Enterprises are undergoing a shift in network infrastructure as wireless technology outpaces traditional wireline solutions. With the widespread availability of 5G and new application programming interface (API) and security capabilities, businesses are embracing a mobile-first approach.

This transformative journey promises to redefine corporate connectivity, offering unparalleled flexibility in an increasingly mobile-centric world, according to GlobalData.

Wireless technology has traditionally played second fiddle to wireline in enterprise networking, operating primarily as a backup option.

However, the gradual deployment of standalone (SA) 5G provides a leap forward in the bandwidth and programmability available from wireless access networks. Network operators and industry groups are innovating to make the wireless option even more appealing to enterprises and developers.

Gary Barton, research director for enterprise technology and services at GlobalData, comments: “Wires-free is a message that has had a strong appeal to enterprises for a long time. WiFi has long since overtaken Ethernet LAN. We are now beginning to see signs that wireless technology could take over in the WAN space, but security is one of the key barriers to adoption.”

Securing data accessed through mobile devices is a challenge for all businesses. The human factor remains the biggest source of cyber security breaches and increasing the ability to access data outside corporate environments increases the threat. However, technologies are now being launched that make the mobile device a way to increase security.

Barton observes: “We have seen T-Mobile US strengthen its ‘mobile first’ message with SSE services that use the mobile device and SIM to verify identity and deliver secure connectivity. Running technologies such as SASE, SSE, and SD-WAN over mobile connections validates the theory that wireless can begin to replace wireline as the requirements of corporate networks evolve.

“The work being conducted by the GSMA Open Gateway Initiative and its network operator members in Europe and Latin America is a welcome advance in mobile security. The new APIs allow users’ identities to be confirmed based on their mobile SIM and include measures to detect SIM cloning. The combination of features removes the need for cumbersome one-time passwords. APIs are unlocking the potential of mobile networks.”

The change from wireless to wireline will not happen overnight, but the use of technologies such as API-enabled network slicing makes wireless an option even in data-heavy scenarios such as media broadcasts. For the changing needs and expectations of corporate networks, wireless looks an even more appealing option.

Barton concludes: “We now have mobile-first generations in the workplace, and a working population whose day-to-day lives are centered on their mobile devices. Embracing mobile devices creates many opportunities to increase productivity and to provide the working experience that employees wish to have.”