South African businesses of all sizes and across all sectors are looking to secure, enterprise-grade wireless WANs (WWANs) to achieve the security, compliance and continuity they need to run businesses in a modern environment.

This is according to Garth Stidworthy, Technical Business Development Manager at Axiz, who says demand is picking up for WWAN solutions to improve and better secure their businesses.

“A WWAN is a good primary connectivity solution for remote and branch offices and store-within-a-store retail environments not connected to fibre. The fastest way to scale is by using LTE or 5G technology. Where fibre connections are available, WWAN is an excellent secondary connection for redundancy and continuity. But enterprise WWANs also enable hybrid workforces and mobile offices, offering more features and improved performance over consumer mobile connections.”

Axiz, the African distributor for Cradlepoint WWAN solutions, is seeing growing interest in the advanced ‘office in a box’ capabilities Cradlepoint offers.

Recognised as a 5G innovation leader, Cradlepoint’s cloud-controlled LTE and 5G routers and adapters deliver WWANs that enable over 58 000 organisations including retailers, restaurants, healthcare services, public safety departments, fleet owners, logistics operations and government departments. CradlePoint NetCloud simplifies device management and orchestration, routing and security, with built-in analytics and insights.

Stidworthy says: “Fibre might be a primary connectivity choice for its low latency and high-speed connection, but organisations don’t always have fibre available. We see demand for Cradlepoint WWAN solutions from virtually every sector; for example, from businesses with rapid deployment requirements – we can get them switched on securely, in a day. We also see small businesses and home-based workers looking to upgrade from their home cellular packages with inferior routers and standard mobile data connections with sporadic connections impacted by load-shedding, where they have no insight or quality of service controls and, importantly, they can’t prioritise traffic. There is also growing demand from retailers and restaurants looking for a more secure connection because they accept credit card payments and need to be PCI DSS compliant.”

Stidworthy also expects Africa to follow trends in the UK and Europe, where fleets, emergency services and public safety officials are equipped with Cradlepoint mobile solutions for secure high-speed connectivity on the road. “Cradlepoint’s mobile solution lets you take your network wherever you go. With antennas designed for in-vehicle or mobile use and a battery backup unit powered by DC or solar, these are a good alternative to a normal mobile connection. We see use cases for logistics, fleet and asset management, cross-border logistics with multi-SIMs connected to multiple networks, and for high-value logistics and cash in transit vans.

“Cellular gives you flexibility, and if you have fibre too, you have redundancy. We suggest having two connections – fibre and cellular, or two cellular – to ensure business continuity. In the past, a cellular connection might have proved too costly for some businesses to consider, but enterprise cellular data packages have dropped in cost, and data pooling is now an option to dynamically or statically share that data across users, making cellular a viable option for running a business. Plus, Cradlepoint gives you forecasting data on future data use, allowing you to plan and budget accordingly,” he says.

Stidworthy notes that Cradlepoint has solutions tailored for branch connections, IOT and mobile branches, all with LTE cellular capability built in. “Axiz will assist in scoping on the products or licensing model required to suit each business’s needs and budget, and we have stock availability in five to 10 working days,” he says.

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