93% of UK resellers expect their customers' demands for wireless to grow, according to a survey by Zycko, the pan-European value-added distributor of leading edge IT solutions.
The research revealed that 78% of resellers already offer wireless to their customers, who use it primarily (68%) for data, and ranked security and reliability as the most important factors in selecting a wireless solution. According to respondents, the increase in the use of smartphones and tablets is driving the trend, with 75% claiming that customers had asked them about changing their network requirements to accommodate mobile devices.
However, only 7% of those surveyed claimed to have an advanced understanding of wireless virtualisation, with 42% admitting to having little or no understanding of the technology, suggesting that the channel is still reliant on microcell technology. Fewer than 30% of respondents were aware of the constraints of microcell, which include problems with radio interference, channel planning and bandwidth contention.
David Galton-Fenzi, Zycko's Group Sales and Marketing Director, comments: "The channel's positive forecasts for the wireless market are no surprise. However, as networks have to accommodate more smartphones and tablets, which require high density environments, the need to consider virtualised WLAN, such as that provided by Meru Networks, will quickly become apparent."
A concurrent survey of business end users revealed that 40% are spending more than 5,000 on network maintenance and 27% are spending over 5,000 on copper cables each year.
Galton-Fenzi concludes: "With virtualised WLAN this level of spending becomes unnecessary. Wireless virtualisation represents a new way of building wireless networks, which demands more advanced technology from access points and controllers but less time and expense from the IT department. It is therefore likely that cost savings will drive growth in this market."