wireless links or use the wireless link for network failover.
Choosing a cloud-managed solution that allows zero-touch deployment is important for organizations that need to monitor and manage widely distributed devices without necessarily sending IT professionals to each location.
Stores within a store remain secure with BYO networks
It’s not uncommon for big-box stores to invite third-party vendors onto their premises. Kiosks, restaurants, seasonal tax preparation offices, and fishing license providers are among the many services that consumers often find under one roof.
This store within a store approach provides ample opportunities for organizations to reach customers in new and convenient ways. There’s one caveat: the host store usually requires each guest store to bring its own network. Keeping other businesses completely off the main WAN using an air-gapped network approach is the best way for a big-box company to avoid pivot attacks leading to data breaches.
In these bring your own network (BYON) and store within a store scenarios, guest organizations typically leverage edge routers with built-in LTE or 5G to meet their connectivity, security, and management needs. A cloud-managed router with dual-SIM functionality provides the ability to switch from one carrier to another — and to achieve this remotely — as performance variables change. Even if the main store’s WAN link fails, the cellular broadband connection remains up and running.
A cloud-managed multi-WAN branch router featuring a built-in firewall and support for cloud-based security services meets the third-party vendor’s needs — including PCI Compliance for point-of-sale — while giving the big-box store peace of mind.