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What every business must know about the new era of broadband

As 5G networking becomes a reality, a new world of opportunity awaits. Whether or not you’re ready may determine the future of your company.

What every business must know about the new era of broadband

As 5G networking becomes a reality, a new world of opportunity awaits. Whether or not you’re ready may determine the future of your company.

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As wireless networks advanced from 2G to 3G to 4G LTE, businesses quickly learned how to take advantage of faster data speeds to reach more customers, launch new products, and streamline operations. But the leap to 5G networks is poised to unlock a new range of possibilities for businesses.

Wireless networking firm Cradlepoint developed the software and hardware that will allow businesses to take advantage of this new network technology. And this past June, the company, based in Boise, Idaho, partnered with Australian mobile network operator Telstra to launch the world’s first 5G service for business based on its comprehensive, enterprise-class 5G solution. Cradlepoint’s NetCloud platform and specialized hardware—

including wideband adapters and routers—serve as the foundation of the carriers’ unique 5G offering. Here, Cradlepoint CEO George Mulhern explains what businesses need to be ready for in a new, 5G-powered world.

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What types of innovations will we see coming from businesses, thanks to 5G?

Everyone’s trying to predict what the killer apps will be with 5G. But there was no Uber before LTE, and nobody predicted that LTE would open the door to a whole host of new on-demand service apps. The same is true for social media—LTE has transformed how people connect to each other through smartphone apps like Facebook. 5G allows you to transmit massive amounts of data with milliseconds of latency at fiber-like speeds. It’s going to open up a new

generation of business capabilities and applications. I think it’s going to be a field day for entrepreneurs.

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Do businesses fully understand 5G’s potential?

Most businesses understand 5G’s promise of more bandwidth and better performance, but there’s so much more that 5G can offer to businesses. Flexibility is one: Today, you buy a data plan from a carrier, and you receive a certain level of performance. With 5G, you’ll have the flexibility to order individual slices of the network. You might buy a high-performance slice for applications like VR that need a lot of bandwidth, or a less-expensive slice of data for low-bandwidth IoT devices. In short, you can buy only the data and performance you need.

How can companies get ready for 5G?

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The best way to embrace 5G is to be using LTE today within the enterprise wide-area network (WAN), because the two are going to coexist for many years as 5G continues to roll out. But companies must start the shift to wireless WAN today or risk being behind the curve. That’s why Cradlepoint develops solutions that allow companies to manage both LTE and 5G networks under the same cloud platform, NetCloud, with the same analytics and capabilities. That way, companies can be ready to make a seamless transition to 5G when and where it’s available in their network.

How long has Cradlepoint been developing 5G products?

We’ve typically been the first-to-market when it comes to enterprise innovations around the cellular market. Several years ago, it was clear to us that 5G represented a huge tech­nological jump forward. We invested then, and as a result, we were first to launch a 5G solution specifically designed for businesses. That means everything, from installation to per­formance to management, is enterprise-grade—which is just what IT leaders require.

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