5G is the Secret Sauce to Your SD-WAN Deployment

Oct 14, 2021
4 minutes

It’s no secret that 5G is taking the world by storm. According to the latest forecast by Gartner®*, 5G is the fastest growing segment in the wireless network infrastructure market, Worldwide 5G network infrastructure revenue is on pace to grow 39% to total $19.1 billion in 2021, up from $13.7 billion in 2020. 5G delivers the promise of increased capacity, increased bandwidth, and lower latency compared to other LTE connections and as a result, we are seeing enterprises everywhere adopt 5G as a backup, and even primary, WAN connection.

The Need for 5G

Primary drivers for 5G include enhancing network failover, network bandwidth augmentation, using 5G link as primary and leveraging 5G for IoT. The locations where 5G is mainly used include fixed places such as branch offices, ATMs, retail stores, restaurants, hospitals & insurance companies. 5G is also deployed at smaller mobile locations which could be temporary such as kiosks, digital signage, and mobile clinics. With all the benefits 5G has to offer, it’s no surprise that businesses are moving to 5G, but this rapid adoption has a few other implications for these enterprises.

Forbes mentioned in a recent article that businesses will need to become more agile to keep up with increasing consumer expectations, as adoption of 5G continues to increase. Businesses will need to spin up and bring down new services quickly based on the service’s performance. This means that businesses will require tools that grant visibility into their entire infrastructure, so that they can analyze performance in real time, ensuring the delivery of the best end-user experience. This agility will likely require infrastructure updates. Seems simple enough, but this project doesn’t come without its challenges.

Integrated 5G is the Solution

The challenge with these necessary infrastructure updates is that when implementing cellular WAN, customers must deploy multiple appliances at their branches, increasing cost and complexity. Organizations require a simple, consolidated appliance with 5G built-in. This solution should provide native 5G capabilities in addition to wired line WAN connectivity. At Palo Alto Networks, we have created just that. Prisma SD-WAN is expanding its appliance portfolio to include the ION 1200 with integrated 5G. With the ION 1200, organizations can accelerate their Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) deployment to branch offices by leveraging 5G connectivity without the hassle of installing additional 5G devices in the branch. Organizations can use 5G as the primary WAN connectivity to enable the rapid deployment of ATMs or kiosk systems or as a secondary backup link to improve the resilience of the branch WAN.

The ION 1200 is a desktop form factor which enables branch connectivity with many benefits including:

  • Deploy 5G as a primary WAN or as a backup to wired connections without adding additional hardware
  • Configure 5G and wired connections in an active-active fashion

Cellular link configuration

  • Gain visibility into critical 5G metrics, including signal strength and bandwidth utilization

Deep 5G analytics

  • Centrally manage 5G interface to include in SD-WAN path steering policies

5G integral part of business policy

  • Support Dual SIMs for wireless resiliency
  • Ability to fall back to 4G/ LTE connection if 5G connection is not available
  • Consistent day-0 configuration of the 5G capable ION 1200 using Zero Touch Provisioning
  • Industry certified for PTCRB and GCF

It is clear that 5G is the secret sauce to getting the most out of SD-WAN deployment, and with 5G integrated into the ION 1200, adding 5G to your WAN has never been easier.

Learn more about Prisma SD-WAN on our website or read the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant™ for WAN Edge Infrastructure report and see why Palo Alto Networks was named a Leader for the second year in a row.


Gartner, Magic Quadrant WAN Edge Infrastructure, 20 September 2021, Jonathan Forest | Naresh Singh

*Gartner Press Release, Gartner Forecasts Worldwide 5G Network Infrastructure Revenue to Grow 39% in 2021 , August 4, 2021

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

GARTNER and MAGIC QUADRANT are registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.


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