When applications start to bog down, VoIP calls drop and remote desktop sessions fail, it’s time to look at insufficient bandwidth as an underlying cause. You probably need more bandwidth.
That’s not to say you need to replace your primary provider. Instead, augment your network with an additional provider. Having more than one carrier or ISP is a fundamental business best practice, even if you have advanced service, like a fiber ring.
In addition to boosting your available bandwidth, having an alternate provider protects you against the risk of outages. Being single threaded in any area of business technology is ill-advised.
In previous articles we examined factors that impact performance, like the relationship between bandwidth, latency and throughput, and the advantages/disadvantages of popular bandwidth options. Since we issued that article, 5G – 5th generation cellular wireless — has come into service.
5G Cellular Wireless
5G promises faster data speeds (the fastest 5G networks are expected to be at least 10 times faster than 4G LTE), faster downloads, lower latency, and it will handle more devices at once. It will power an expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), medical technology, smart buildings and smart cities. It isn’t available everywhere at this time and many devices don’t support it yet, but it’s an undeniable wave rolling across the country.
Another service to consider, especially if you’re in an area lacking ISP options, is Fixed Wireless. This service uses radio waves and requires an antenna at your location. The antenna beams the internet signal from your network to a fixed location, usually a fixed wireless hub attached to a tower. It requires clear line of sight to the tower; any trees or buildings in the way will impact performance. Weather may impair the connection, but less than with satellite service. Latency is also less than with satellite.
Rich Soutar of Triple Crown Internet deploys Fixed Wireless for many of his rural clients. He says, “Fixed Wireless is a highly reliable option in rural areas. Both point to point (PTP) dedicated service and point to multipoint (PTM) shared service are far superior to copper based services. Using Fixed Wireless is a great way to get redundancy with SD-WAN with the other link being DSL or LTE or whatever else is available.”
You can see an assessment of bandwidth options in this updated chart.
Activating a Standby Link
Finally, many companies already have a secondary standby link that is inactive unless the main service fails. In the event of an outage, a manual switchover is often required, during which time the network is down. While it is being paid for every month, this idle connection gets little to no use whatsoever. Incorporating an intelligent load balancing device into these networks puts standby lines to work and provides an instant source of additional bandwidth that can make a noticeable difference for application performance. It also allows for automatic failover, so your network is never down. The best thing is, you don’t need to provision or pay extra for that link, you just need to use it.
There are plenty of options for adding more bandwidth and leveraging the features of different kinds of services. Contact us to explore options for improving the performance of your business network.