Wireless is catching up with wired - but are you ready?

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"Wireless was once regarded as the 'wart' on the back of wired networks, but now the balance is shifting towards wireless, particularly as organisations want to build on the benefits of their existing, limited wireless deployments," said Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill Group

"However," he claimed, "most companies just aren't ready for that shift. They have wireless hot spots which can't reach everywhere; or worse still, have implemented wireless networks which can't be easily upscaled and are destined to be ripped and replaced in a short period of time."

Kilpatrick was speaking as the company became UK distributor for California-based vendor Xirrus, a leader in high performance wireless networks.

"Wireless is more cost-effective, more convenient, less disruptive, encourages productivity – and users want it," continued Kilpatrick. " The fast growth of BYOD is just one of the indicators that the world is moving steadily towards greater use of wireless. Users want to use their smartphones, tablets and laptops, wirelessly, wherever they happen to be.

"That's great, but who is thinking about the fact that each device makes an incremental load on the network and that each user will typically look to increment their usage? And that companies are going to want to put, not just their web browsing and email onto wireless, but also their business critical applications and multi-media – and they'll want it to work faultlessly.

"If users are to gain the benefits of BYOD and wireless," stressed Kilpatrick, "they need to set up wireless networks with pervasive coverage that have the performance to cope with a high number of users and a wide range of applications, both now and as they expand usage. Wireless networks need to be extremely flexible, so that many more users can be added easily, without affecting performance and without requiring major infrastructure upheaval.

"The huge increase in BYOD and wireless in the last couple of years has shown us that the IT landscape can change dramatically and unpredictably in a very short space of time. So anyone installing or upgrading wireless now has to be confident it can cope with any unpredictable rise in wireless use in the future. The only thing that can be reliably predicted is that usage and traffic volumes will increase.

"We selected Xirrus because it provides the solutions that can make this shift to wireless work reliably and cost-effectively, offering users the ability to easily expand wireless use and to increase the number of users, without major infrastructure upheaval."

Sean Larner, Vice President International Sales at Xirrus, said: "Mobility is now the norm and people expect to connect without wires. With more than 800 million* wireless-enabled devices being produced every year, innovative organisations are using them to engage with their customers and transform their business models."

"As the leader in high-performance wireless networks, we are strategically partnering with companies around the world to provide powerful, scalable, and trusted wireless solutions for our customers, giving them the confidence that their networks perform, even under the most demanding circumstances," Larner continued. "We are delighted to welcome Wick Hill Group as our latest distributor and wish them every success in the future."

*Figures provided from the Wi-Fi Alliance

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