Leased line connectivity holds several advantages over conventional broadband connections, but could 5G soon render it obsolete?
There are no publicly available average speeds for business connectivity, but larger organisations will have private networks based upon high bandwidth solutions such as leased lines and pure fibre. However, with over 99 per cent of UK businesses employing fewer than 249 people and 96 per cent employing fewer than nine, the most common broadband service used is a business variant of “home style” connectivity and hence likely to offer similar performance to the 36 Mbps quoted by Ofcom.
5G FWA looks set to exceed these current speeds comfortably, with trials pointing to bandwidths of 1Gbps and above. We also expect latency to drop to around 1ms, compared with 4G’s average of 45ms, creating a host of exciting new opportunities. These improvements are drastic enough for 5G FWA to not only surpass existing standards but also to beat the likely evolutions of its fixed-line counterparts.
In a recent interview, the head of UK mobile provider, Three, said that 5G may be a viable alternative to fixed line fibre connections. 5G can offer super high speeds, comparative to that of most fibre connections which typically offer speeds up to 76Mbps for FTTC and 330Mbps for FTTP. Of course, building a UK wide 5G network isn’t easy – and mobile operators are all keen to assume an early monopoly on 5G technology. However, should 5G become available across the country with good coverage, then it may well be a good alternative to a fibre broadband connection in the home.
“For most businesses, an FTTP connection would offer substantial speeds for day to day use. FTTP offers speeds of up to 330Mbps, which is more than fast enough for most businesses. For those looking for more, a leased line can offer up to 1Gpbs.
Broadband ISP Zen Internet says they’ve “permanently” reduced the price of their dedicated and fibre optic based Ethernet leased line data connectivity services for all businesses by up to 36%. This is in anticipation of 5G.
5G probably won’t displace leased line connections in the same way as it will conventional broadband. The guaranteed speed and security of a leased line mean that it will always have business uses.