Adopting Wireless Networking Can Reduce Setup Cost for SMBs


Cisco Systems, the juggernaut of the computer networking industry, has announced the availability of a new wireless access point (AP) last week. The Aironet 1140 is no low-tech appliance, and comes with the latest 802.11 Draft-n wireless with Cisco's own M-Drive technology for enhanced performance.


In the past, I have advocated adopting an agile mindset by remaining open to ideas and solutions that while robust, are not yet widely adopted. Implementing wireless in the small and medium-sized office certainly qualifies as an example of an agile mindset.


On the plus column, it costs less for an enterprise to install wireless APs throughout a business than hooking up every desk and cubicle with a wired infrastructure and sufficient network ports. In fact, some of the potential roadblocks to implementing wireless -- such as interference from too many APs -- are actually quite improbable in the SMB office.


It is true that large enterprises have been generally reluctant to adopt the newer 802.11 wireless standards. However, it must be pointed out that they are likely encumbered with large capital outlays either in older 802.11 wireless gear or wired infrastructure. The situation is actually reversed in the case of a growing SMB looking to add more access nodes. In addition, all laptops and even the newer netbooks now flooding the market all come with wireless access built-in. The resultant lower cost per terminal will certainly reduce the setup cost for SMBs.


When all is said and done, it is heartening to see the market leader acknowledging the increasing relevance of wireless networking with the release of the Aironet 1140. Of course, you will want to make sure you configure for the latest WPA2 for iron-clad security. Cisco has also released a wireless surveillance camera for SMBs in the second half of last year.