The Beautiful Friendship Between 5G and SD-WAN

Working together, 5G and SD-WAN create new capabilities for businesses. Learn the many benefits of using this dynamic duo.

The Beautiful Friendship Between 5G and SD-WANEmerging technologies are wondrous things. Technologies such as generative AI, smart spaces, IoT and spatial computing garner a lot of attention because they are flashy and futuristic. But it’s really the underlying technology that is used to power these possibilities that is truly impressive. That underlying technology is precisely where 5G and SD-WAN come into play. The combination results in a beautiful friendship because it creates network capabilities unlike anything we’ve seen before.

What Is 5G and SD-WAN?

5G is the fastest network we’ve had so far. The fifth generation is designed to enhance capabilities and significantly lower latency. 5G has made emerging technologies possible because it provides the performance benefits of increased coverage and higher data rates which are required to run other applications. For example, IoT has really only been able to function with the use of 5G.

Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) creates an overlay network used with present infrastructure which allows users to seamlessly access applications. In years past, companies would run their business by accessing dedicated computing resources that were located in a central office or headquarters. Traditional wide area networks (WANs) operate using IP addresses, but SD-WAN uses an application-first approach, so it doesn’t need to route through central processing systems.

SD-WAN is essentially a smart version of a network which can detect large traffic loads and then divert traffic to other resources. With SD-WAN, businesses can access networks that intelligently route traffic to where it needs to go to reduce latency and boost speeds.

How Do 5G and SD-WAN Work Together?

By combining 5G and SD-WAN, you get the flexibility, speeds, reliability and increased security that most businesses need for affordable, enhanced operations at scale. By implementing both, your network can divert traffic to the faster and more reliable applications. The two technologies can work simultaneously to provide network access to users or offices across great distances. Think of 5G as your speed and SD-WAN as your flexibility. Together, they create the ideal network for businesses operating globally and with an omni-channel approach.  

The Benefits of 5G and SD-WAN

Working together, 5G and SD-WAN create new capabilities for businesses. Using this dynamic duo has many benefits, including:

  • Decreased downtime: 5G and SD-WAN is entirely designed to reduce latency and re-route traffic if any network equipment goes down, creating increased uptime for businesses.
  • Better security: If a cyber threat is detected on your network, you can easily divert traffic using network slicing. Essentially, this creates a separation of resources to partition off the cyber threat, while allowing your regular operations to continue normally.
  • Access to remote work sites: The increased coverage allows for remote control of previously inaccessible worksites, such as offshore or rural areas, eliminating potential dangers to employees while also achieving network coverage in previously dead areas.
  • Improved management of resources: 5G and SD-WAN can route and re-route traffic as needed to account for peak traffic times. This ability means you can make full use of your computing resources.
  • Reduced cost: The combination of these flexible technologies means businesses no longer need expensive dedicated circuits to maintain uptime. Organizations can save significantly by simply paying for 5G coverage and utilizing the network circuits of internet service providers (ISPs).

5G and SD-WAN Use Cases

When used together, 5G and SD-WAN provide numerous benefits and can be applied to many business problems.

Work From Home

The pandemic showed us the possibilities of working from home. Businesses were able to cut overhead and people could skip the commute. With more businesses embracing that decentralized model, 5G and SD-WAN provides what we need to enable seamless and secure work from home. Users can access company networks virtually and securely, with nearly non-existent latency.

Accessing Rural or Dangerous Sites

Many industries have the need to access, monitor and control remote or offshore sites. Jobs that could endanger humans can now be performed using devices or robotics thanks to the benefits of 5G and SD-WAN. From cleaning up nuclear sites to entering burning buildings, inspecting pipelines and managing hazardous manufacturing facilities, 5G and SD-WAN are enabling safer conditions for workers.

Network Slicing

Network slicing involves separating a network into multiple virtual networks to isolate data into different segments. This approach can be done with the power of 5G and SD-WAN. It allows organizations to confine information based on specific requirements and limit the potential damage in the event of a cyber threat.


The ability of 5G and SD-WAN to tie devices together across large distances with milli-second latency makes great things possible in the world of IoT. The speeds provided by 5G make it possible for devices to communicate quickly, while SD-WAN allows for task automation enabling the development of smart cities and homes, as well as autonomous vehicles. IoT also allows for remote monitoring of life-saving devices such as heart-rate monitors and ingestible sensors.

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Routing technologies and networking devices are covered on the CompTIA Network+ exam. CompTIA Network+ is the industry standard for establishing a career in IT and is the preferred qualifying credential for technical support and IT operational roles.

When you earn CompTIA Network+ you show potential employers you can support networks on any platform and understand the fundamentals, implementations, operations, security and troubleshooting aspects of your networking role.

Routing technologies and network devices are covered by CompTIA Network+ (N10-008). Learn more with CompTIA CertMaster Learn + Labs for Network+. Sign up for a free trial today to get started.

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