The combination of network reliability and availability is a key reason why enterprises are augmenting their Wi-Fi networks with 5G, CIO.com reports. While many enterprises have relied solely on Wi-Fi as their connectivity source for decades, more than 80 percent of networking executives said they believe that changing their in-building network will transform their organizations, according to Deloitte.
One of those changes is to integrate wireless 5G with Wi-Fi technology. The combination is expected to yield a number of benefits as well as new capabilities and competitive advantages.
Keep reading to learn five benefits enterprises could enjoy by deploying 5G to work with their Wi-Fi networks.
The increased amount of 5G-enabled apps has created new ways for enterprises to achieve cost optimization and efficiency gains, CIO.com reports. For example, manufacturing plants can use 5G networks to automate routine tasks. This improves the plant’s efficiency and brings down its operating costs. Additionally, 5G private networks can deliver mission-critical data in real time to decrease the number of significant costs plants incur as well as unplanned downtime.
Improved coverage and mobility
Wi-Fi and 5G are an ideal partnership for enterprise apps that require mobility for situations like remote work, smart factories with Internet of Things (IoT) networks and off-site field workers. When autonomous mobile robots are used for aircraft robotized assembly, for example, they often move back-and-forth between buildings as well as indoors and outdoors. Private 5G helps ensure there’s proper coverage so robots can remain mobile better than Wi-Fi could.
Better capacity and latency
As enterprise networking traffic grows, so does “data-hungry” applications’ need for faster data speeds, CIO.com reports. 5G wireless connectivity can help address those needs and provide a better performance. Additionally, since 5G can deliver lower latency, it can also support apps that require near real-time data access such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and real-time communications. Retail stores could use real-time analytics to improve customers’ experience while they’re shopping for example, as 5G networks can provide the necessary speed and access to do so.
On its own, a Wi-Fi network typically relies on unlicensed spectrum that a number of devices use that anyone can access from any location. This results in devices competing for airwave access, leading to delays and slower transmission speeds. 5G, on the other hand, often counts on licensed spectrum or shared-access spectrum that only other known telecom users can access. Enterprises that use 5G gain more reliable access to over-air spectrum, which decreases delayed performance and allows for more predictable transmission.
Together, Wi-Fi and 5G can divide various apps—less critical applications operate on Wi-Fi and capacity-sensitive ones can operate on 5G, according to CIO.com.
Enhanced network security
Customer and enterprise data security has become more critical in recent years. With 5G, companies can use geofencing to determine what parts of a building, as well as which employees, can access particular data. For example, an accounting office that wants to keep its clients’ financial data safe could use applications on 5G networks that would restrict what personnel could access it.
“As the organizational network infrastructure evolves, one thing is certain,” Erik Boch, senior director, Advanced Technology Development, Dell Technologies, wrote for CIO.com. “5G will be an integral and capability-enhancing ‘force multiplier’ in a brief time, helping to redefine and elevate organizational competencies. For IT leaders that deploy it, augmenting Wi-Fi networks with 5G is one fast-paced change that can also accelerate and improve business outcomes — on sunny and stormy days alike.”