Wlan boom will revolutionise the enterprise

Wireless packages that speak to individual businesses and industry sectors are predicted to drive the wireless local area network...

Wireless packages that speak to individual businesses and industry sectors are predicted to drive the wireless local area network market.

“Wireless solutions are really going to drive the enterprise space,” said Kerry Eberwein, Bell’s general manager of enterprise wireless solutions in Canada.

He described a hospital in which doctors and nurses use wireless IP phones and personal digital assistants to keep in touch with patients, each other, and to view patient records. These are the sorts of solutions that will make Wi-Fi ubiquitous among Canadian corporations, Eberwein said.

He also made certain predictions for the communication industry, changes that will result from Wi-Fi’s impending popularity. For instance, Eberwein said carriers and service providers will beef up their wide-area networks with more intelligent features, so that the telecom infrastructure would know where an end user is when he or she connects to the web, whether he or she is using a wireline or wireless connection, and the sort of device being used.

Eberwein predicted the rise of “netputing” as that underlying intelligence gives rise to more of an application service provider model than the PC-centric mode of serving apps that most companies use today.

“Computers and networks are starting to blur,” he said, adding that increasingly “my PC has no value if it’s not hooked up to the network".

He predicted that wireless cellular technology would work side-by-side with Wi-Fi, as the former proves to be a popular data connection method for people on the move, and the latter becomes more of the stationary mobile worker’s technology of choice. Eberwein also said 3G cellular networks would provide data speeds near 2.4Mbps in the near future.

However, he also said a number of Wi-Fi factors remain unresolved, not the least of which is the mobile worker’s ability to manage the technology.

“Don’t become a slave to this technology,” Eberwein said. “We work too many hours for too long.”

Eberwein said Wi-Fi standards remain in flux, and it will take time for protocols like 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g to settle into their respective roles, and for security issues to be resolved.

Stefan Dubowski writes for ITWorldCanada.com

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