Seamless relationship between 4G and 5G solutions enables efficiency for businesses
The anticipation of a sprawling 5G network for business is palpable. As small cells pop up on streetlights, telephone poles, and the rooftop of your favorite coffee shop, the realization of 5G solutions designed to meet the needs of growing businesses is closer than ever. Through equipment capable of enabling dual connectivity, enterprise networks can prepare to take advantage of a 5G future today.
Utilizing 5G ENDC to bridge generations of cellular networks
Dual connectivity, otherwise known as ENDC (E-UTRAN New Radio – Dual Connectivity), is the technology that enables a 4G and 5G connection to occur at the same time. In the past, a change in network demand or availability typically resulted in a clunky transition between 3G and 4G. The device was forced to choose between one or the other. ENDC allows streams of LTE and 5G to flow simultaneously, ultimately increasing bandwidth and reducing service interruptions.
Through dual connectivity, the 4G LTE network acts as an anchor band that is supplemented by 5G. When connected to a 5G modem, ENDC allows traffic requirements to determine whether an LTE connection is sufficient to transmit data or if the traffic should be passed to an available stream of 5G.
Think of dual connectivity as a road with two lanes traveling in the same direction: one for cars (4G LTE) and one for trucks (5G). With two lanes in use, the road can accommodate more traffic (or bandwidth) at higher speeds. Additionally, when a big rig enters the road, a lane is available for that truck to travel in without slowing the overall flow of traffic.
Considerations for future-proofing your business
Past network functionalities have created a common misconception that you must choose to invest in equipment solutions that support either 4G or 5G. On the contrary, by purchasing a 5G router that can facilitate ENDC, businesses are thoughtfully preparing themselves for the rollout of 5G while utilizing available LTE networks in the meantime. By investing in 5G solutions, businesses avoid the need to source additional equipment as future wireless generations are deployed. Take our connected enterprise assessment to discover how your organization can seamlessly prepare for 5G.
To support these future-proofing measures, Cradlepoint offers businesses and agencies the broadest portfolio of 5G routers and adapters in the industry, but how do you know if investing in 5G right now makes sense for your business?
Here are some things to consider:
Does your work require a network capable of transmitting large amounts of data?
When Australian-based Taylor Construction trialed a 5G edge networking solution and experienced wide area network (WAN) speeds up to 20 times faster than 4G, they were able to improve the sharing of particularly large file types including 3D computer-aided design (CAD) drawings. Additionally, with the support of the 5G network, the team was able to make changes to digital blueprints in real time, improving the overall efficiency of their work.
Read more about Taylor Construction’s transition to 5G: https://resources.cradlepoint.com/5g/taylor-construction-breaks-ground-on-new-technologies-with-5g-as-foundation.
What is the potential for integration of artificial intelligence (AI)?
AI has come a long way from the creativity of decades-old films like “Blade Runner.” In fact, incorporating artificial intelligence into your five-year plan may be the key to growth. Outside of smart homes and cars, AI can be used to perform data analysis functions, locate irregularities in programming, or provide tailored recommendations based on past inputs. On a broader scale, cities can use AI to regulate traffic lights and improve safety, while consumer goods companies use it to generate targeted ads in crowded locations.
Regardless of the application, effective AI requires rapid communication with cloud resources, and 5G reduces the latency of that communication, thus increasing performance. When armed with dual connective equipment, companies can take advantage of 5G technology the moment it becomes available, keeping them ahead of the curve.
When will 5G deploy in your area?
5G will be widely available in the not-too-distant future. Realistically, as a result of available infrastructure and licensing, the LTE coverage layer will continue to be the predominant network for some time. Luckily, 5G likely will be available in most areas during the average life cycle of a cellular networking solution.
With that in mind, early investment in 5G is a smart decision to future-proof your enterprise business. Because of dual connectivity, deploying a 5G solution in a coverage layer today means enterprise businesses can immediately experience the performance of a Cat 20 modem for LTE or low-band 5G. Then, the moment the 5G capacity-layer service is turned up, mid-band 5G will kick in and the performance will improve dramatically.
What might your company do that couldn’t be done before?
Perhaps now your employees can only learn a new skill through 2D presentations or 3D videos. What if, through software like the Microsoft HoloLens, those employees had the opportunity to learn through an interactive, holographic, mixed reality experience? Not only would this improve the confidence and efficiency of the staff, but when supported by a 5G network, these trainings could take place from anywhere.
There are countless applications that are adequately supported by 4G LTE. However, if you’re an early adopter or if your business will need to take advantage of 5G at any point in the next five years, the time to invest is now. Through 5G ENDC, your business is equipped to experience the best of what each wireless network has to offer.