Extreme Connect 2022 customers weigh in on 5G and Wi-Fi


This guest blog post was authored by Cradlepoint.

The Use Cases, the Value, the Opportunity

As an Extreme Networks ecosystem partner, Cradlepoint, a leader in business 5G/LTE Wireless WAN, was honored to be a part of Extreme Connect 2022, their annual user event that brings together customers, partners, analysts, tech experts, and executives.

It was an informative, engaging, and fun event; however, it was the impromptu discussions that proved most valuable. Hearing firsthand the challenges that organizations faced in recent years, how they pivoted, and the technologies they turned to, provided insight into what the future of networking will look like.

Here are some key takeaways from those conversations:

1. Organizations Want and Need both Wi-Fi and 5G

There was not one business we spoke with who envisage a network with only Wi-Fi or 5G/LTE. While requirements and use cases vary, every business views them as complementary technologies and are looking to capitalize on both. Many are still in the 5G planning phase, which is consistent with IDC’s State of the Wireless WAN 2022 report that highlights that ‘half of all enterprises are evaluating their 5G strategy today and 30% already have 5G services and capabilities in place’.

2. The Pandemic Accelerated Enterprise 5G/LTE Adoption

A recurring theme was the need to move quickly. Whether enabling pop up medical locations or extending connectivity for remote learning, time was of the essence. Waiting months for a fixed ISP connection was unacceptable. Organizations spoke to how they turned to 5G/LTE Wireless WAN solutions to deliver that instant, day 1 connectivity their businesses required.

3. Diverse Use Cases that Span Every Industry

Businesses spoke to the different deployment scenarios for 5G/LTE (primary WAN, hybrid WAN, failover, cellular IoT connectivity, connected vehicles, temporary locations and more). We heard from a healthcare provider who used 5G/LTE solutions to take imaging capabilities closer to their patients. A transit organization spoke to the significant financial penalties they faced due to project delays resulting from a 6+ month wait for a wired WAN connection. A stadium exec spoke to the challenges of maintaining always-on connectivity on the road. While different drivers and use cases, the commonality was the value that 5G/LTE Wireless WAN solutions could bring to their businesses.

4. The Real Value Lies Beyond Connectivity

The ability to extend Extreme Fabric automation capabilities over the Wireless WAN to remote sites is the true value-add of the Extreme/Cradlepoint partnership, and it was what many at Extreme Connect were excited about. It allows Fabric customers to extend their network to previously unreachable sites, while maintaining the automation and security capabilities they rely on.

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