We’re living in strange times.
Somewhat obviously; there’s a global pandemic that’s brought the world to its knees – but as upsetting and worrying as that is, it’s not the strangest thing that’s currently hitting the headlines.
Alongside 2020’s health catastrophe, there’s an underlying story about how the Covid-19 crisis and the rolling out of new 5G wireless cellular networks are somehow connected. With many companies’ business plans including 5G WAN setups – it’s an important time to address the claims and whether or 5G is a safe prospect for your organisation.
Are 5G and Covid-19 connected?
Frankly, the idea that a virus and a digital technology could be in anyway connected goes beyond what science would generally consider to be a reasonable question.
After all – no one’s connected measles to the steam engine – despite the fact both emerged late in the 18th century – and there’s yet to be a claim that the building of the Eifel Tower encouraged the spread of polio around the world – again, despite the fact the two things happened in a similar timeframe.
So, why Covid-19 and 5G?
In truth, the idea about cellular networks being unsafe has been around for much longer than this latest coronavirus. Going right back to the advent of 3G technology, people have been paranoid about mobile internet – trying to connect the technology with everything from cancer to depression.
Unfortunately, conspiracy theorists have taken the opportunity to piggy-back on the tragedy that surrounds Covid-19 to push their misguided agenda. To be absolutely clear, these conspiracy theories are wrong – there is absolutely no link between cellular internet connections and health concerns of any kind.
What does 5G do?
Now we’re confident that a quick internet connection isn’t going to bring about the demise of the human race – it’s worth looking at what 5G actually means for businesses. To be absolutely clear, there is no reason you shouldn’t use 5G in your workplace – unless of course you fancy being left behind by an opposition that takes advantage of the benefits it will bring.
While 4G SIMs provide an excellent level of personal internet connectivity – alone they are fairly ineffective for any business application.
This is simply down to the sheer volume of information that’s needs to be carried over a business network. Of course, there’s a way around this limitation – and that generally requires multiple SIMs.
Specialist 4G WAN routers can be used to either combine the data capabilities of multiple SIMs – or allocate each SIM to a certain task. This is known as either ‘bonding’ or ‘load balancing’. Now, 10-20 4G SIMs can be combined to create a connection that’s capable of handling business-level traffic – but when you combine the same number of 5G SIMs, you’re looking at a massive data capability – one that will almost certainly provide enough data for a small business network.
Even erring on the side of caution with promised 5G speeds – you could reasonably expect a network that’s set up in this way to deliver 100-200x the data capability of an equivalent 4G WAN set up.
The great news is, a network that’s set up in this manner will provide a robust connection too. Not only can you expect high-speeds – you can also be assured that a multi-SIM setup provides constant failover protection by mixing and matching connections from numerous network providers. With 5G, you could lose half of your SIM connections – and still have a network that outstrips most wired internet circuits.
What does this mean for your company?
Line up a 5G WAN connection next to a standard wired setup and you’ll immediately notice some distinct benefits.
Setting up your premises
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being put in charge of getting an internet circuit delivered into a premises, you’ll probably welcome the idea of a wireless option. It’s not at all uncommon to wait for weeks – if not months – to overcome the various hurdles that a circuit provider needs to jump.
With a 5G WAN, you’ll be connected to the outside world in a matter of hours – and in the unlikely event of needing to move, you’ll be able to virtually unplug and plug back in when you’re set up in your new location.
There’s never been a time when being able to work remotely has been more important for business – and 5G WAN will help to deliver this agility.
Being able to access your WAN remotely gives your employees everything they need to be able to work from home with full access to your shared applications, storage, and systems. Doing so means you can be confident that all off-site employees are working with the same level security too.
Working directly with clients
Increasingly, large companies are looking to bring contractors onto their own sites – so they can work closely together. Generally, this relies on a company offering to share their networking provision – but with 5G WAN, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Walking on to a customer site can be treated like setting up a new office when you have a 5G router to hand. You’ll create your own secure network – creating a workspace like your office – but at any location.
Creating temporary locations
Of course, it’s not just other companies that invite you to their premises. There are generally no end of expos, shows, pop-ups, and events that you can use to market your business and your services.
The trouble is, if you need access to mission critical applications, it can be difficult to set up your infrastructure using guest WiFi provision – and even if you can, you’re likely to be taking risks with your network security. Walking into a venue with your own ‘internet in a box’ means you can connect with the speed you would expect from your 5G WAN in your office – and you can be absolutely confident that you’ve got the data capabilities needed to power the applications you require – including CRM systems and payment processing systems.