Large European companies are spending more on wireless networks than on wired networks, according to research commissioned by network equipment supplier Motorola.
The study canvassed more than 400 CIOs with European firms with more than 1,000 staff. It found that 57% firms cited their main reason for going wireless as a strategic need for mobility. It showed that 88% expect all their networked equipment to be wireless-enabled within three years.
The research also found that 75% of companies already use some wireless infrastructure and almost a 20% are mostly or completely wireless. More than 40% of Spanish firms are mostly or completely wireless today.
Angelo Lamme, wireless director of Motorola's enterprise mobility business for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said firms were mostly looking to convert their local area networks to wireless operation. This was to give them more flexibility in using office space.
But, using radio-based identity tags (RFID), they had also extended wireless networking into the supply chain to track and trace goods and processes, he said. "This is especially the case with manufacturing and retail firms," he said.
Lamme said firms were starting to explore the opportunities for integrating their wireless and fixed wired networks, as well as roaming between their own private networks and public wide area networks that use either or both media. "Radio frequency switching is going to be the next big thing," Lamme said.
However, suppliers would still have to satisfy CIOs' top three demands for security, performance and reliability, he said.
He warned that the lack of suitable radio frequencies could dampen demand. He called on regulators to speed up moves to make more frequencies available.