State Of Wireless WAN Report: Businesses Increase Use Of 4G/5G WAN Links With More Growth Predicted

Cradlepoint, the global leader in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions, today released findings from its annual State of Wireless WAN Report developed in conjunction with IDG. The results find Wireless WAN (WWAN) adoption continues to increase globally, with businesses focused on improving bandwidth and introducing new services. 

Additionally, 5G is definitely top of mind as it continues to roll out across the country: More than half of Canadian respondents (54 per cent) indicated they are familiar with 5G and have researched it, while 34 per cent said they are very familiar with 5G and actively working towards it.

4G/5G Use is Growing
A key highlight of the report is the rapid growth of 4G/5G globally, which grew from 41 per cent to 67 per cent in 2021. In Canada, 64 per cent of respondents indicated they are already using 4G/5G for WWAN.

Overall, the progress for 4G and 5G is projected to continue with 68 per cent of all respondents saying they anticipate an increase in 4G/5G WAN links in the next three years. 

When asked what was driving the change in usage of different types of WAN links, improving bandwidth and preparing for new services were top of mind for most respondents.

There is Opportunity in Canada
In Canada, the findings show there is much opportunity for growth and adoption, especially at the branch level.

Canadian respondents indicated current 4G/5G connectivity use is spread quite evenly across connecting vehicles (50 per cent), augmenting wired links in a location/branch (50 per cent), connecting other IoT (47 per cent), connecting digital signage (47 per cent) and as a failover link in a location/branch (47 per cent). 

In Canada, respondents felt their impediments to deploying 4G/5G were security at 71 per cent (compared to 59 per cent globally) and cost at 65 per cent (compared to 52 per cent globally). Reliability (52 per cent) and complexity (48 per cent) were other impediments cited by Canadian respondents. 

Other findings:

  • In-vehicle networks: In Canada, 72 per cent of respondents expect to see the number of connected vehicles increase within the next three years. Forty-one (41) per cent of Canadian respondents cited “difficult to manage” as a current network challenge in vehicles. Only 14 per cent of Canadian organizations cited network downtime as a challenge, significantly below the global average of 30 per cent.
  • IoT: There is an uptick in the number of IoT connected devices deployed. In Canada, the average number of devices on respondents’ IoT networks is 270, above the global average of 247. The top three IoT connected devices for Canadian respondents are security cameras, sensors and digital signage; and most organizations are planning to add more of these devices in the next 12 months (63 per cent, 46 per cent and 56 per cent respectively).
  • SD-WAN: There is a sizeable uptick in deployment of SD-WAN since 2020 with more to come within six months. Current and planned deployments are up in Canada, U.S. and U.K.; in Canada, the average number of locations/branches provided with WAN connectivity is 251 (compared to 248 globally). Security was cited as the most important feature in SD-WAN at 59 per cent globally.


To learn more and view the full State of Wireless WAN Report 2022, click here. To learn more about the results from Canada specifically, visit: https://resources.cradlepoint.com/ca-en/report-4g-and-5g-for-wireless-wan-becomes-pervasive-canada 

About the Survey
Cradlepoint partnered with IDG to conduct an online survey of 702 IT decision makers in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. The report highlights key findings about what adoption/ implementation of SD-WAN and related technologies looks like in the real world — how organizations considered adoption and how they’ve managed implementation, and results. 

Survey respondents were required to have a title of IT manager or higher and work for a company with 50 or more employees. The respondents represented a wide variety of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, construction, engineering, energy/power/utilities, education and government/public safety. 

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