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Nine out of 10 enterprises are seeking external assistance to manage their sprawling and increasingly wireless LAN estates, according to new Omdia research.

Managed WLAN revenues are growing by nearly 10% per annum – triple the rate of the global managed network services market. LANs have become a key investment priority for enterprises worldwide – and an important way to expand the perimeter of managed network services for communication service providers (CSPs).

It's an exciting time to rethink LAN strategy. The economics of managing LAN environments have radically changed. Powerful tools are available using cloud management and software-defined networking techniques combined with automation and AI. Demand for the Internet of Things (IoT) is manifesting within the LAN as much as the WAN. Rich connectivity choices are also on offer including Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, validating the logic for technology refresh.

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Convergence is advancing further than ever envisaged; between the LAN and the WAN; between wired and wireless LANs; between the IoT and the LAN; and, not least, between 5G and the LAN. That's why enterprises are investing increasingly more on LAN services (see Figure 1), but with a critical requirement: a demand for end-to-end management across domains with a trusted partner orchestrating all network services.

Now is the time for service providers to listen and act.

Rethinking the LAN in a 5g world ph

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