Wireless LANs Gaining Supremacy

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

A New Era in Mobility

Increased need to support mobile computing is driving investment in wireless networks.

With the rise of mobile computing, the wireless network is poised to become the primary network used in the enterprise.

Beyond the continuing shift to notebook devices that rely primarily on wireless networks, the latest generation of smartphones and tablets also make heavy use of 802.11 wireless networks. In fact, a new survey from Cisco suggests that these devices are not only rapidly becoming the primary device used by most workers to access corporate information, many of us now have multiple mobile computing devices.

The implications of this shift, says Chris Kozup, Cisco director of mobility solutions, will be profound because as mobile computing continues to evolve, corporations will need more robust wireless 802.11n networks. And while many organizations have already made this shift, the pace of adoption is in danger of exceeding the available corporate bandwidth within many companies.

One factor contributing to the shift toward 802.11n networks, notes Kozup, is that many carriers encourage users to access these networks instead of the wireless networks managed by the carriers. This is because the carrier networks are being overwhelmed by mobile computing traffic, so they want to shift as much data-intensive traffic off their networks.

The Cisco study also suggests that a company's willingness to support mobile computing is directly related to its ability to hire the best candidates. And while during these tough economic times there might not be a lot of room for salary negotiation, the Cisco study says that all things being equal, prospective candidates will favor what they perceive to be the more flexible work environment.

To what degree you believe that might have to do with the culture of your organization. But one things that is clear, we're entering a new age of mobility that sooner rather than later will overwhelm many of our existing wireless networks.

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