4 ways enterprises benefit from private wireless

wireless network

Mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and augmented-reality (AR) headsets have made wireless networking essential to enterprise business. So too has the proliferation of networked devices – the Internet of things (IoT) – many of which rely exclusively on wireless networks to transmit valuable customer and operational data.

But as the sheer number of mobile and remote devices that require wireless networking continues to soar, it’s becoming riskier for enterprises to rely on public wireless networks. As a result, many enterprises are migrating to private wireless networks or using a public/private hybrid. Industries embracing private wireless networks include manufacturing, retail, mining, airports, oil and gas companies, utilities, and automakers.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry research firm Mind Commerce predicts: “The private wireless market will be a dominant trend for decades to come as corporations within the enterprise and industrial segments seek to gain more control and reduce dependency upon carrier networks.”

This trend toward private wireless almost certainly will accelerate once 5G is widely available. Even without 5G, however, the benefits of private wireless networks to enterprises are clear and compelling. Here are four of them:

  1. Greater control. In a digital economy where network failures can cost enterprises revenue, diminish brand image, and strain staff resources, IT professionals need a way to closely monitor and manage the performance of their wireless networks. A private wireless network provides IT with monitoring and management tools and support.
  2. Secure and reliable network availability. Network reliability and security may be the two biggest concerns IT pros have about public wireless. Barring an outage, private networks guarantee organizations access to wireless when they need it. They also offer better security for users and data than notoriously vulnerable public wireless networks, which can leave users open to threats such as rogue access points, weak passwords, and airborne “mobile viruses.”
  3. Customization. Enterprises can choose between several private wireless network adoption models, enabling them to customize infrastructure and services delivery components to their needs.  Mind Commerce “sees a private wireless market option to utilize edge computing, LTE and 5G infrastructure from incumbent carriers, use enterprise-owned equipment, or a hybrid combination of both.” Enterprises can even outsource some private wireless management functionality to a “connectivity as a service” (CaaS) provider.
  4. Remote work. Many enterprise employees are now working from home and this sudden transition to a mostly remote workforce is likely to augur some permanent changes in how people do their jobs. This will make wireless network security and accessibility even more critical to enterprises.

 No panacea

Private wireless networks aren’t productivity panaceas or IT magic bullets. Even a private wireless network can run into bandwidth limitations, especially as more data is transmitted by an ever-increasing army of IoT devices. This can dramatically slow network speeds. And building and deploying a private wireless network can take time and cost organizations in equipment and additional IT staff. For smaller organizations, certainly, CaaS would seem to be a better option than building and supporting a private wireless network.

Before making any decision about private wireless, enterprises need to decide whether the technology would 1) help them meet their business goals and 2) deliver the necessary return on investment. An experienced IT services provider can help organizations answer those questions.

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