📎Optimizing Last Mile SD-WAN Investments: Right-Sizing Connectivity in South Africa 🇿🇦

📎Optimizing Last Mile SD-WAN Investments: Right-Sizing Connectivity in South Africa 🇿🇦

🌐🚀Discover the secrets to tackling blackouts and brownouts while maximizing your investment with smart sizing methodologies. 💼💡


3 min read

In the world of connectivity, I've often encountered a paradox – businesses investing in lightning-fast 1 Gbps fiber services but backing them up with meager 20 Mbps alternative fixed wireless links. It's a head-scratcher. If your business can operate on a 20 Mbps link, why go for a 1 Gbps service in the first place? This dilemma underscores a prevalent issue in South African connectivity purchases – an overinvestment in primary fiber connections and an underinvestment in robust alternatives. In this article, we'll explore the importance of right-sizing secondary last mile connectivity and why it's a critical investment consideration for businesses.

The Overinvestment-Underinvestment Dilemma

The scenario described above is all too common – businesses opting for high-capacity primary fiber connections but neglecting to provide equally robust alternatives. Ironically, when an outage occurs, they often question why the secondary wireless link didn't handle the situation adequately. As we say in these parts, "Eish!" The alternative connections need to match the primary's capabilities to ensure seamless failover.

A Balanced Approach: Appropriate Bandwidth and Media

To address this issue, businesses must first assess their last mile requirements. Is a 1 Gbps service truly necessary when the peak load never exceeds 200 Mbps? The truth is, a 1 Gbps fiber last mile won't offer better latency than a 200 Mbps one if the load doesn't saturate the link. What's needed is appropriate bandwidth and a secondary link using alternative media of suitable capacity.

In the scenario mentioned earlier, a secondary fixed wireless access link of 20 Mbps won't suffice when the peak load is 200 Mbps. Ideally, the fixed wireless last mile link should match the primary's capacity. However, budget constraints may come into play. In such cases, it's still crucial to scale down the fixed wireless access link appropriately, such as to 100 Mbps or, at the very minimum, 50 Mbps. Anything less than 50 Mbps could lead to debilitating bottlenecks. Choosing the right investment for contingencies ensures seamless connectivity and failover. Lesser bandwidth for secondary links leads to congestion and application performance degradation during primary link outages, including brownouts.

The Role of Visibility and Analytics

Misguided bandwidth sizing often stems from a lack of visibility into link utilization. At Fusion Broadband South Africa, we provide network performance telemetry and advanced traffic analytics through Illuminate. These tools empower businesses to precisely analyze and measure their bandwidth requirements. Any strategy lacking this ability is essentially flying blind.

The De Facto Standard: Broadband Takes the Lead

Many businesses rely on layer 2 enterprise links, including MPLS or DIA. However, their uptime falls short of multiple broadband links, which offer significantly more bandwidth at a lower cost. Broadband has become the de facto standard for various business needs.


To optimize your SD-WAN investments and ensure uninterrupted connectivity, right-sizing your secondary last mile connectivity is imperative. Don't overcommit on primary fiber links only to underinvest in the alternatives. Align your bandwidth and media choices with your actual requirements to eliminate bottlenecks, ensure failover reliability, and enhance application performance. Visibility and analytics tools like Illuminate are your allies in making informed decisions.

Ronald Bartels ensures that Internet inhabiting things are connected reliably online at Fusion Broadband South Africa - the leading specialized SD-WAN provider in South Africa. 👉 Contact Fusion

Originally published on LinkedIn by Ronald Bartels: