Motorola sees all LANs wireless in future

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Motorola sees all LANs wireless in future

Wireless technology has reached a tipping point where corporate networks will increasingly be deployed using wireless rather than cabled Ethernet, according to Motorola's Enterprise Mobility business.

This conclusion follows from research conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Motorola, which found that over half of large European firms already spend more of their infrastructure budget on wireless kit than wired equipment.

In addition, 69 percent of IT directors said they planned to make their LAN completely wireless by 2010, providing key concerns were met.

"Wireless is moving from the edge of the network towards the core. Wireless has traditionally been used in the access layer, but it is now appearing more and more in the distribution layer," said Angelo Lamme, wireless director of Motorola's Enterprise Mobility business in EMEA.

However, the core of the network is likely to remain wired; the 69 percent figure outlined above refers to the access layer and possibly also backhaul links.

Lamme explained that the current economic climate is one factor driving companies to add new capacity using wireless rather than cabling new infrastructure.

"If you compare the cost of putting in wired and wireless networks, wireless is only one tenth to one fifth of the cost," he said.

Another reason is the growing trend for mobility, as in industries such as healthcare and education. Retail outlets are also favouring wireless in point-of-sale equipment, according to Lamme, as this means it can easily be re-located whenever store layouts are changed.

"And the expectation nowadays is that devices will have online capability, so that users can be always connected wherever they go," he said.

Businesses may still have concerns over wireless with regards to the security of the technology against eavesdropping, performance of the network, and its reliability.

However, Lamme said that the newer 802.11n equipment now being deployed addresses many of these concerns. Security is improved over earlier generations of Wi-Fi kit, and the ability to configure a mesh network with multiple paths for a signal to reach its destination allows for resilience.

"I believe we really have reached the tipping point now where wireless is a viable replacement for wired across the enterprise," Lamme said.
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