According to channelinsider.com, the advent of the 802.11n wireless protocol will give rise to the fully wireless infrastructure, opening new and exciting opportunities for moving data.
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The report notes that if the wiring even in a small office with 10 seats will mean Category 5 drops to every office, desk and conference room, the total cost will be several thousand dollars at these rates.
Even conventional WAPs (wireless access points) require hard wiring to switches and routers, so 802.11a/b/g has been little help in untangling the Cat. 5 mess.
However, wireless has been virtually useless until now. The advent of 802.11n will open up much wider wireless data pipes, allowing gigabyte volume throughput on the data spectrum.
Motorola for example is betting its networking strategy on this new standard and wireless mesh networking.
Motorola’s new wireless enterprise line is leading the advance of a new wave of networking. While the wireless enterprise is not a new concept, the idea of replacing all those hard-wired access points and retaining access to high-availability fat pipes is relatively new.
Motorola figures that as applications hog increasing amounts of bandwidth, all businesses will be forced to upgrade their data networks. The natural inclination today is to upgrade both wired and wireless infrastructures. With the costs of deploying a wired infrastructure so high, Motorola is betting businesses will jump at the opportunity to replace all their copper and fiber-optic cable with comparably low-cost 802.11n mesh wireless networks.
“This will save, since it’s one-fifth to one-10th the cost of running cable,” says Kevin Goulet, director of product management at Motorola’s enterprise LAN market division.
Motorola is also launching a new channel devoted specifically to enterprise wireless networking, although the opportunity and application is applicable to businesses of all sizes.
Wireless mesh has been around for a while, but mostly confined to municipal and campus-level deployments. Motorola’s thinking is correct: As businesses adopt more Web 2.0 and data-intensive applications, they’ll need more bandwidth to the endpoint. If you can deliver a wireless network that has high speed, little latency and solid security, what’s the justification for running wire?
For solution providers, the entire idea of high-speed wireless mesh networks opens new opportunities for engaging with existing customers and prospects. Everyone knows enterprises and small and midsize businesses have been extending the lives of their switches and routers to save money. Who can blame them? If the box still works, what’s the problem?
But even SMBs are using more sophisticated applications that require network optimization. For customers, the report says, with higher data loads, wireless mesh networking gives solution providers a product that both solves bandwidth headaches and provides a savings over existing systems.
This isn’t to say that Motorola has the right product or channel program (both of those must be tested and evaluated more thoroughly). But Motorola’s concept for the product and the market justifications are sound. It’s time to cut ourselves out of the Cat. 5 conundrum and embrace the mesh wireless spectrum.