Three Question Guide: Does My Company Need Wireless LAN?



The first question you need to answer when determining whether or not wireless LAN is a must-have for your company is, “What is wireless LAN?” Wireless LAN, also known as WLAN, stands for a wireless local area network that links two or more enabled devices over-the-air and allows for Internet connectivity. In doing so, the wireless LAN allows for users to move around within a local coverage area, like an office, and stay online wherever they go. Traditionally, enterprise employees have been accessing the Internet from desktop computers that are tethered to wall jacks and connect through a cabled LAN powered by Ethernet. For many years, cabled LAN seemed like the most cost-effective alternative to enable business Internet connection when compared to the high hardware costs associated with installing in-building wireless network infrastructure. But ever since the hard costs for components began to decrease in the 1990s alongside an increase in the need for enterprise mobility, many businesses are seeing wireless LANs as attractive, efficient endeavors. Xssling

A recent research report from industry analyst firm Display Search confirms that Apple’s iPad shipped 15 million units in its first year and predicts iPad 2 sales to hit 40 million units by 2012. According to Display Search, the worldwide tablet market will have shipped 260 million devices by 2016 – and that’s 260 million devices that can help workers be more productive if only they had access to a WiFi connection. The novelty of mobility first struck business users with cellphones, but they were originally designed for voice communications only. Then, laptops initially seemed like the answer to working on-the-go – but an Ethernet cable plugged into a wall was still required to get online. Now there’s the tablet and it appears, based on documented and projected sales, that companies have finally found their winner. With the right wireless LAN infrastructure for all-the-time, anywhere connectivity, these devices can help enterprises streamline costs, operations and even approval policies through a myriad of applications developed specifically for the mobile workforce and constant access to Web software used for specific tasks like reporting, etc What industries are best suited for wireless LAN? Xssling

  While every day it looks more and more like investing in a wireless LAN installation is a smart idea for idea for any enterprise, there are a few industries that stand out particularly because of their unique characteristics and should be thinking about this immediately. In the healthcare industry, wireless connectivity for tablets and WiFi devices is becoming a key component of critical care – both for patients and staff. The need for reliable coverage delivered through wireless LAN has been proliferated capabilities for real-time mobile patient monitoring, electronic medical records (EMRs) and transfer of information, digital imaging. Since the hospitality industry hosts so many business travelers who expect hotel rooms to be mobile offices, WiFi connectivity is not only expected – it’s expected to be free and always-on. Finally, as architects are working much closer with IT consultants during the early planning stages of a


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