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Enabling secure home working with 4G & 5G WiFi

2020 will be remembered in household connectivity terms as the year that the battle turned into all-out war. What used to be a struggle between conflicting demands for the internet, video streaming and gaming has now had remote working thrown into the mix. And with home working likely to be far more commonplace long-term, the problem isn’t going away.

The simplest solution - just beefing-up your home broadband package - isn’t the most viable one for a whole host of reasons. In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons and the benefits for the flexible, secure alternative that helps employers and employees alike - by leveraging 4G and (where possible) 5G.

Solving thorny problems

Using home broadband for work isn’t the handy, catch-all solution it seems. For a start, there are inherent security risks because most home set-ups don’t come with the business-level measures that keep data, devices and applications safe. Strong security is an absolute must for every remote worker that handles sensitive information, not only from the financial and operational perspectives of the business, but also because of legislation like GDPR.

Home broadband that’s used by multiple people and devices at the same time can come under immense bandwidth strain. If employees can’t reliably connect to their employer’s systems or make video calls to collaborate with colleagues, they just can’t get their jobs done to the best of their abilities. It can be a frustrating experience for home workers, but also an opportunity for businesses to make their lives easier.

4G or 5G connectivity helps overcome these problems, as either a primary or secondary solution to boost remote connectivity. It can be provisioned for single users - or small groups of users - providing them with secure access to the corporate network.

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How does it work?

It should be pointed out that 4G or 5G connectivity for business doesn’t mean taking just any old SIM card and putting it into a smartphone or router. Instead, corporate-grade SIMs are used, applicable to any MiFi device to deliver secure, stable connections through Private APNs (Access Point Names). 

User traffic is routed directly into corporate data networks, enabling employees to access everything as if they were still working in the office physically.

These SIMs can be deployed in such a way that business and personal connectivity can be segregated: business data can be sent and received using the 4G/5G connection, while home broadband can still be used for non-work activity. This can take business traffic away from the home broadband, keeping the 4G/5G solution solely for business use.

Widespread benefits

As well as ensuring that robust security is always in place, wherever and however each employee is working, 4G/5G delivers several other positive impacts that can reach far and wide across a business:

  • Easy, fast deployment: the plug-and-play nature of the corporate-grade SIMs means new connections can be set up far faster than fixed-line broadband
  • Wider coverage: workers can operate from any location where there is a reasonable mobile signal - especially helpful for employees who live rurally and have limited alternative connectivity options
  • Cost savings: a vastly reduced hardware requirement compared to traditional ADSL/FTTC connections brings the financial outlay of setting up connectivity and keeping it running down to a more sustainable level
  • Back-up flexibility: in the case of any failure with the established connection in place, 4G/5G can also be used as a ‘plan B’ option that can be deployed in seconds

In summary

The world of work is fundamentally changing and so the demands on business connectivity are changing with it, but the principles of reliability and security remain in place. All organisations need as much flexibility as they can give themselves in the current climate, and from a connectivity perspective, 4G/5G represents one of the most flexible options. 

Nobody knows what the months ahead will look like operationally, but 4G/5G can be there to support workforces and maintain productivity in a more secure, digital workspace - whatever the future holds.

Convergence Group provides a Secure 4G Connect solution that enables maximum productivity for employees, whenever and wherever they work. Find out more about the solution, our Tiviti Connectivity-As-A-Service solution and the Convergence Group expertise behind it here

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