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This article is part of our Essential Guide: Reaping the business benefits of collaboration tools

How do enterprise collaboration services affect mobile traffic?

The growing use of collaboration apps is putting pressure on the business mobile network. Learn how to support collaboration on both mobile and Wi-Fi networks.

In a mobile world, enterprise collaboration services can be a double-edged sword. In one instance, these tools...

can consolidate documents that would ordinarily clog email services and bandwidth. At the same time, however, enterprise collaboration services can embody various modes. Mobile phones, for example, can be used for voice communications and texting, while laptops are used for keyboard input and screen sharing.

In some modes, collaboration might happen only through the app, which allows for simultaneous voice and screen sharing. As enterprise collaboration services become more integrated, they'll also spawn more mobile traffic.

Most carriers, however, now allow Wi-Fi calling capabilities, and most apps can be set to communicate only over Wi-Fi. In those instances, the increase in data on the business mobile network will be minimal. 

For organizations with pooled data plans with multiple mobile carriers, many calls within the same carrier network don't count against data-plan minutes. Enterprises should be careful with mobile plans that throttle bandwidth after reaching a certain data threshold. This may prevent enterprise collaboration services from working well or working entirely. However, this issue is easily solved by switching to Wi-Fi services, or moving collaboration to a laptop or computer.  

For your Wi-Fi network to accommodate enterprise collaboration services and end-user devices, your bandwidth needs will most likely change. You may find the bandwidth previously allocated is simply not enough. 

This issue can be solved by moving to higher-speed Wi-Fi and providing more antennas and channels to support increased collaboration. Remember, each antenna is connected to at least one switch port. Adding an extra antenna can be like doubling the lanes of traffic, if the signals don't interrupt each other. Signal interruptions can be solved by watching channels and making sure their placement will be beneficial to the environment. 

Do you have a question for Carrie Higbie Goetz or any other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! All questions are treated anonymously.

This was last published in January 2018

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How have you prepared your business mobile network for collaboration services?
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