4G: The new enterprise network

Why three companies chose 4G and what they're doing with it

Wired networks run enterprises, but as more companies seek agile networks for mobile and customer-facing applications, and backups for their fixed networks, they are being drawn to 4G.

In the United Kingdom alone, according to a March 2013 survey by Vanson Bourne of over 200 IT decision-makers in organizations with at least 500 employees, some 60% said they want to take advantage of 4G in the near future.

Among newly minted 4G adopters in the U.S. are Barclays Center, United Oil and Hangers Cleaners, which run very different types of businesses but chose to implement 4G to complement their wired networks.

Technologically, there was little reason to hesitate.

High-speed wireless "has become reliable enough and cost-effective enough that some IT managers are adding it to their networks," says Jack Plunkett, industry analyst at Plunkett Research, Ltd., a market research company. Also encouraging them is the fact that load balancers are now reasonably priced, so DSL and wireless, T1 and wireless or cable and wireless can be utilized simultaneously, he says. "If one source fails, the other will pick up the entire load," Plunkett explains.

Barclays Center connects with fans

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