Jan 12

How 5G & SD-WAN Makes Branch Connectivity More Powerful

Things have changed a lot since the first generation of mobile technology. Globally, 5G is becoming widely available, with Malaysia moving towards that direction. As the fifth generation of cellular networks, 5G is up to 100 times faster than 4G, with a lower latency equivalent to fixed-lines, therefore, 5G will be able to create never-before-seen opportunities for people and businesses.

One such opportunity is in Software-Defined Wide-Area-Network (SD-WAN) for businesses. SD-WAN is fast becoming a staple in organisations as it enables them to intelligently steer traffic over multiple WAN links including cellular public networks. This allows enterprises to have more options to connect their WAN and route their transactions to the cloud or central servers thus improving their network performance with higher bandwidth and lower costs.

Many organizations already use 4G LTE at branch locations (e.g., retail stores and restaurants) but with limited appliactions due to lower bandwidth and slow latency. With 5G, real-world speeds can now go over 100 MB and latency dropping to below 1 milliseconds as compared to over 50 milliseconds with 4G. 5G radio deployments are also expected to drive bandwidth capabilities well beyond 1 GB over the next few years. This will provide plenty of cellular wireless capacity for most branch WAN requirements and, over time, provide significant performance to managed business services.

With 5G high-speed services, distributed organisations will enjoy improved reliability, rapid provisioning, and high-speed bandwidth. Combined with fast cellular wireless connectivity, 5G could provide organisations with a new WAN option to add to their architecture with significant benefits to distributed enterprises, and in some cases, even replace existing wired services. This is because 5G links are simple, quick to provision, and provide link diversity to protect against cable cuts.

The rise in the number of employees who work from home or remotely as well as the shift in organisationsal processes to adopt a hybrid (interchange between work from office and home) work model will also drive demand for 5G. This is because 5G data services can be an ideal partner for SD-WAN at-home deployments – either as a primary circuit to replace broadband or as a complement to the existing broadband service for redundancy and QoS.

However, despite the hype around 5G, it is still relatively early in its deployment cycle for Malaysia. As such, 5G modems are not widely available, while network operators are still working on providing cost-effective or unlimited data plans.

In conclusion, 5G is set to open new doors for businesses beyond significantly improve network connection. It provides new opportunities, enabling us to deliver groundbreaking solutions that reach across society. EKTECH recommends IT leaders to integrate 4G and 5G services. For example, you could consider 5G for pop-up or temporary locations and as part of a primary circuit options package alongside MPLS and internet broadband, as unlimited data plans become available.For more information on how this works, contact EKTECH for an in-depth consultation today