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Three Mind-Boggling Stats About Wireless WAN in the Enterprise

Adoption of LTE & 5G by Businesses & Agencies is Poised to Overtake T1 Connectivity

The rise of wireless WAN is all around us. With hot topics such IoT, cloud, and 5G constantly swirling, we talk with thousands of businesses and public agencies that are looking to future-proof their network architecture. Still, many organizations want to separate fact from fiction when determining the prevalence and success of cellular-based broadband for enterprise networking.

Our recently released 2019 State of the WAN Report — based on IDG and Cradlepoint’s survey of IT decision-makers — unearthed several eye-opening findings about how organizations are using 4G LTE, as well as how Gigabit LTE and 5G factor into their plans for the future. Here are three of the most interesting things we learned from the report:

LTE is nipping at T1’s heels.

It was interesting but not surprising to us that 41 percent of the WAN influencers we surveyed are using LTE — a figure fast approaching the adoption rate of T1s (49 percent). We have the pleasure of hearing incredibly innovative stories every day about customers who are leveraging LTE for connection reliability, flexibility, and security. LTE is relied on from fixed offices and stores to pop-up retail and healthcare clinics. It’s essential for police cruisers, mobile command centers fire trucks, ambulances, city buses, service trucks, and food trucks. LTE’s even important in fields and other areas where sensors, surveillance cameras, and more must be connected — no matter how remote the location.

With Gigabit LTE now available and 5G right around the corner, wireless is poised to overtake wired WAN as the link of choice — both for failover and primary connectivity — for enterprises of all shapes and sizes.

Primary connectivity is the most popular use for LTE.

In the State of the WAN Report, 52 percent of WAN influencers whose organizations use LTE said they use it as a primary connection, and 29% plan to in the near future.

Did you do a double take? That’s a head-turning statistic. The idea of LTE as anything but a backup WAN link was a foreign concept when Cradlepoint first began producing wireless edge solutions. Today, LTE for primary connectivity is commonplace — and not just in naturally wireless environments such as vehicles. Small offices and retail stores are turning to wireless WAN with increasing regularity. Advancements such as instant failover from one modem to another and the arrival of Gigabit-Class LTE help illustrate the changing role of wireless in enterprise networking. Among those surveyed in IDG and Cradlepoint’s new 2019 State of the WAN Report, the average organization has 2.7 types of LTE endpoints. In fact, 77 percent have LTE endpoints for branch locations, 68 percent for IoT devices, 51 percent for fleet vehicles, and 50 percent for pop-up networks. Nearly a quarter — 22 percent — of respondents have all these endpoints.

Gigabit LTE and the pathway to 5G are major factors in network planning.

It’s a common question: “How long until 5G is available and feasible for my organization?”

But that question implies that 5G is still in the future; while full-fledged 5G is still being formed, the pathway to 5G has already been laid.

4G LTE is evolving into Gigabit LTE, which is one of the foundational pieces of 5G. Most survey respondents (69 percent) said Gigabit LTE is either “likely” or “very likely” to impact their tech road map. Additionally, 73 percent of respondents are either researching 5G, very familiar with it, or actively working toward it.

With Gigabit-Class LTE edge solutions already available, organizations are traversing the pathway to 5G — with their eyes firmly planted on a wireless WAN future.

Discover Additional Data About Wireless WAN

Learn more about the surprising state of the WAN that was uncovered in this survey by downloading our wireless WAN infographic.