Cradlepoint announced on Tuesday findings of a new survey conducted with IDG on the state of wireless within the enterprise wide-area network (WAN). The results indicate that advanced LTE and emerging 5G services are set to rival traditional wireline as the fixed WAN access of choice over the next three years.
The “2019 State of the WAN Report,” sponsored by Cradlepoint and conducted by IDG, surveyed 505 mid-size and larger enterprises with 500 to 10,000 employees to determine the changing role of LTE—and anticipated impact of 5G—in the enterprise as organizations adjust their WAN strategies to deal with the implications of cloud, mobile and Internet of Things (IoT).
The research revealed that nearly two thirds (62 percent) of the respondents plan to increase LTE usage within their WAN in the next three years. The shift to wireless is accelerating as well with an overwhelming majority (90 percent) of respondents citing that Gigabit LTE is likely to affect their WAN roadmap while one-third already anticipate that 5G will have the same effect.
The study also highlights that enterprises are using their WANs to connect more people, places and things. On average, enterprises connect 2.7 different type of endpoints, including branch locations (77 percent), IoT devices (68 percent), fleet vehicles (51 percent) and pop-up networks (50 percent). Nearly a quarter of respondents (22 percent) are connecting all of these different endpoints.
Gigabit LTE is the fastest commercial wireless service available and is the first step on the path to 5G. In fact, it leverages several foundational 5G technologies, like 4X4 MIMO and the ability to aggregate individual bands of spectrum into wider bands capable of gigabit-class speeds, referred to formerly as Carrier Aggregation.
Many of the organizations surveyed cited growing optimism over the arrival of 5G, which promises fiber-like speeds, lower latencies and flat-rate pricing that eliminates the fear of overages. Nearly 25 percent said they are familiar with 5G or are actively working toward the technology. One-third of the respondents believe it’s very likely that 5G will impact their business or technology road map in the next one to three years.
Cradlepoint is currently the only solution provider today with both commercially available Gigabit LTE support and a defined ‘Pathway to 5G’. Cradlepoint’s Gigabit-Class LTE wireless edge routers for branch, mobile and IoT use cases are powered by its NetCloud service, which provides cloud management, provisioning and analytics, wireless-optimized SD-WAN, and unified edge security.
“This research with IDG underscores what we are hearing from our customers—the volume, variety and velocity of demand on WAN connections is driving faster wireless adoption,” said Todd Krautkremer, CMO at Cradlepoint. “The study also highlights that enterprise organizations are looking to get on a ‘Pathway to 5G’ starting with the Gigabit LTE services available today.”
Gigabit LTE is available from wireless carriers in the U.S. and around the world, but requires a compatible wireless edge router with Gigabit LTE capabilities.
Earlier this year, Cradlepoint announced a platform integration with Microsoft Azure that will make it faster and easier for enterprises to “Build Your Own IoT” solutions (BYOIoT). The solution includes Cradlepoint’s new NetCloud Edge Connector for Azure IoT Central to help simplify and accelerate the process of building and deploying IoT applications and devices.
Cradlepoint will offer a pre-built integration for its NetCloud service, called NetCloud Edge Connector for Azure IoT Central, that allows organizations to connect IoT devices to applications built on the Microsoft Azure IoT Central platform with complete visibility, security and control.
For example, a vendor that uses kiosks in airports, campuses, or storefronts can rapidly develop and deploy a new IoT solution to monitor the video terminal, the door alarm, the temperature and the WAN connectivity of the application running in the kiosk. Previously, developing such a solution would require complex application programming and introduce significant network connectivity and management challenges.