A wireless wide area network (WWAN) is an ideal connectivity solution for organizations that require an extra degree of network reliability, that need a solid connection in remote or temporary locations, and that want to bring a network online faster than they could with a traditional wired installation.
Whether you’re a pop-up retailer, an emergency or transportation service provider that needs connectivity on-the-go, or a critical infrastructure company that can’t risk an outage, a wireless WAN can unlock business opportunities and technological integrations like monitoring remote assets with internet of things (IoT) devices.
Simply put, a WWAN enables us to connect to the internet over a cellular network with devices other than our phones. Also known as wireless broadband, this technology is all about leveraging infrastructure that already exists to extend connectivity options and power the next generation of digital technologies.
This is your quick guide to Wireless WAN.
What is a Hybrid WAN?
One of the most common use cases for wireless WAN is to use it alongside a traditional broadband connection to create a hybrid WAN. The defining feature of a hybrid WAN is the combination of two or more connectivity options, such as both cellular and wired connections.
If not having a backup option can result in costly outages or if a backup wired connection is either not available or is too expensive, a hybrid WAN can be a great solution.
A hybrid WAN is easy to set up and can logically separate traffic based on MPLS and VPN tunnels. The ability to use a different connection for highly sensitive and normal traffic, for instance, is one reason that hybrid WANs offer enterprise-class networking and security. At the same time, this technology can reduce costs by enabling us to manage data plans to fit varying data usage.
Common use cases for hybrid WAN setups include small offices, clinics, and stores that are interested in an easy setup for locations with little to no IT staff. It’s also perfect for businesses that are heavily reliant on an internet connection and in need of a simple network failover solution.
What is an All-Cellular Wireless WAN?
For organizations that either cannot afford the long wait for a wired installation or that are doing business in a location that doesn’t have wired options, an all cellular WWAN may be the solution.
Unlike a hybrid WAN that connects to both a primary wired broadband and a cellular broadband carrier, an all-cellular wireless WAN connects only to two or more cellular broadband carriers. The backup carrier(s) provide redundancy for the primary carrier’s network.
An all-cellular WAN enables companies to connect to enterprise networks within a single day, mainly because they are so easy to set up and require no hard wiring. Another advantage is the ability to set rules to switch carriers based on availability.
We recommend all cellular wireless WAN solutions for pop-ups, store-in-store retailers, and any organization that requires day-1 connectivity. It’s also a good option for companies with multiple locations that need to be managed.
How to Use Wireless WAN for Failover or Backup Internet
Many companies need to keep critical applications online during outages and network maintenance. For those who require always-on availability, the redundancy provided by a wireless WAN is invaluable. If the main connection goes down for any reason, the cellular network can instantly take over.
Sometimes downtime can result in significant revenue or productivity loss. In other cases, 24/7 operations do not allow for network maintenance windows, making it difficult to upgrade technologies or ensure adherence to cybersecurity best practices like regular patching.
A wireless WAN with a failover network lets us stay connected during maintenance or outages at a lower cost of operations compared to other setups, such as a backup hard-wired connection. It’s also possible to build in even more redundancy via virtual router redundancy protocol (VRRP) routers.
These features make wireless WAN ideal for clinics, retail stores, restaurants, and warehouse logistics. We also recommend this configuration for any company that handles 24/7 operations of sensitive networks.
What is a Temporary Network with Wireless WAN?
Establish a network just about anywhere and for any amount of time. If you have cell service, then you have a network.
Especially for businesses that need to work in remote locations or only need to set up for a short amount of time, wired solutions just aren’t feasible because they require too much time to get going and the installation costs aren’t worth it. It’s also an issue when a standard Wi-Fi signal is either too weak or unavailable for point-of-sales POS systems or other devices that require an internet connection.
Wireless WAN enables us to spin up a temporary network by connecting to enterprise networks within the first day. They’re easy to set up, tear down, and move from location to location because there’s no hard wiring. On top of that, it’s easy to adjust data plans to fit usage.
A temporary wireless WAN network is the preferred solution for seasonal or mobile stores and booths, for temporary construction sites or base camps, and for any outdoor location that can’t access an ordinary wired or Wi-Fi network.
Implementing a wireless WAN solution is all about tackling real problems.
Companies can benefit from WWAN because it boosts availability by adding the redundancy of a failover network. Wireless WAN also enables the flexibility of temporary networks, and it gives organizations the option to continue using the internet and other digital technologies in locations that would otherwise lack connectivity.
Ready to learn more about how to implement a wireless WAN solution for your own unique use case? Get in touch with Datablaze today to schedule a free expert consultation.