Prepare for 5G Technology with SD-WAN!

Johannes Beekman

5G is the next generation of mobile network technology. With peak data-transfer rates of up to 10 gigabits per second, 5G will be about 100 times faster than 4G. High-capacity & high-speed bandwidth, together with 5G’s improved architecture and supporting technologies, allow applications that generate high volumes of data to function reliably and enable rapid and simultaneous connectivity in high-density environments with hundreds of thousands of endpoints.

5G Evolution

A major reason 5G technology is being hyped as a "game-changer" in internet history is that it will offer ultra-high-speed hyperconnectivity. 5G has the potential to drive new developments in smart machinery and smart manufacturing. 5G could enable IoT networks to run almost instantaneous traffic analyses, improve security and public safety, and possibly enable remote surgery. 5G’s ultra-low latency capability can improve the AR/VR experience and opens possibilities to introduce AR/VR in business and education. 

Two-thirds of large organizations expect to have a 5G plan in place by 2020, according to a Gartner survey. Complete deployment, however, will still take several years. The study predicted that communications service providers (CSPs) will not be prepared to meet the high demands of the next internet technology wave. SD-WAN, though, will easily meet these demands.

Setting Up SD-WAN for 5G

SD-WAN is a critical, enabling technology for 5G, particularly for multi-branch companies that require large networks. One of the reasons SD-WAN is favored as an infrastructure solution is it supports a high-quality network experience.

While many businesses are trying to figure out how to fit in with 5G, here are the services that SD-WAN vendors need to offer to ensure a seamless experience:

  • Ability to manage failovers and prioritize traffic automatically
  • Centralized solution for maintaining edges and 5G cells
  • Automatic rerouting of traffic during upgrades
  • Machine-learning capabilities to adapt to network conditions
  • Integration of your company's security policies with automation

Service providers should also be able to offer virtual WAN overlays, which lead to a more efficient allocation of resources. It will allow you to direct and isolate mission-critical traffic to the 5G network. From a security perspective, you will get the benefit of traffic steered automatically to appropriate security services. Ultimately, these factors will contribute to a noticeably higher quality user experience.

SD-WAN and 5G: Perfect Combination

The combination of SD-WAN and 5G will allow companies to be more reliable, secure, agile and able to withstand disruptions. Here are keys to why this combination is a strong solution for the future:

  • Transport independence - With SD-WAN, you will be able to separate internet connectivity with the physical network. This scenario allows your network traffic to be free of any specific service. It will allow you to negotiate different prices with different ISPs.
  • Network slicing - This feature allows for virtual networks across a shared physical infrastructure. It will give you better cost efficiency with functions that support specific customers and market segments.
  • Efficient bandwidth utilization - The combination allows you to utilize bandwidth more efficiently and make use of all your network transports. You'll be able to route traffic based on how you prioritize customers. Using 5G and SD-WAN together will give you the same efficiency as a hard-wired connection.
  • Remote Sites - You will achieve greater throughput of 5G mobile broadband compared with the past for remote sites. It can be a short-term solution before switching to a hard-wired connection. One of the biggest benefits is your company will be able to open new branches at a faster pace.

Conclusion

Every business has a chance to gain greater capabilities by deploying a combination of 5G technology and SD-WAN. You must do your own research to find out if your business can benefit from this combination. Be aware there is increasing marketing hype about the 5G revolution, so make sure you are tuning out the noise and staying in touch with your goals.
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