A CEO’s Guide to 5G
and SD-WAN

Connectivity needs for enterprise are shifting.

5G represents a wireless future, with 24x7 connectivity for people, places and things. In the enterprise, 5G is set to impact every area of business as we know it.

Find out how 5G technology is generating new opportunities, and discover the role of 5G & SD-WAN today and into the future.

What is 5G?

In a mobile world where everything is connected, 5G will become essential to linking billions of devices, machines, and people. As the 5th generation mobile network and a new global wireless standard, 5G is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything.

Scroll down to discover what 5G can bring to your organisation in terms of exceptional new levels of reliability, performance, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. 


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What is 5G?

This whitepaper is your unified asset on all you need to know about 5G; how it works, the benefits and overall what it means for the enterprise.

Next-generation mobile networks

Apart from being much quicker than its predecessors, 5G promises to open up a whole new world of use cases for mobile data which weren’t possible before.

From the way employees work and communicate to the way businesses innovate and develop more meaningful customer experiences, 5G offers dramatic performance improvements and is much better at handling thousands of devices simultaneously.

5G also supports the escalating growth in data being transferred every minute of every day in businesses everywhere. 


How 5G is better than 4G

When 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) was introduced, it doubled data speeds. 4G networks gave rise to voice and data IP services, a fast broadband internet experience, with unified networks architectures and protocols. Now, 5G takes this to a whole new level:

20x faster

5G can deliver speeds from 10 to 20 times faster than average data transfer rates for 4G. While this means an HD movie will download in under a minute, businesses can start using applications that send enormous amounts of data quickly to a huge number of simultaneous users, without causing network gridlock.


Thanks to lower latency than 4G, 5G is able to deliver more instantaneous, real-time access, with end-to-end latency down to one millisecond. Lower latency is extremely important for businesses looking to adopt IoT devices at scale as it can significantly improve the functionality of the devices.


5G uses spectrum better than 4G and is designed to take advantage of the entire spectrum from low bands below 1 GHz, to mid bands from 1 GHz to 6 GHz, to high bands known as millimetre waves (mmWave). This means enterprise networks can host large numbers of devices in their IT infrastructure – all of which can undertake simultaneous data transfer thanks to the network’s larger spectrum band.


100x more

5G is designed to support a 100x increase in traffic capacity and network efficiency, enabling far more devices to operate seamlessly without perceived delays, and dropped signals.


While 4G LTE focused on delivering much faster mobile broadband services than 3G, 5G is a unified platform that elevates mobile broadband experiences and supports new services such as mission-critical communications and the IoT at scale.


5G for the enterprise

Leading organisations are now shifting to advanced wireless technologies to support innovation and gain competitive advantage, viewing 5G as critical to success for:


High quality voice and video calls

5G is the biggest enabler of a mobile-first world. With increasing numbers of employees accessing cloud-based applications and rich content from mobile devices, the bandwidth required to support each application is growing apace. Faster data speeds, lower latency, and increased capacity translate to higher quality voice and video calls and the flexibility for employees to work anywhere, anytime.


High-resolution UCC

Unified Communications systems will also work better with smooth interaction between business software and communication systems supporting the streaming of high-resolution video, audio and images with practically no latency.


Remote working

With more organisations supporting remote working, 5G enables a business to be more agile, empowering staff to collaborate and share work-related files faster. 5G networks will also connect rural areas more affordably, opening up more business opportunities.



Shift to cloud services

As businesses adopt new technologies along their digital transformation journeys, moving existing workloads from on-premises to cloud services will accelerate. 5G will also expand the storage capacity of the cloud for big data, but it will also supercharge the speed with which data is stored and retrieved from the cloud.


Enhanced security

Circulating data outside of public clouds will be more safe and secure. 5G has the ability to place your data outside the cloud and process it as well. With wide bandwidth availability and enhanced security features via network slicing, 5G will be a viable option for enterprises to connect to various clouds more efficiently than through fixed access technologies.


Gaining insights through data

As organisations increasingly build business strategies reliant on data generated by the IoT, the ability to transmit data faster and support more connections at once is essential. With its high speeds, low latency and reliable signal, 5G will empower the rise of the IoT across industries, allowing companies to collect, store, and gain insights from a vast array of data from various sources via the cloud in a cost-effective manner.  


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What is 5G
and what it means for the enterprise

To unlock the potential of 5G, it’s essential to become familiar with 5G network roadmaps for the enterprise and what resources you’ll need to support your internal IT team to maximise the value of this technology in your company.

5G Business Strategy

For the enterprise, 5G offers far more than incremental improvements to previous generations of wireless. It presents a significant opportunity to transform how the business operates. Incorporating 5G into your business strategy requires planning for the technology now to reap the advantages and operating efficiencies in the near future.

With typical networking infrastructure unable to support innovative use cases, 5G’s lower latency paves the way for organisations to leverage automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence across operations, gaining significant competitive advantage from:


Workplace communications

Faster upload/download of files from cloud, remote document sharing, messaging, and the internet.


Employee collaboration

Real-time video conferencing and remote workplaces as well as the AR/VR and 3D experiences.


IT administration

Remote troubleshooting and the management of corporate devices.


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Learning from the pandemic

During the time of COVID-19, the critical importance of secure and high-quality connectivity to maintain business operations while supporting remote workers came into sharp focus.


In addition to remote working, the pandemic has accelerated the need for automation, online learning, and virtualisation technologies enabling more flexible and remote management of business operations. 5G supports all these business needs.


Plan for success: Create a foundation for 5G on SD-WAN

With leading organisations quick to realise the potential of 5G, there’s a growing sense of urgency to take advantage of this technology to transform operations.

Yet, all too often, legacy networking and security infrastructure fails to deliver sufficient performance and protection. Even as your business ramps up its adoption of cloud services which place more demands on your network, it’s critical that your WAN can deliver performance for more users, devices and applications.

For any organisation looking to modernise its networking strategy to support a 5G future, software-defined wide-area networking, known as SD-WAN, delivers immediate benefits to businesses.

SD-WAN allows you to combine networks from multiple internet service providers and telcos into one single service, delivering:

  • Improved network performance
  • Reduced downtime, and
  • Greater visibility and control over network traffic.


SD-WAN can help businesses consolidate legacy infrastructure and support the adoption of the latest business-enabling technologies.


SD-WAN delivers immediate performance boosts

Transforming your WAN to SD-WAN cuts through complexity, helping you manage LTE, MPLS, and Internet connections – controlling and shaping traffic according to network demands.

In this environment, cloud services become more agile and accessible and managing bandwidth is intuitive, automated, and efficient.  

Many of the benefits of SD-WAN, including scalability and adaptability, will help smooth connectivity with 5G mobile networks, enabling businesses to keep up with the dynamic changes driven by the IoT and an ever-increasing number of mobile users.

In one move, SD-WAN allows businesses to improve current operations while also preparing for a 5G future.

While the upside to combining networks from multiple internet service providers and telcos into one single service is a big performance gain, there is a downside with managing:

  • Multiple internet service providers and telcos
  • Multiple contracts with varying service level agreements
  • Multiple incident management and reporting terms.


In some organisations, managing it all requires a dedicated in-house team to carry out governance and incident management.

But there is an alternative.


SD-WAN as a managed service

To eliminate the cost of resourcing and managing increasingly complex WANs, imei offers SD-WAN as a managed service. By outsourcing SD-WAN to imei you gain the flexibility and control, allowing you to:

  • Provision network capacity
  • Upgrade and downgrade service levels to suit your business needs
  • Instantly and easily via self-service portals


5G heralds next wave of digital transformation

5G’s faster transmission speeds, enhanced reliability, and increased network capacity is paving the way for the next wave of digital transformation across all industries.


Industry 4.0

5G accelerates IoT adoption in factories and plants. Control units and sensors installed in facilities and machines as well as along supply chains get a boost from fast and reliable real-time data transfer, enabling autonomous systems in factories.

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Smart energy

5G’s network slicing enables smart grid services, dividing the 5G network into logically isolated networks. This allows the power grid to flexibly customise specific slices with different network functions according to the different requirements of the various services on a power grid.

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Connected health

5G’s possibilities stretch beyond broadening access. Much of the technology’s potential revolves around remote monitoring devices and near real-time telemedicine visits.


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Smart cities

5G’s high data throughput and easy scalability addresses the demand for real-time applications and increased data availability, while reduced latency delivers increasingly faster load times and improved responsiveness. Both are essential for applications such as HD cameras to monitor safety on city streets or in parks and other community spaces.  


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Connected offices

5G’s higher speeds and bandwidth mean workplaces can go fully wireless. And as virtual reality and augmented reality takes off, virtual reality meeting rooms will connect local and global teams alike reducing the space required for physical meeting rooms and an organisation’s real estate footprint. For office managers, IoT sensor data will strengthen facilities management with sensor-based light and heating just part of optimal building management.


How imei supports 5G for Enterprise

imei can help you answer important questions about the role of 5G connectivity in your business and help you plan your move to a 5G future. We can help you gear up to adopt the types of applications that fly when bandwidth isn’t an issue or boost connectivity in locations with poor performance.

First to market in Australia, Telstra has an enterprise 5G solution leveraging its standalone 5G network and enterprise devices from Cradlepoint. 

As an accredited Telstra 5G Partner, imei offers professional and managed services with a single point of contact to assist in designing and maintaining secure 5G internet connectivity using leading enterprise wireless devices.

We provide end-to-end management, oversight, and service ownership of your enterprise wireless solution using Cradlepoint devices. With Telstra Enterprise 5G Wireless Managed Service delivered by imei, we work with you to minimise downtime and maximise reliable connectivity, taking care of:

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  • Device staging and configuration by experts
  • Device installation onsite
  • Device lifecycle management of your Cradlepoint adaptors and routers, including:
    • Licence Management
    • Asset management
    • Platform management via NetCloud Manager
    • Reporting and insights
  • Proactive and reactive end user support with incident monitoring, issue resolution, and help desk.
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Plan your move to a 5G future with Telstra Enterprise 5G Wireless Managed Service

Let us help you ready your business for the competitive advantage that comes with enterprise wireless using Telstra Enterprise 5G Wireless Managed Service delivered by imei. For more information, please get in touch.



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